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Cubrite/Swadesh list

דף זה בעברית

Pronunciation /xnaːnið/
Created by IlL
Setting Lõis
Region Northern Levant
Language family
Writing system Hebrew (Jewish square script)
ISO 639-3

Cubrite (Cubrite: כﬞנאַאנידﬞ Xnánið /xnɛːnið/ or נומא כﬞנאַאן núm Xnán /niːm xnɛːn/, Togarmite: Xnoniþ) is a Canaanite language in Lõis, spoken by the Cubrites in the Cyprus, Turkey, Armenia and the Levant. Genetic studies have shown that the Cubrites were originally Celtic speakers who adopted a form of Hebrew. The language preserves quite a few Biblical words and phrases, but its grammar was completely restructured to use auxiliaries instead of the older Hebrew tense conjugations.

It's inspired grammatically by Welsh, and aesthetically by Cockney English, Celtic and Khmer.

Numbers: 0-10: afs, ódh (inanimate)/áth (animate), šnay, šluš, arbą, homiš, šeš, šewą, šmun, tešą, ngaxr

11-20: ódh/áth ngaxr, šnay ngaxr, šluš ngaxr, arbą ngaxr, homiš ngaxr, šeš ngaxr, šew ngaxr, hmun ngaxr, tešą ngaxr, ngaxrim

40: stay ngaxrim

60: šluš ngaxrim


100: ??

10000: rúø

before: kkorm



  • Swadesh list
  • bel-, ble- is a common prefix (conflation of ben- and ba3al-)
  • biuth or šą še... = when...
  • Many adverbs are froma infinitive absolute
  • likkori = to die (lit. be called [by God])
  • šovuą = week
  • mødbár = conference
  • נא becomes a focus marker =nø
    • question marker a ... [FOCUS]=nø
  • Philippi should be weaker: i > e, instead of the TibH i > a (*bint > bett 'daughter'; TibH baṫ)
  • Makhin yo ngalekh likkori? = Why did you have to die?

Some sound changes

  • non-rhoticity, H-dropping
  • ħ > h; *gt, kt, ᴋt, ħt > kht
  • dt, tt > st
  • -ø (mainly from Biblical Hebrew ) becomes silent and lengthens the vowel before it
  • ACub ā ō ū > OCub ó ú í
  • OCub ó ú í > Modern Cub. aɤ i: əi



  • /m n ŋ h l w j ɹ~ʋ Ø/ מ נ ׆ ה ל ו י ר א
  • /p b f v t⁼ d tʰ θ ð k⁼ g kʰ x/ פ ב פﬞ בﬞ ט ד ת ת◌ﬞ דﬞ ק ג כ כﬞ
  • /s z ts ʃ/ ס ז צ ש

/ʃ/ is found mainly in loans from Hebrew and from palatalization of /s/.

(capital η is И)

Biblical Hebrew /l/ became /w/ in some places, especially before C.


Words can undergo initial voicing mutation.


Cubrite has the largest vowel inventory of any Lõisian Semitic language:

/a e ɪ ɔ ʊ ɛ̃ː iə əɪ äɤ iː ɑ̃ː ɛ̃ː ɪɤ̃ ɔ̃ː æː aw ɛw ɪw ɔw ʊw ɑː(ɹ) ɛː(ɹ) eː(ɹ) oʊ~oː(ɹ) ɜː(ɹ) ə(ɹ)/ = a e i o u á é í ó ú ą ę į ų aw ew iw ow uw ar er ir or ur ø/r

Word-final /ə/ is pronounced [ɐ(ɹ)] and is transcribed as a syllabic r, or ør after r.

The following is the traditional classification of vowels:

  • Shva: ø
  • Short vowels: a e i o u
  • Long vowels: á é í ó ú
  • Nasal vowels: ą ę į ų
  • L-colored vowels: aw ew iw ow uw
  • R-colored vowels: ar er ir or ur r



Stress tends penultimate or final.





Modern Cubrite is written in the Jewish Hebrew square script, in a spelling based on Tiberian Hebrew. (The resulting spelling is not etymological, since Cubrite reflects the original Hebrew consonants differently.) This is because most earlier works in Modern Cubrite were written by Jews, mainly educational materials in Judaism.


  • /m n ŋ h l w j ɹ~ʋ Ø/ מ נ ׆ ה ל ו י ר א
  • /p b f v t⁼ d tʰ θ ð k⁼ g kʰ x/ פ ב פﬞ בﬞ ט ד ת ת◌ﬞ דﬞ ק ג כ כﬞ
  • /s z ts ʃ/ ס ז צ ש

Consonant correspondences (by default):

  • Hebrew ד ~ Cubrite ט/ד
  • Hebrew ת ~ Cubrite ת◌ﬞ/דﬞ
  • Hebrew ט ~ Cubrite ת


  • Word final /ə/ is always written ר, regardless of etymology.
  • The five basic vowel symbols, written after the initial consonant:
    • אַ = a
    • יֶ = e
    • י = i
    • אָ = o
    • ו = u
  • The lengthened vowels are written with an alef. If possible the alef is written after the coda; if there is no coda or if there is a post-coda suffix, it is written right after the vowel symbol. For example: núm 'language' = נומא; númr 'languages' = נואמר.
  • The L- and R-colored vowels are written with lamed or resh after the vowel symbol.
  • The nasalized vowels are written with ayin after the vowel symbol, but ą is usually written just with ayin.


Cubrite has lost the verbal inflections and triconsonantal morphology of Biblical Hebrew.

Nouns and adjectives

Nouns inflect for number and definiteness. Adjectives agree with nouns in number.

Cubrite has regularized all plurals to ־ר -r (from a merger of Ancient Cubrite -īm and -ōδ). It also lost grammatical gender.

Words ending in a nasal vowel or an R-colored vowel add an intrusive R between the final vowel and the plural suffix: פדע pdą 'tree', פדערר pdąrør 'trees'.

Some irregular plurals: בנוס, בלנוס benus, blenus = human

Canaanite has lost the construct state.

Degree markers:

  • Equative: de- = as X as; equally X; X enough (from BH די day 'enough')
  • Excessive: ro- = too (inherited from Ancient Cubrite, which borrowed it from Celtic)
  • Comparative/Superlative: -ðr = more X or most X; comparandum takes פראָדﬞ proð 'than' (from Biblical Hebrew בראותי את *bi-rVʔōtī ʔet 'when I see ACC')

Example: קרוא kkrú 'big', דגרוא degrú 'as big as'; ראָגרוא rogrú 'too big', קרואדﬞר kkrúðør 'bigger/biggest'


Almost all verbs use only one form, usually the inherited Biblical infinitive construct. The infinitive form may or may not have a prefixed l-, depending on the verb; however, even verbs without l- displays a voicing mutation. Even for imperatives: þett lomi hi! = 'Give it to her!' Some verbs instead are derived from other nouns derived from the triconsonantal root rather than the infinitive of a particular verb.

Inflected lexical verbs

There are only five inflected lexical verbs (i.e. verbs with inflected past and future forms):

  • ðuð 'to do, to make'
  • bu 'to come'
  • lakht 'to go'
  • kkakht 'to get'
  • ðett 'to give'
Inflected verbs in Cubrite
→ Person I thou (m) thou (f) you (polite) he/it she we blotp they Non-pronominal
"to do, to make" (past) ði ni ðis to ðis te sto Hi ðo u sto hi ðin nu ðis tem ðu'm ðo/sto
"to do, to make" (future) ąs i tąs to tąs te tąs Hi yąs u tąs hi nąs nu tąsu tem yąsu'm yąs/tąs
"to come" (future) bul i tbul to tbuli te tbul Hi bul u tbul hi nbul nu tbulu tem bulu'm bul/tbul
"to come" (past) powt i powt to powt te pol Hi pow u pol hi pown nu powt tem polu'm pow/pol
"to go" (future) ley i tley to tley te tley Hi ley u tley hi ley nu tleyu tem leyu'm ley/tlet
"to go" (past) laxt i laxt to laxt te layø Hi lay u layø hi laynø nu laxt tem layu'm lay/layø
"to get" (future) key i tkey to tkey te tkey Hi key u tkey hi key nu tkeyu tem keyu'm key/tkey
"to get" (past) kakht i kakht to kakht te kayø Hi kay u kayø hi kaynø nu kakht tem kayu'm kay/kayø
"to give" (future) ten i ten to tni te ten Hi ten u ten hi ten nu tnu tem tnu'm ten
"to give" (past) nakht i nakht to nakht te nayø Hi nay u nayø hi naynø nu nakht tem nayu'm nakh/nakhø

Non-pronominal forms agree in gender only with a singular subject; the feminine is only used with women and females. With plural nominal subjects and the masculine singular form is used.

Regular pa3al verbs

The regular pattern is *liCCuC.

-t verbs

Many of these verbs got the glottally reinforced -tt from -ʔt. The -tt then analogically spread to other verbs.

  • lakht /ˈlaxt/ = to go
  • kakht /ˈkaxt/ = to take
  • sakht /saxt/ = to go back
  • šaft /ʃaft/ = to sit
  • ðett /ðeʔt/ = to give
  • lost /ˈlost/ = to be born
  • sett /seʔt/ = to carry
  • tsett /tseʔt/ = to go out
  • sątt /sãːʔt/ = to travel
  • gątt /gãːʔt/ = to hit
  • dątt /dãːʔt/ = to know
  • tątt /tãːʔt/ = to plant

Regular nif3al

The regular pattern is *liCoCiC where the first C is not lenited.

Regular pi3el

The regular pattern is *løCaCiC or *løCiCuC where the middle C is not lenited.

Regular hif3il

The regular pattern is *laCCiC, *leCCeC, or *laCCoCø.

Regular hithpa3el

The regular pattern is *lithCaCiC where the middle C is not lenited.

Other verbs

Other verbs come from noun derivation patterns, or from earlier verb + noun collocations.

Any noun can also be verbed by prefixing lø-.


Cubrite has an auxiliary verb system similar to Colloquial Welsh. In addition, there is a T-V distinction: the 2nd person plural tem is also used as a polite pronoun.

  • Re Dovíð ngaw šun. = David is about to sleep.
  • Biuth Dovíð ngaw šun = When David is about to sleep
Various auxiliaries in Cubrite
→ Person I thou (m) thou (f) he/it she we blotp they Non-pronominal
Present (re, r' is from רְאֵה *rVʔē 'look!') i, ni to te u hi nu tem em re, r' before V
Present emphatic (inflected forms of עוֹד) ngud i ngud to ngud te nguden u nguden hi ngud nu ngud tem ngud em ngud
Interrogative (from הַאִם, -nø must be added to the focused word) am ni, am i am to am te am u am hi am nu am tem am em am
Past (from perfect of עָשָׂה 'to do') si ni, sit i, sit ni sit to sit te so u sto hi sin nu sit tem su'm so/sto
Future/Subjunctive (from imperfect of עָשָׂה 'to do') ąs i tąs to tąs te yąs u tąs hi nąs nu tąsu tem yąsu'm yąs/tąs
Passive present (from imperfect of עָבַר 'to pass') ur ni, ur i tur to tri te yur u tur hi nur nu tru tem ru'm yur/tur
Passive past (from perfect of עָבַר 'to pass') var ni, var i, vart i vart to vart te var u vro hi varn nu vart tem vru'm var/vro
"May" (from imperfect of לָקַח 'to take') kekh i tkekh to tkekh te kekh u tkekh hi kekh nu tkekhu tem kekhu'm kekh/tkekh/kekhu
"Do X more" - present (from imperfect of הוֹסִיף 'to add') usif i tusif to tusif te yusif u tusif hi nusif nu tusif tem yusifu'm usift/tusif/yusifu
"Do X more" - past (from perfect of הוֹסִיף 'to add') seft i seft to seft te sif u sifø hi sef nu seft tem sifu'm sif/sifu
Cautionary (from imperfect of זָמַם 'to scheme') zum i tøzum to tøzum te zum u tøzum hi nøzum nu tøzmu tem zmu'm zum/tøzum/zmu
"X well" - present (from imperfect of הֵיטִיב 'to do well') attev i tattev to tattvi te yattev u tattev hi nattev nu tattev tem yattevu'm yattev/tattev/yattevu
"X well" - past (from perfect of הֵיטִיב 'to do well') ettevt i ettevt to ettevt te ettev u ettivø hi ettev nu ettevt tem ettevu'm ettev
Cautionary future

The auxiliary for the cautionary future comes from the Biblical Hebrew verb *zāmam 'to scheme'. It's used to:

  • warn the listener of a future event or contingency:
    • Zum sąraz tha lovu fu kol ngeth. = 'The storm might come here any moment.'
    • Zum tafkestaz mul lith kovuą hettev! = 'The map might not be well-defined! [in a hypothetical math lecture, cautioning against a tacit assumption the audience might make]'
  • often used in a threatening manner, for example: Lakh to mul yedhą ma zum i ląsuth lakh to! = 'You have no idea what I'm gonna do to you!'

Object pronouns

Object pronouns are not different from subject pronouns, except kho/khe/khem may be found instead of to/te/tem in some dialects.


Prepositions inflect like in Welsh: for pronominal prepositional objects, usually the preposition is inflected and is followed by the independent pronoun.

example of a Cubrite inflected preposition: lø "for"; bø 'in, at', min 'from' are inflected similarly

  • 1sg: li, li ni
  • 2sg.m: lakh to
  • 2sg.f: lakh te
  • 3sg.m: lomu hu
  • 3sg.f: lomi hi
  • 1pl. lonu nu
  • 2pl. lakhøm tem
  • 3pl. lomu'm

Other prepositions:

  • túb lø = for
  • yán = because of
  • ngam = on
  • yax = with (both inst. and com.)
  • pøngé = inside, within
    • sim. løngé, møngé 'into, out of'
  • pølip = amidst
  • wén = without
  • møné = before, in front of
  • hár = after
  • møngál = above
  • møþál = below
  • þaxt = instead of
  • χmó = like, as
  • hakr = until
  • gu = up to


Constituent order

The order is tense-subject-verb-object.

R'išaz p'él avlaz.
The man is eating the apple.
Re béð u pø de-rul xmó liyoðøn.
His house is as big as a whale.
Sto hi ða ląsuth halkkbetho hi pø ro-múhr.
She did her homework too late.

The negative particle mul (from mə'umâ lo 'not anything') comes after the subject pronoun and before the verb.

Faulty accusative

Cubrite has the faulty accusative particle ða (from Biblical Hebrew ʔet ha-). It is not used for all direct objects, but only for constituents that are separated from their heads. Đa must also be used before the verbal noun when using an auxiliary: היֶטבר הי דﬞאַ ליתפﬞוס טאָגר Hettvø hi ða litfus togø. = She was good at catching fish.

Noun phrase

The definite article is a clitic:

  • Singular: -az (after C) or -zu (after V)
  • Plural: -iw


  • hadø = a room
  • hadraz = the room
  • hadrø = rooms
  • hadriw = the rooms
  • hadø grú = a big room
  • hadø grulaz = the big room (< hah-hadr hag-gâdhol haz-ze)
  • botø grulø = big houses
  • botø gruliw = the big houses

There is no construct state, unlike in Biblical Hebrew. Genitives are expressed with concatenation: šem-mawkaz = the king's name.

To say "this X" or "that X", X-az fu and X-az šom (lit. "the X here" and "the X there") are used. To say "this" and "that", you say ze fu and ze šom (where the ze becomes ilø in the plural).

The abstract demonstrative is zuth.

Words for yes and no

  • ent (from אמת "truth") = present 'yes'
  • ay (from איה "where?") = present 'no'
  • ríð (from ראיתי "I saw") = past 'yes'
  • lu ðo (from לא עשה, inflected) = past 'no'
  • yąð (from יעשה, inflected) = future 'yes'
  • lu yąð (inflected) = future 'no'
  • aw (from אל "don't!") = imperative 'no'

Verb phrase

VN constructions

  • re Parm laxt = Parm is going, goes
  • re Parm þax laxt = Parm is about to go
  • re Parm hár laxt = Parm has gone
  • re Parm hár yið pø laxt = Parm has been going
  • re Parm døs laxt = Parm just went
  • re Parm wén laxt = Parm hasn't went
  • sto Parm ða laxt = Parm went
  • þąs Parm ða laxt = Parm will go
  • Laxt! = Go! (number neutral)
  • Tenu laxt! = Let's go!

Sentence phrase


There is a complementizer mur /mɐ/ (from לאמר lēmōr) or yuð /əð/ (from conflation of hajōδ 'to be' and hiyyōδ accusative marker) depending on dialect.


Relative clauses use the relativizer ar (from a merger of אשר *ʔašir and ה- ha-). Re is not used in relative clauses in present tense.

  • Ni p'él avlaz ar pø hadr i = I am eating the apple which is in my room.


Canaanite has the following vocabulary layers:

  1. Most of the common words are inherited from quasi-Biblical Hebrew, however they often show drastic semantic drift or compounding. Example: sngúd 'a lot' comes from סעודה 'feast'.
  2. Celtic substrates
  3. Ancient Greek, Old Togarmite and Aramaic loans
  4. L-Arabic loans
  5. Modern loans from other Levantine sprachbund languages, such as Togarmite, and Modern Greek

Although it is attested in Biblical Hebrew, the *CăCiCâ verbal noun pattern is not as productive as in Mishnaic Hebrew.

Many words are formed form earlier construct state combinations, and are sometimes unrecognizable as such:

  • ambin 'brick' from אבני בניין *ʔabanē binyan 'building stones'
  • søvgom '(slang) debacle, fiasco; a mess' from שפך דם *šapk dam 'spilling of blood'
  • ngénøm 'source' from עין מים ʕēn mayim 'spring of water'
  • løseppin 'to like' from נשא פני lit. 'lift the face of' meaning 'to favor'
  • klalib 'conscience' from קול הלב lit. 'voice of the heart'

Some productive affixes are:

  • ben-/ble- = agentive
    • פנאַר pnar 'wolf' comes from pre-Cubrite *בן הר 'son-of mountain'
  • beδ- = place noun
  • bəd-/pd- = singulative of a collective noun
    • פדע pdą = tree, from *batt ya3r 'daughter of forest'
  • -əl = transitivizer or causative of verbs (from a -w ~ -l alternation in some intransitive-transitive verb pairs)

Example texts

UDHR, Article 1

Kol plenušiw bru'm lalest kø hofsr; hem sowr ngaw kovdaz ke tsrokkuthiw. Vru'm lifkudh pø þbín ke gulaliv, ke re ngalem laxt yax šuthif bø nøšóm ahwr.
all human/PL-DEF.PL.M PASS.PRES-3PL be_born as free-M.PL; 3PL equal-PL on dignity-DEF.SG and right-DEF.F.PL. PASS.PRES-3PL entrust with understanding and conscience, and PRES on-3PL walk with one_another with spirit brotherhood.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Tower of Babel

Cubrite Masoretic Hebrew (transl.)
  1. Bar þó law þebwaz ðø zúðu sóv lødapir xe zúðu núm lúngil.
  2. Wini khi ðu'm pø sątt mø mikkarm, su'm liþakiw pø mišuraz Šinngor xe liðyašib šom.
  3. Xe ðu'm yið lø šúðøv: "Púlé, puþonu ląsuð ambín xe lateb léfuð em." Xe ðu ambíniw šamiš lomu'm xmu avóniw, ke hemr xmu mawtt.
  4. Xe ðu'm yið: "Púlé, puþonu bnuð krír xe mídøw bomi hi, yąð ruš u lagią ląluð lø šmaymaz, xe nąð nu ląsuð lø nawš nu duąšem! Oz nąs nu mul liðvazir fli þó law þebwaz."
  5. Wini Hašém ðo u rest bu, xá yąð u lábitt pø kríraz ke mídøwaz a yu plenušiw pø bnuð.
  6. Ke Hašém so u yið: "Šą a su'm hátholø ląsuth zuth kø hóð ngom ar bø dapir háð núm, yiye mum mikhšul mul lø mádovr a yąsu løzumim ląsuth!
  7. "Púlé, puþonu rest laxt xe bawbiw núm em, oz yąðu'm mul lábin šuðiv."
  8. Xu Hašém ðo u vazir em, xe su'm ládul bnuð kríraz.
  9. Xe me yánaz fu ar kríraz bø kkaxt šemaz "Boviw" -- šom so Hašém bawbiw núm þó law þebwaz. Me šom so Hašém vazir em fli þó law þebwaz.
  1. Vayehi khol-ha'arets safa ekhat udvarim akhadim.
  2. Vayehi bnos'am mikedem vayyimtse'u vik'a b'erets Shin'ar vayyeshvu sham.
  3. Vayyomru ish el-re'ehu hava nilbena lvenim venisrefa lisrefa vatehi lahem hallvena l'aven vehakhemor haya lahem lakhomer.
  4. Vayyomru hava nivne-lanu ir umigdal verosho vashamayim vena'ase-lanu shem pen-nafuts al-pnei khol-ha'arets.
  5. Vayyered Adonai lir'ot et-ha'ir ve'et-hammigdal asher banu bnei ha'adam.
  6. Vayyomer Adonai hen am ekhad vesafa akhat lekhullam veze hakhillam la'asot ve'ata lo-yibatser mehem kol asher yazmu la'asot.
  7. Hava nerda vnovla sham sfatam asher lo yishme'u ish sefat re'ehu.
  8. Vayyafets Adonai otam misham al-pnei khol-ha'arets vayyakhdelu livnot ha'ir.
  9. Al-ken kara shmah bavel ki-sham balal Adonai shefat kol-ha'arets umisham hefitsam Adonai al-pnei kol-ha'arets.

Schleicher's Fable


When three forms are given, the forms are respectively for addressing one male informally, one female informally, and multiple people or formal language.

  • Soløm! [ˈsɔləm] = Hello! / Goodbye!
  • Hakr gorv! = See you!
  • Ebí Hi! = Welcome! (etym. [God] has brought you)
  • Parg lo Hi! = Thank you!
  • imtsøhém Hi = Please (etym. if it finds favor in your eyes)
    • also plíz [pləɪz] (from English)
  • ngeth tuv [ŋɛθ tuv] = have fun