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dundulanyä ḫamfafa
Pronunciation[dundulɐnjɛ ħɐmɸɐɸɐ]
Created byLili21
DateDec 2021
EthnicityDundulanyä; Neo-Dundulanyä
Native speakers1,946,000,000 (4140)
East Mandabudi (areal)
  • Dundulanyä
Early form
Standard form
Modern Standard Dundulanyä
Official status
Official language in
Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics
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Dundulanyä [dundulɐnjɛ], natively known as dundulanyä ḫamfafa[1] [dundulɐnjɛ ħɐmɸɐɸɐ], is the most spoken language on the planet Eventoa (Dun.: Lelḫajāṃrya). It is the official language of the Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics, which makes it the main lingua franca across the two southern hemisphere continents, Lusaṃrīte - where it originated - and Jūhma.

Dundulanyä itself has a long history, being first attested about 2400 years before the present in the areas of Central Lusaṃrīte, where the Dundulanyä civilization first developed; through successive empires and religious proselytism, people and language spread across many areas of the continent - most notably Dundulanyä-ifying the north shore of the Inland Seas by the end of Classical Lusaṃrītene Antiquity. As the dominant civilization of Lusaṃrīte, the Dundulanyä spread their language to become the main lingua franca of trade and culture in most of the continent and in eastern Jūhma; the massive demographical changes brought by the epidemics that were the result of increased contact with the civilizations of the northern hemisphere effectively enabled the Dundulanyä culture to spread in areas where formerly other civilizations were dominant. By the modern and contemporary eras, a more standardized version of classical Dundulanyä remained the lingua franca among multiple peoples across Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma, and the situation remained more or less the same after the collapse of the Fifth Dundulanyä Empire and through the Three Leagues Period.

Today, Dundulanyä is the official language of the Confederation of the United Dundulanyä Republics (laḫlurayäh dundulanyäɂi lileṣkorukṣarte śūsmurdibeṣarān), the multicultural political entity that is dominant throughout Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma; the standard language is a heavily standardized version of the classical language, with many of the less regular forms having fallen out of use after one millennium of being essentially a L2 for the totality of its speakers; high style language and creative usage, however, still uses forms that have fallen out of use in the everyday language. Dundulanyä, along with any of the regional languages of the Confederation, is the main language for its 1,9 billion inhabitants, a number to which should be added a substantial amount of foreign users in virtually all other countries in Lusaṃrīte and Jūhma.

Both the language and the setting are still under construction: see the External history section on this page for more.

Internal history

The relationship of Dundulanyä to other languages is poorly understood, given the limited attestations of neighboring languages contemporary to archaic Dundulanyä. It is classified as an East Mandabudi language, an areal grouping that includes Dundulanyä and some ancient - and scarcely attested - languages of that area based on some criteria that have been found, such as Austronesian-type alignment, a possessive system like the one of Dundulanyä itself, a duodecimal number system, and heavily inflected nouns, that are not found in the most thoroughly attested languages of that era, the neighboring West Mandabudi and Dailishi languages.

Phonology (yāṃsaśodda)

Dundulanyä has a moderately large, but asymmetrical, vowel inventory with six short and four long vowels, along with two diphthongs and two consonants (short and long versions of the same one) that can fill the syllable nucleus.

Vowels - camiyāṃsai
Front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Close-mid e eː o~ɔ
Open-mid ɛ
Open ɐ äː
Diphthongs aɪ̯ aʊ̯
Syllabic consonants ʀ̩ ʀ̩ː

The consonant inventory is more complex, with a pattern of “soft” and “hard” consonants traditionally recognized by classical Dundulanyä grammarians, not on a phonetic basis but starting from their relationship inside Dundulanyä morphology. In most cases, the difference is based on aspiration.

Dundulanyä has, among many points of articulations, a series of linguolabial consonants, which are common in its geographical area (in most of northern and central Lūsaṃrīte) but are otherwise extremely rare on Eventoa.

Consonants - hīmbayāṃsai
→ PoA
↓ Manner
Labials Linguolabials Dentals Retroflexes Palatals Velars Laryngeals
Soft Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard Soft Hard
Nasals m n ɳ ɲ ŋ1
Stops Unvoiced p 2 t̼ʰ t̪ʰ ʈ ʈʰ c͡ɕ c͡ɕʰ k ʔ
Voiced b d̼ʱ d̪ʱ ɖ3 ɖʱ3 ɟ͡ʑ ɟ͡ʑʱ ɡ~ɣ ɡʱ ɢ4
Fricatives ɸ~f s ʂ ɕ ɦ ħ
Approximants ʋ ɹ̼ l j ʀ

Table notes:

  1. /ŋ/ is phonemic only in the name of the corresponding letter and, diachronically, through saṃdhi in simplifications of /N/ + velar stop clusters; such instances are, however, to be considered phonemic as the original form is only apparent either throughout the declension or in different styles, see e.g. ṣṭhīṭaṅ "yesterday", tataṅ "today" (← ṣṭhīṭaṅga, tataṅga, used in the declension of the nominal forms except for the direct singular).
  2. The /pʰ/ phoneme is marginal; it has a separate letter in the script, but as a phoneme it is only found in the name of the letter itself, in a few words of onomatopoeic origin, and as the result of saṃdhi (from the clusters -p h- or -p ḫ-); the vast majority of contemporary speakers merge it with /ɸ~f/.
  3. /ɖ/ and /ɖʱ/ are generally represented by the stop realizations, however, in the contemporary spoken language, except when adjacent to another consonant they are most commonly realized as any of [ɽ(ʱ) ɭ(ʱ) ɻ(ʱ)] depending on the geographical origin of the speaker, realizations which are influenced by the historical development of Classical Dundulanyä /ɖ ɖʱ/ in the modern vernaculars.
  4. The q /ɢ/ phoneme is represented here by its most accepted contemporary pronunciation, as there is some debate about its prevailing quality in Classical Dundulanyä. It is also the phoneme which realization varies the most throughout the Dundulanyä-speaking world, often having different realizations depending on the position in the word, or often merging with other phonemes - generally with one of /g/, /k/ or /ʔ/.
    In the standard pronunciation (as well as in the entire North Shore, in and around the city of Līlah, and elsewhere in most of Northern and Western Lusaṃrīte), it is [ɢ] word-initially and syllable-initially, and a fricative (either uvular [χ]-[ʁ] or velar [x]-[ɣ]) in coda, voiceless before voiceless consonants and voiced otherwise.

With the partial exception of /ħ/, words may only end in soft consonants and/or clusters of an approximant followed by a single soft stop or fricative. In the romanization, some apparent exceptions may be seen due to saṃdhi in words followed by clitics, such as in logh va "I don't go" [lɔɡʱʋɐ].

Saṃdhi (mīraṃdīdda)

Saṃdhi (mīraṃdīdda "reaction") in Dundulanyä is mostly internal saṃdhi only.

Internal saṃdhi

Saṃdhi assimilations are fairly straightforward; in the vast majority of cases, the second consonant assimilates the preceding one(s).

The most basic rules are:

  • Nasals assimilate to the PoA of any following consonant except for y (no assimilation occurs), l (all become , phonetically realized as vowel nasalization), and before d dh s ṣ c ch j jh ś, where there is a phonemic contrast between the homorganic nasal and ; the latter is, in saṃdhi, the result of a preceding m.
  • All plosives assimilate in voicing to a following stop; if the first one is aspirated, then aspiration shifts to the second one.
    • Dentals also assimilate to any adjacent (preceding or following) retroflexes, while labials assimilate to adjacent linguolabials.

In stop saṃdhi, a few further changes apart from basic voicing, retroflex and linguolabial assimilation occur. Note that any such combination also applies to aspirated stops.

-pc- → -ṃc-;
-p̃ṭ- → -p̃p̃-; -p̃c- → -p̃ś-;
-tp̃- → -p̃p̃-; -tc- → -cc-; -tk- → -kt-;
-ṭp̃- → -p̃p̃-; -ṭc- → -cc-; -ṭk- → -kṭ-;
-cp- → -śp-; -cp̃- → -hp̃-; -ct- → -kt-; -cṭ- → -ṣṭ-; -ck- → -śk-;
-kc- → -cc-.

All combinations involving glottal stops, q (lenited to a glottal stop), as well as -pṭ-, -pk-, -p̃t-, -p̃k-, -tp-, -ṭp-, -kp-, -kp̃-, -kt- and -kṭ- remain unchanged.

Saṃdhi involving voiced stops mostly mirrors the changes of voiceless ones with, however, a few differences:

-b̃ḍ- → -b̃l-; -b̃j- → -b̃l-;
-db- → -bd-; -db̃- → -r̃b̃-; -dj- → -ñj-; -dg- → -gd-; -dq- → -ɂd-;
-ḍb- → -bḍ-; -ḍb̃- → -r̃b̃-; -ḍj- → -ñj-; -ḍg- → -gḍ-; -ḍq- → -ɂḍ-;
-jb̃- → -r̃b̃-; -j + any other stop, including aspirated ones and ɂ → --;
-gj- → -ñj-; -gq- → -qq-.

All combinations with b as the first consonant, all other ones involving glottal stops and q (lenited to a glottal stop before other plosives), as well as -b̃d-, -b̃g-, -gb-, -gb̃-, -gd- and -gḍ- remain unchanged.

h and fortify preceding plosives (except ɂ), turning them into aspirated ones; -Ch- results in an aspirate, while -Cḫ- in a geminated and aspirated plosive (e.g. śud-ḫanaśuddhana "rule"; nisakh-ḫamfanisakkhamfa "conlang"). The sequences -ɂh- and -ɂḫ- both result in -ḫḫ-.

h changes to in front of linguolabials; the sequence -hh- changes to -hl-.

Sibilants trigger various different changes:

  • Among themselves, -s s- remains ss (but simplified to s if the latter is followed by a consonant other than y), but any other combination becomes kṣ;
  • , if followed by a dental stop, turns it into or ṭh according to aspiration;
  • s or ś plus any voiced stop, or followed by any non-dental/retroflex voiced stop, disappear but synchronically lengthen the previous vowel;
  • Coronal stops followed by or ś result in a palatal affricate;
  • All sibilants become r in front of q.

In internal saṃdhi, doubled stops are degeminated (like -mpp- > -mp-).

Doubling saṃdhi

In a few cases of consonant doubling due to saṃdhi, there are irregular results:

  • -yy- → -jñ-;
    • This also applies to instances of -aiy-, which become -ājñ-;
  • -vv- → -bb-;
    • Similarly to the preceding change, -auv- becomes -ābb-;
  • -rr- → -hr-.

Epenthetic vowels

Epenthetic vowels are usually discussed together with saṃdhi. They are often used in verbal conjugations, as no Dundulanyä word may end in two consonants. The epenthetic vowel used depends on the preceding consonant:

  • u is inserted after labials and linguolabials;
  • i is inserted after palatals;
  • a is inserted after all other consonants.

Note that y, v, and r in these cases turn into the corresponding vowels i, u, and .

Saṃdhi in consonant stems

Consonant stem nouns ending in a sonorant (i.e. m-stem, n-stem and l-stem nouns) undergo special saṃdhi processes if the final -a- is preceded by a -CR- cluster, where R is any sonorant.

All such nouns are reconstructed as having a syllabic consonant in Pre-Dundulanyä (PreD), but such syllabic consonants - m̥, n̥ and l̥ - are no longer found in Dundulanyä:

  • -Cna- and -Cma- nouns have their oblique stem in -Ca- (through intermediate *-Cn̥-, *-Cm̥-), e.g. yasmam "tooth" → oblique stem yasam- (PreD *yasm̥m-), whence e.g. ergative yasamē;
  • -Cla- nouns have their oblique stem in -Cṛ- (through intermediate *-Cl̥-), e.g. sislam "door" → oblique stem sisṛm- (PreD *sisl̥m-), whence e.g. accusative sisṛmat.

Such stems are also used in derivational morphology, see e.g. prāsisṛmapa (backyard) for an example with the root sislam.

Morphology (hufāmvailaḫlana)

Dundulanyä is a highly inflected language with a synthetic morphology. Five parts of speech are traditionally distinguished: nouns, verbs, pronouns and correlatives, numerals, and particles.

Dundulanyä inflectional morphology is almost entirely suffixing, save for a system of apophony (ablaut) and a marginal number of inflectional prefixes, mostly in verbs. Derivational morphology, on the other hand, employs up to four different strategies: suffixes, prefixes, and to a lesser extent circumfixes and infixes, or the combination of more or them, as well as eventually ablaut on top of that.

Ablaut (camiyāṃsachiṣa)

Dundulanyä is characterized by a complex system of vowel alternations (apophony, in Dundulanyä camiyāṃsachiṣa, literally "vowel stairs") that was inherited from its proto-language. There are, depending on definition, either nine or twelve ablaut patterns, which Dundulanyä verbal roots may belong to, in addition to those that do not undergo ablaut. The overwhelming majority of Dundulanyä verbal roots are monosyllabic, and the few bi- or polysyllabic ones are all non-ablauting.

Each root has three different grades: the middle grade, citation form of roots, is called būcūya (from √būc- "flat"); the zero grade (or lower grade) is called ślūtya (literally "remnant", from √ślo- "to be left"), while the higher grade is called udhyukṣṇise (literally "grown within").

Nominal examples:

  • class I root √bhaṭ- (zero abḍh-; higher bhāṭ-) bhaṭuṣa (bhaṭ-uṣ-) "expansion": ABS bhaṭuṣa, ERG bhaṭuṣē, DAT abḍhoṣak, LOC abḍhoṣā, LOC.PL abḍhauṣän
  • class II root √deh- (zero dih-, higher daih-): dehuṣa (deh-uṣ-) "usage": ABS dehuṣa, ERG dehuṣē, DAT dihoṣak, LOC dihoṣā, LOC.PL dihauṣän
  • class I root √haf-, synchronically irregular (zero iṣf-; higher hāf-): hāṅka (haf-n-ka- < *śǝ́f-ṇ-ko-) "socket": ABS hāṅka, ERG hāṅkē, DAT iṣfaṅkak, LOC iṣfaṅkā, LOC.PL iṣfāṅkän

A substantial part of nouns in Dundulanyä is derived from verbal roots, and these may have ablaut patterns throughout their declension as in the examples above, or the derivational suffix may require the root to be in a certain ablaut grade (which is then a fixed stem throughout the declension). However, as a general rule, the majority of nouns relating to flora, fauna, and many elements of the natural world are not formed from verbal roots and do not show ablaut.

Dundulanyä roots belong to one out of nine classes (eight ablaut classes or non-ablauting), called dhoptai (sg. dhopta):

Zero grade
Middle grade
Higher grade
0 no ablaut
I a ā
II i
ī (CV- roots)
e ai
ū (CV- roots)
o au
IV ar ār
V i ä ē
VI ya i ī
VII va u ū

The majority of roots belongs to either the 0 class, or to classes II to IV. Other classes are much rarer, with V and especially VIII being the least common overall. Many class I roots have a sonorant such as l, m or n (rarely other nasals), continuing formations parallel to class IV in reconstructed Pre-Dundulanyä. Class I roots may, due to their shape, be further simplified in the zero-grade; see haf-, zero-grade iṣf- "to insert, fill" or rañj-, zero-grade ṛj- "to name, identify"; some others have a short vowel in the zero-grade and a long vowel in the (identical) middle- and higher-grade forms, as with sākh- (zero-grade sakh-, higher-grade sākh-) "to prepare"[3].

Some class VI and VII roots may have consonant changes caused by saṃdhi; furthermore, there are a few irregular class II and III roots which have a long vowel in the zero grade form even if they are not of CV shape; see e.g. lobh- "to write" with the long zero grade lūbh-. Class III roots with the -vo- sequence in the middle grade (citation form) reduce it to -ū- in any case in the zero grade, as in tvorg- "to fear" with the zero grade tūrg-.

Nouns (rāñjiḫi)

The Dundulanyä noun (rañjiḫe, pl. rāñjiḫi) is highly inflected - it declines for:

  • Three numbers (smuḍai):
Singular (emibundīra smuḍa)
Dual (rirändīra smuḍa)
Plural (tailindīra smuḍa)
  • Nine cases (dirūṃrūkṣāri):
Direct (drādhūṅga dirūṃrūkṣah)
Vocative (ṛjadīra dirūṃrūkṣah)
Ergative (drīyadīra dirūṃrūkṣah)
Accusative (darūltuṅga dirūṃrūkṣah)
Dative (mälindīra dirūṃrūkṣah)
Ablative (smrāṇuṅga dirūṃrūkṣah)
Locative (tadyapadīra dirūṃrūkṣah)
Essive (jalīndīra dirūṃrūkṣah)
Instrumental (dṛvundīra dirūṃrūkṣah)

There are a few nouns which lack number; a few are singularia tantum and lack a plural (e.g. tambīya "lips"), other ones are plural only - most notably including all ethnicities, whose singular form is analytical, made by using the bound form (see below) to the word lila (person), e.g. dundulanyä lilarān (a Dundulanyä).

The consensus among linguists is that Dundulanyä does not have grammatical gender or noun classes; however, it should be noted that natural gender is shown on some nouns referring to humans, and furthermore there are some verbs that have a complementary distribution - most notably the existential "to be" - where one verb can only be used for inanimate subjects and another only for animate ones; in a few cases, the animate "class" is also split between humans and non-humans. None of this, however, is reflected in morphology.

Dundulanyä nouns are complex, due to the existence of multiple declension patterns. They are primarily categorized by whether they refer to nouns that undergo ablaut or not; secondarily, they are categorized by their stem type.

Ablauting declensions are all unproductive (although some of the derivational suffixes that form ablauting nouns are still productive) and include the following ones:

  • Root nouns
  • -e declension
  • -a declension
  • Zero-ending nouns with vowel suffixes (-u, -i, -ṛ).

Except for root nouns, ablauting nouns are formed by a root and a suffix, and ablaut alternates between them. Many such suffixes are derivational and productive, but some are no longer productive and limited to a small number of terms (such as -in- forming certain male kinship terms). In a few cases, the suffix may actually be an infix, such as the (non-productive) one in the word lorbhe "stele", ultimately from the root lobh- "to write" (cf. direct singular lorbhe but locative singular lūrabhā, dative plural lūrābhumi).

Non-ablauting declensions are the following ones:

  • -e declension (first consonant stem declension)
  • Zero-ending nouns with stems ending in liquids (-l or -r), nasals (-m or -n) or the glottal stop (-h) (second consonant stem declension). Nouns belonging to this declension have a prop vowel -a- in their citation form; nouns with other vowels belong to the first consonant stem declension (and end in -e in their citation form), cf. second declension glūḫam (glūḫ-(a)m-) vs. first declension kämbune "berry" (kämbun-). This is because liquids and nasals could be syllabic in Dundulanyä's ancestor language, but among them only r/ remains as a consonant/vowel pair in Dundulanyä itself.
  • Nouns with vowel-final stems.
    • The extremely common -a declension is a particular case, as it behaves in some forms like a consonant stem declension, and like a vowel stem in others. Both for ablauting and non-ablauting declensions, -a and -e declensions most likely marked some kind of noun class distinction in the proto-language, which has been lost in the evolution of what became Dundulanyä.

Bound forms

Dundulanyä nouns have a further, non-case form, which is called the bound form (avraḍūrūkṣah, pl. avraḍūrūkṣāri) by native grammarians. For nouns whose stems end in vowels, it is usually identical to the direct case; for other nouns, it is usually the endingless stem (with some exceptions). It is used when the noun is the possessor (a form syntactically reminescent of the Afroasiatic construct state, albeit with the roles reversed); to mark the argument governed by a positional verb; and when governed by many adpositions.

In the name of the language, dundulanyä ḫamfafa, for example, dundulanyä is a bound form that however has the same form as the direct, due to the noun having a stem ending in a vowel. Some more examples of bound forms:

  • imut naviṣyaɂe "the teacher's book", imut being the bound form of imute "teacher", and naviṣya "book" being marked with the 3SG possessive ɂe.
  • nūrī dvārmaɂe "the child's room", nūrī being the bound form of nūrya "child".
  • līv yude "3SG stands in the flat", where the positional verb yu-de- "to stand inside" requires its argument līve to be in the bound form līv.
  • tūrgib sure "without fear", where the postposition sure "without" forces the noun tūrgibe to assume its bound form tūrgib.

Declension tables

The first and second ablauting declensions have the same ablaut patterns, but slightly different endings; the first ablauting declension has the same endings as the (non-ablauting) first consonant stem declension, while the second the same endings as non-ablauting -a nouns (with the exception of locative singular and the singular and plural bound forms).

Root ablaut nouns have the same ablaut pattern as -i, -u, -ṛ nouns, but the endings are directly added to the root, triggering the appropriate saṃdhi changes.

Root nouns
śuṭ- (VIII)
Singular Dual Plural
Direct śūṭ śuṭve śūṭi
Ergative śūṭē śuṭyat śvaṭām
Accusative śūṭ śuṭṭha śvaṭaih
Dative śuk śuṭma śvaṭmi
Ablative śuṭū śucu śvaṭṇī
Locative śuṭā śuṭhe śvaṭän
Essive śuṭī śvaṭoṭu
Instrumental śuṭāl śvaṭṇīka
Bound form śūṭ śuṭu śūṭī

1st ablauting declension (-e)
"hue, shade"
Singular Dual Plural
Direct helkiḫe helkiḫive hailkiḫi
Vocative hailkiḫ
Ergative helkiḫē helkiḫīyat hilkeḫām
Accusative helkiḫat helkiḫītha hilkeḫaih
Dative hilkeḫak helkiḫīma hilkaiḫumi
Ablative hilkeḫū helkiḫeṣu hilkaiḫenī
Locative hilkeḫā helkiḫehe hilkaiḫän
Essive hilkeḫī hilkaiḫoṭu
Instrumental hilkeḫāl hilkaiḫenīka
Bound form helkiḫ helkiḫiv hailkiḫ

2nd ablauting declension (-a)
Singular Dual Plural
Direct koruṣa koruṣeve kauruṣai
Vocative kauruṣ
Ergative koruṣē koruṣīyat kuroṣām
Accusative koruṣat koruṣītha kuroṣaih
Dative kuroṣak koruṣāma kurauṣumi
Ablative kuroṣū koruṣeṣu kurauṣenī
Locative kuroṣā koruṣehe kurauṣän
Essive kuroṣī kurauṣoṭu
Instrumental kuroṣāl kurauṣenīka
Bound form koruṣ koruṣev kauruṣa

Ablauting nouns ending in -i, -u, -ṛ are mainly distinguished by having different ablaut patterns from other ablauting nouns. -ṛ nouns are extremely rare, and only three such nouns figure among the general usage vocabulary: khaikṛ (II) "goose", gāṃsṛ "passage, ford" (I, with the synchronically irregular zero grade gas-), and mētṛ (V) "vessel, pot, cooking pot".

Ablauting nouns in -i
Singular Dual Plural
Direct mārji marjeve mārjī
Ergative mārjē marjeyat mṛjāyam
Accusative mārjit marjetha mṛjāyaih
Dative marjek marjema mṛjaimi
Ablative marjayū marjeṣu mṛjainī
Locative marjayā marjehe mṛjāyän
Essive marjayī mṛjāyoṭu
Instrumental marjayāl mṛjainīka
Bound form mārji marjev mārjī

Ablauting nouns in -u
Singular Dual Plural
Direct p̃aiṣu p̃eṣove p̃aiṣū
Ergative p̃aiṣvē p̃eṣoyat p̃iṣāvam
Accusative p̃aiṣut p̃eṣotha p̃iṣāvaih
Dative p̃eṣok p̃eṣoma p̃iṣaumi
Ablative p̃eṣavū p̃eṣoṣu p̃iṣaunī
Locative p̃eṣavā p̃eṣohe p̃iṣāvän
Essive p̃eṣavī p̃iṣāvoṭu
Instrumental p̃eṣavāl p̃iṣaunīka
Bound form p̃aiṣu p̃eṣov p̃aiṣū

Ablauting nouns in -ṛ
Singular Dual Plural
Direct khaikṛ khekarve khaikāri
Ergative khaikrē khekaryat khikāram
Accusative khaikṛt
khekartha khikāraih
Dative khekāk khekarma khikārmi
Ablative khekarū khekarṣu khikārṇī
Locative khekarā khekarhe khikārän
Essive khekarī khikāroṭu
Instrumental khekarāl khikārṇīka
Bound form khaikṛ khekaru khaikāh2

  1. The form in -ṛt is from Classical Dundulanyä and is preferred in formal usage, especially in writing; the form in -aṭ, taken from the corresponding non-ablauting paradigm, is however more commonly used.
  2. The underlying form is -ār.

Non-ablauting consonant stem 1st declension
Singular Dual Plural
Direct imute imutive imuti
Vocative imut
Ergative imutē imutīyat imutām
Accusative imutat imutītha imutaih
Dative imutak imutīma imutumi
Ablative imutū imuteṣu imutenī
Locative imutā imutehe imutän
Essive imutī imutoṭu
Instrumental imutāl imutenīka
Bound form imut imutiv imutī

Non-ablauting consonant stem 2nd decl. (glottal)[4]
Singular Dual Plural
Direct nādah nādēve nādai
Ergative nādē nādeɂat nādaɂām
Accusative nādāt nādētha nādaih
Dative nādā nādaima nādūmi
Ablative nādū nādēṣu nādēnī
Locative nādā nādēhe nādän
Essive nādī nādāṭu
Instrumental nādāl nādānīka
Bound form nādah nādēv nādē

Non-ablauting -a stems
"(female's) older sister"
Singular Dual Plural
Direct buneya buneyeve buneyai
Vocative bunī1
Ergative buneyē buneyīyat buneyām
Accusative buneyat buneyītha buneyaih
Dative buneyak buneyāma buneyumi
Ablative buneyū buneyeṣu buneyenī
Locative buneyā buneyehe buneyän
Essive buneyī buneyoṭu
Instrumental buneyāl buneyanīka
Bound form buneya buneyev buneye

  1. Morphemically buney-, as the vocative of -a nouns is the stem without the final -a; as per regular saṃdhi, syllable-final ey becomes ī.

The following declensions - -i, -u, -o, -e, -ä have their final vowel as part of the stem, and it is regularly kept throughout the declension. -e stems are therefore different from the consonant stems (which end in -e in their citation form), but are a very small number of nouns, mainly proper nouns[5] (as are, furthermore, nearly all -o stems).

Non-ablauting -i stems
Singular Dual Plural
Direct ilūvi ilūvīve ilūvī
Ergative ilūvyē ilūvīyat ilūvyām
Accusative ilūvit ilūvītha ilūvyaih
Dative ilūvik ilūvīma ilūvyumi
Ablative ilūvyū ilūviṣu ilūvinī
Locative ilūvyā ilūvihe ilūvyän
Essive ilūvī ilūvyoṭu
Instrumental ilūvīl ilūvinīka
Bound form ilūvi ilūvīv ilūvī

Non-ablauting -u stems
Singular Dual Plural
Direct kulāru kulārūve kulārū
Ergative kulārvē kulārūyat kulārvām
Accusative kulārut kulārūtha kulārvaih
Dative kulāruk kulārūma kulārūmi
Ablative kulārū kulāruṣu kulārunī
Locative kulārvā kulāruhe kulārvän
Essive kulāruvī kulārvoṭu
Instrumental kulārūl kulārunīka
Bound form kulāru kulārūv kulārū

Non-ablauting -e stems
Singular Dual Plural
Direct eme emeve emayi
Ergative emayē emeyat emayām
Accusative emet emetha emayaih
Dative emek emema emayumi
Ablative emayū emeṣu emenī
Locative emayā emehe emayän
Essive emayī emayoṭu
Instrumental emēl emenīka
Bound form eme emev emayi

Non-ablauting stems
(hare- or rabbit-like animal)
Singular Dual Plural
Direct śośä śośäve śośä
Ergative śośäyē śośäyat śośām
Accusative śośät śośätha śośaih
Dative śośäk śośäma śośumi
Ablative śośä śośäṣu śośänī
Locative śośähe śośän
Essive śośäṭu
Instrumental śośäl śośänīka
Bound form śośäv śośä1

Dundulanyä nouns generally do not end in long vowels; the few exceptions that do (generally of onomatopoeic or baby talk origin) are treated as irregular nouns. The most common nouns ending in long vowels are certainly amamū "mother" and atabū (or batū) "father", which (due to regular saṃdhi) have ūv before vocalic endings (e.g. ergative plural amamūvām), but an irregular direct plural in -ūv-i, i.e. amamūvi, atabūvi, batūvi.

The -ṛ declension diverges from those ending in other vowels in various forms, such as the direct singular, where nouns end in -ah (-ar, reduced to the corresponding soft consonant) instead of the simple vowel -ṛ; their lemma form is in fact identical in shape to -ah nouns, although adding particles reveals the true nature of the final consonant (cf. ñältah, ñältahbu "sister, my sister"; śuthah, śutharbu "husband, my husband"; ñältahin śutharin "either [the] sister or [the] husband").

-ai nouns and the much rarer -au nouns are variants of the -i and -u declensions respectively: these nouns end in -ā-i and -ā-u and are otherwise regularly declined. Due to saṃdhi, there is, however, more case syncretism than in the normal declensions. While these nouns are somewhat rare in the general lexicon, quite a few of them are basic lexical items and therefore often used, such as mbai "bread", junai "foot", lunai "tea", lanai "island", havau "gold" or prānilau "tomorrow" (the latter an irregular derivation).

Non-ablauting -ṛ stems
Singular Dual Plural
Direct śuthah1 śuthṛve śuthāri
Vocative śuthāh1
Ergative śuthrē śuthrīyat śuthrām
Accusative śuthaṭ śuthṝtha śuthraih
Dative śuthṛk śuthṝma śuthrūmi
Ablative śuthrū śuthṝṣu śuthṝnī
Locative śuthrā śuthṝhe śuthrän
Essive śuthrī śuthroṭu
Instrumental śuthṝl śuthṝnīka
Bound form śuthah1 śuthru śuthāh1

-ai stems
Singular Dual Plural
Direct lanai lanaive lanai
Ergative lanāyē lanājñat lanāyām
Accusative lanait lanaitha lanāyaih
Dative lanaik lanaima lanāyumi
Ablative lanāyū lanaiṣu lanainī
Locative lanāyā lanaihe lanāyän
Essive lanai lanāyoṭu
Instrumental lanail lanainīka
Bound form lanaiv lanai

Table notes:

  1. The underlying form of the final consonant of the direct and vocative singular, as well as singular and plural bound forms, is -r.

Singularia and pluralia tantum

Pluralia tantum in Dundulanyä include the following nouns or categories of words:

  1. many collective nouns:
    sūmi "hair", kāraṇḍhai "guts", rälsi "limbs", padagṇyauṣi "sons and daughters", gauṃsiḫi "cutlery", lampai "dishes, dishware"
  2. things that are heterogeneous in form but considered as a single entity:
    katanai "clutter", dūḍhvi "banquet, buffet"; frāṇagi (a type of sandals made from straw rope), kuntilatiri "streaming"[6], läjñyai "magic", ucururai "savings", rudhmai "resin", ḍotvi "fat", prāvṛḍḍi "controller"
  3. certain actions and processes that involve multiple people:
    vāb̃nīyai "elections", viṣlāviḫi "protest, riot", lipmūyai "traffic jam", kardātatalavibi "hide-and-seek" (sometimes also found as dual)
  4. nouns denoting certain time spans, festivals, or holidays:
    saṃlallai "afternoon", Bhaitrāvāṣri (the most important Yunyalīlti festivity); Kūlḫanari (a winter festival of Kenengyry origin)
  5. a few illnesses and health conditions or disorders:
    norganai "urticaria", udhilelnai "autism", percibrāḍai "influenza"
  6. some locations, including large delimited areas, as well as many toponyms:
    ābābi "square", cadātāyi "tropics"
    Mūnnakṣalti, Anābāndirai
  7. all ethnonyms:
    dundulanyä "Dundulanyä", ṣurṭāgi "Skyrdegan(s)", tayubeśī "Toyubeshians", laḫābī "Laḫobs"

A few nouns do not have a singular, but can have a dual and a plural form. Their citation form is usually the dual:

maihādhūve "parents", kardātatalavibive "hide-and-seek" (most commonly a plurale tantum)

Counted among pluralia tantum are certain words which are not defective in number, but whose plural forms have an additional meaning alongside the one of the singular form, like in the following examples:

hamvilti "nursery" (hamvilte "cradle"), īskāvidai "playground" (īskāvida "swing"), utofi "clothes" (utofe "cloth"), garaṇai "clock, watch" (garaṇa "hour"), anutū "universe" (anutu "space, invisible sky").

Unlike ethnonyms, nouns formed with the suffix -ulu, often identifying a person from a certain place (e.g. lailulu, naṅgaśaurulu) are not pluralia tantum and have regularly-formed plurals (in -ulū).

Irregular vocatives

A few very common words (mostly kinship terms) have irregular vocative forms:

  • ñältah "(male's) sister" — ñäli or ñäl
  • glūḫam "(female's) brother" — galū or glū
  • kālike "(female's) younger sister" — kāl or kālli or kalli
  • praśke "(male's) older brother" — pāśi
  • amamū "mother" — or māmu
  • atabū or batū "father" — or bābu

Irregular nouns

A few Dundulanyä nouns are irregular (outside of the few vocatives in the section above). Most of them are suppletive in the plural, or have irregular stems:

  • As mentioned above, a few irregular nouns end in long vowels; the most common ones are amamū "mother", atabū and batū (both "father"). These behave mostly as -u stem nouns and have, due to regular saṃdhi, ūv- before vocalic endings, except for having an irregular direct, vocative and bound form plural in -ūvi (amamūvi, atabūvi, batūvi).
  • huline "woman" has the suppletive plural hulūni (regularly declined); its general combining stem is hulun- (although in some cases hulin- is also found)[7].
  • svo, the most common honorific, is most commonly used as an indeclinable adpositive title before the noun it refers to; however, it may used as a standalone noun, in which case it behaves as an -o stem noun except before vocalic endings, where it has the stem svom- instead of the expected *svav-; the irregular behaviour is due to it being a shortening of the original honorific svomardam, already found in both full and shortened forms in Classical Dundulanyä.
  • irāḍe "animal (including humans)" is a consonant stem noun in the singular and dual, but declines as an -a stem noun in the plural, i.e. direct pl. irāḍai.

Use of the plural

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

  • Nouns are always singular after numerals (except, optionally, rirä (two), which they can also be dual after), sora (some), grāṇa (any), idu (no), idūṣam (no other), taili (many, much), didya (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 täte "every house", yaiva täti "all houses".
  • When referring to existence or availability of something, that something is always singular, e.g. the essive sg. of nikoṅka "chair" in dvārma nikūvaṅkī taisa "there are chairs in the room". It may be plural if topicalized, but the overall meaning of the sentence changes - e.g. nikauṅkai ba dvārma taisa "the chairs are in the room".
  • When referring to a single person, häɂli (hand), meśiḫe (eye), and p̃agu (ear), and often also junai (foot) (more rarely for nādah (leg) and m̃ukar̃e (arm)) are typically singular and not dual - e.g. ānū miśeḫī meśah "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".
  • junēlte (indoor slippers), rapūda ((thick) shoes), mähṣa (boots), and all types of shoes are also used in the singular to refer to a pair of them. The main exception is frāṇagi (straw rope sandals), which is a plurale tantum.

Duals and plurals of given names have the meaning of an associative plural, i.e. marking a group of two (dual) or more (plural) people contextually identified by some kind of relationship to the person the name refers to, such as e.g. "X and friends; X and family; X and partner..."; cf. Kālomīyayi "Kālomīye and people in/of her group".

Pronouns (śidrāñjiḫi)

Personal pronouns

Possessive suffixes

Each person has its respective possessive suffix, which are clitics mostly used to denote possession on nouns.

Personal markers
-bu -ya -ɂe -bin -sin -hin -fa -yo -rān

Possessive suffixes are added to the head of the noun phrase (Dundulanyä does not have Suffixaufnahme), after any case ending but before any conjunctional clitic:

ñältah; ñältahbu "sister; my sister"
nādaśrūṣeya cända itta nādaśrūṣeɂe śyūda. "Your (sg.) bike is orange, while his/her bike is black."
āyome ga tūfabu tūfayaś? "Is that my ball or your ball?"
naviṣyayäh hiyome ga padacyūsebu. "This is my favourite book." (lit.: "among books, this is my favourite")

An explicit possessor is marked used the bound form (typically together with third person clitics, but not exclusively):

imut nādaśrūṣeɂe "the teacher's bike"
buneyev pūnuḍuhin "the two older sisters' jobs"
dundulanyä ḫamfafa "the Dundulanyä language" (lit.: "the language of us, the Dundulanyä")

Bound forms can also be marked with possessive clitics on their own:

imutrān nādaśrūṣeɂe "their teacher's bike"
buneyevbu pūnuḍuhin "my two older sisters' jobs"


Dundulanyä 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 twelve categories (attributive, thing, person, [person or thing] owner of, 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 hine
that (near you)
that (over there)
another, other
no other
Thing hiyome
this one
that one (near you)
that one (over there)
what?; which one?
something else
nothing else
Person hikana
this one
that one (near you)
that one (over there)
no one
someone else
no one else
Owner of1 hirūm
this one's
that one's (near you)
that one's (over there)
no one's
someone else's
no one else's
Time hivet
then (remote)
sometime, somewhen
anytime, whenever
always, everytime
sometime else
never else
Place hiyo
over there
nowhere else
Destination hiyāk
thither (remote)
nowhither else
Source hiyau
thence (remote)
nowhence else
Manner hilīce
thus, hereby
thereby; that other way
no way
no other way
Reason himena
therefore; for that other reason
for no reason
whyever, for any reason
for every reason
for another reason
for no other reason
Quality hismā
this kind
that kind
that other kind
which kind?
no kind
some kind
any kind
every kind
another kind
no other kind
Quantity hiqna
this much
that much
that much (remote)
how much?
some of it
any much
all of it
another quantity
no other quantity
  1. The "owner of" correlatives are bound forms that mark possession, e.g. hirūm naviṣyaɂe "this [person]'s book", idurūm naviṣyaɂe "no one's book", berūm naviṣyaɂe? "whose book is this?" (lit. "who is the owner of [the] book?"). As such, they are always used together with a third-person (generally singular) possessive suffix.

THING, PERSON, QUALITY and QUANTITY correlatives decline for case; the proximal, medial and distal members of the THING (hiyome, huyome, āyome) and PERSON series (hikana, hukana, ākana) also decline for number.
The QUALITY and QUANTITY correlatives are generally only declined when used together with the bound form of another noun (e.g. m̃uk huqna "that much milk", nṛta idūṣasmā "no other kind of dream").

Note that Dundulanyä does not have wh-fronting: hine täte māmūtrību lilīsa "in this house lives my maternal aunt" → hine täte bekanī lilīsa? "who lives in this house?"

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

idumive, idoneve "neither";
grāṇamive, grākṇeve "either";
yaiveve, yāyukaneve "both";
viṣāmive, viṣkaṇeve "the other one".

Verbs (darūmmai)

The verb (darūmma, pl. darūmmai) is the most inflected part of speech in Dundulanyä. Forms are quite complex and generally formed in an agglutinative manner - even if there are fusional elements for what concerns tense, aspect, and subject agreement.

The language has an Austronesian-type morphosyntactic alignment, and the argument the verb agrees with is controlled by a particular morpheme inside the verb complex. Due to the complex structure, a single verb form can often correspond to a more complex English sentence, as e.g. kujadumbhyaimyūsaɂed (I've been told that the two of you are bringing [it] again (on foot) from outside at my/our place for him/her), a form of the root dombh- (to bring on foot, with the hands), morphemically kuḍ-sa-dumbh-ya-emi-ū-sa-ɂe=d.

The morpheme order of Dundulanyä verbs is the following; elements in bold are required, even if some of them may be zero morphemes:

Dundulanyä verb structure
-3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Positional prefix -sa-
inverse deixis prefix
Incorporated verbal root Stem Tense markers Ablative motion marker Evidential marker Irrealis marker
Causative or applicative marker Trigger/voice Personal agreement Dative agreement Verb-final conjunctions
Incorporated nominal root

Verbs have four stems: present, past, perfect and frequentative; the latter two are always distinct, while non-ablauting roots have the same stems for the present and the past. These stems are used with different sets of personal agreement endings; different combinations of stems and endings are used to form a variety of tense-aspect combinations.
A few irregular verbs have suppletive stems, and a smaller number of verbs is defective, lacking one or more stems.

Root incorporation

Some verb roots may be used with either a verbal or a nominal incorporated root which comes right before the stem in the verb complex. Incorporated verb roots are always in zero-grade ablaut, while incorporated nominal roots are actually a closed class of prefixes etymologically related to certain nouns that broadly identify the object (usually the patient) of the verb.

Incorporated verb roots form root+root complexes where the incorporated root adds a dimension of meaning to the main one, such as with the root jūpūn- "to work in a hurry" from pūn- "to work" with the incorporated root jo- "to hurry", or nililobh- "to write down through brainstorming" from lobh- "to write" with nily- "to think".
Incorporated nominal roots include for example morphemes such as tan- for a long object (cf. taṇḍa "stick, cane") resulting in forms such as taṃlobh- "to affix; carve (on a stick, a post)", or ghar- for "wood" with forms such as ghahräś- "to debark" (räś- "to peel") or gharṇevy- "to carve wood" (nevy- "to shape").

The prefix yau- fills the incorporated nominal root slot, however it denotes repetition and patient plurality and is always used together with the agentive trigger, as shown in forms such as yaukṛsūn "I waited for all of them", yaucikhūn "I offered [them] a drink one by one".
Similarly, the prefixes sya- (exhaustive), tra- (iterative) and cū- (excessive) fill the slot of the incorporated root. sya- is uncommon in the modern language, as it is often used as a synonym of yau-; the original difference being that it does not apply to transitive verbs only, and it does not imply a repeated or prolonged action. Cf. forms such as syanīyūn "I said it all", tranīyūn "I said it again", cūnīyūn "I said too much".

Inverse deixis and ablative motion

While apparently similar, the inverse deixis marker or cislocative (the -s(a)- prefix) and the ablative motion marker (the -y(a)- suffix) are distinct and, in fact, not mutually exclusive. While the ablative motion marker cannot be used without the positional prefix, the cislocative can.

The cislocative prefix marks an action towards the deictic center (generally the speaker), marked as divergent from the default state which is action from the deictic center: see e.g. loni (lon-i) "you go (walk)" vs. cislocative saloni (sa-lon-i) "you come (on foot)" for an example without a positional prefix; however it can also be used together with such prefix as in e.g. gāloni (gā-lon-i) "you walk in" vs. gāsloni (gā-s(a)-lon-i) "you come in (on foot)".

The ablative motion marker (which forces zero-grade ablaut on the present stem), on the other hand, inverts the direction marked by the positional/directional prefix, which is allative by default (i.e. to a place), making it ablative (i.e. from a place): gāmeśūh (gā-meś-ū-h) "I look inside" vs. gāmiśyūh (gā-miś-y-ū-h) "I look from the inside". The ablative marker is, due to how positional and motion verbs work in Dundulanyä, most commonly used and useful with transitive verbs, e.g. kuṇḍombhūsa (kuḍ-dombh-ū-sa) "you two bring outside" vs. kuṇḍumbhyūsa (kuḍ-dumbh-y-ū-sa) "you two bring from outside".

The cislocative and the ablative marker can, in fact, be used together, in forms such as kujadumbhyūsa (kuḍ-sa-dumbh-y-ū-sa) "you two bring [us] from outside", gāslunyi "you come (on foot) from the inside". See also the following sentences, using the ablative motion marker, and the distinctions implied by the presence or absence of the cislocative prefix:

  • bunūgoba kujamiśyū "The thief is looking [at me/us] from the outside";
  • bunūgoba jṛṣṇat kujamiśyū "The thief is looking at my backpack [which is near me/in the same room as me] from the outside";
  • bunūgoba jṛṣṇat kuḍmiśyū "The thief is looking at my backpack from the outside [and I am not in the same room as my backpack]".

Stem and TAM formation

The four basic stems are formed as follows:

  • The present stem is the root with the middle grade vowel;
  • The past stem is the root with the zero grade vowel;
    • For non-ablauting roots, the present and past stems are therefore identical.
  • The perfect stem is the root with the zero grade vowel and an augment which is identical to the vowel of the root itself (shortened, if it is long) if the vowel is any of a, e, i, u; otherwise:
    • if the stem vowel is o, ä, ṛ or , the augment is a;
    • if the stem vowel is a diphthong, only the first element is taken as the augment.
  • The frequentative stem is the root with the zero grade vowel plus the middle grade vowel as the augment, and adding -sā (with the appropriate saṃdhi changes). Again, there are some exceptions to the general augment rule:
    • if the stem vowel is or , the augment is ā;
    • otherwise, the same rules as the perfect augment apply.
  • The intensive (or energetic) stem, which does not form tenses but a mood, is formed with a higher grade augment and a middle grade root vowel.

Some affixes may force the stem vowel to be in a certain ablaut grade, such as the ablative motion marker shown in the previous section, which forces a present stem to have a zero grade vowel regardless.

As an example, the stems of ne- (II) "to say" are: present ne-, past ni-, perfect ini-, frequentative enisā-, intensive aine-. The non-ablauting root pūn- (to work) has present/past pūn-, perfect upūn-, frequentative upūṃsā-; dīd- (0) "to act, react, do, behave" has present/past dīd-, perfect idīd-, frequentative idījā-.

There are also tense markers which are added to the above stems to form the base for other TAM:

  • the future formant is -iṣy- (or -ṣy- after vowels), added to the past stem (more precisely, to the zero grade root[8]);
  • the formant of the so-called future intentional is -āḍ-, added to the perfect stem;
  • the situational is formed with the marker -āp-, added to either the zero grade root or the perfect stem.

The situational is a non-finite verb form which can express a contemporaneous (e.g. "while ...-ing") or anterior action (e.g. "after having ...-ed"), both as a circumstance or as a reason (e.g. "given that..."). Together with the irrealis marker, it forms concessive clauses.

The various tenses (more appropriately tense-aspect combinations) and moods are formed by the combination of the above stems and different terminations (which are listed in the dedicated section below):

  • Present: present stem + present terminations
  • Past: past stem + past terminations
  • Perfect: perfect stem + perfect terminations
  • Frequentative: frequentative stem + frequentative terminations
  • Future: future "stem" + perfect terminations
  • Future intentional: future intentional "stem" + perfect terminations
  • Imperfective situational: zero grade root plus -āp- formant + present terminations
  • Perfective situational: perfect stem with -āp- formant + perfect terminations

The intensive, which is a tense-aspect-mood combination, has only two aspects: imperfective and perfective (today both found in very formal styles, but otherwise considered too bookish for general use):

  • Imperfective intensive: intensive stem + present terminations
  • Perfective intensive: intensive stem + perfect terminations

The imperative is generally considered apart from the other stems, as it is only used in second person singular and plural and first person plural forms: its stem is the bare stem but with the higher grade vowel (i.e. maiś- for the root meś-), with the present terminations for the two plural forms but endingless for the singular.

The subjunctive does not have its own stem, but is formed as a sort of reverse intensive: it has specific endings which are used together with the zero-grade stem (for the imperfective subjunctive) and with the perfect stem (for the perfective subjunctive).


The forms called, in traditional Dundulanyä grammar, junyai (sg. junya, literally "shade, hue") are special stems (hence filling only the "stem" portion of the verb complex) which denote particular meanings, often corresponding to moods. There are four junyai: desiderative, necessitative, potential and permissive, formed as follows, through reduplication (with different ablaut grades in the stem and in the reduplication) and suffixes:

  • Desiderative: zero-grade reduplication + middle-grade root + -s;
  • Necessitative: middle-grade reduplication + zero-grade root + -sū;
  • Potential: zero-grade reduplication + middle-grade root + -nā;
  • Permissive: reduplication with the vowel ī (ū after non-nasal labials) + zero-grade root + -ūd;

Examples with various roots:

  • meś- (II) "to see": DES mi-meś-s- → mimekṣ-; NEC me-miś-sū- → memikṣū; POT mi-meś-nā- → mimeśñā-; PERM mī-miś-ūd → mīmiśūd-.
  • śan- (I) "to breathe": DES ś-śan-s- → kṣaṃs- (rarely śaśaṃs-); NEC śa-śn-sū- → śaśñāsū-; POT ś-śan-nā- → kṣannā- (rarely śaśannā-); PERM śī-śn-ūd- → śīśñūd-.

Causative, applicative and trigger (voice) markers

There are six possible trigger (voice) markers:

  • -∅- patient trigger;
  • -ū- agent trigger;
  • -ik- reflexive trigger;
    • -ik-ū- (or -ik-e-), combination of agent and reflexive triggers, for the reciprocal voice;
  • -mi- circumstantial (benefactive or instrumental) trigger;
  • -īs- locative trigger;
  • -bai- reason trigger.

The causative (-on- or -n-) and applicative (-im- or -m-) markers fill the slot preceding the trigger marker, but unlike the latter those markers are not mandatory.

Evidential markers

There are six evidential markers:

  • -∅- direct knowledge;
  • -ɂä- "first" inferential (trusted);
  • -eb(i)- "second" inferential (doubtful);
  • -ukiɂ(a)- assumptive;
  • -emi- "first" reportative/hearsay (trusted);
  • -enab(u)- "second" reportative/hearsay (doubtful).

Personal agreement

The following ones are the personal agreement endings for Dundulanyä verbs.

Personal markers
Present -(a)h -i -a/-∅ -(a)ba -(a)sa -(a)ḍa -evu -(a)ḫo -āhai
Frequentative -u -i
Perfect -am -a -ra -ri -a -ima -iśa -a
Past -n -īt -(n)ī -rap -ro -ra -nān -thā -lī
Subjunctive -ās -ai -oba -osa -ai -ove -aut -ai

The forms with vowel in the present are used after a consonant; the 3SG form is therefore a zero-marker in many common forms such as after the agent trigger (cf. teṇa "3SG is fed" and teṇū "3SG feeds").

Note that the perfect 2PL termination -iśa becomes -iṣa when immediately after the future intentional marker -āḍ-, assimilating to the preceding retroflex, therefore resulting in -āḍ-iṣa.

Exclusively for the dative argument, there is a set of dative terminations that show indirect object concord in all voices except for dative-trigger. The terminations are the same as the possessive suffixes used with nouns, except for 1SG and 1DU having -m- instead of -b- as the thematic consonant:

Dative terminations
-mu -ya -ɂe -min -sin -hin -fa -yo -rān

Example basic conjugation showing stems and endings (but, for simplicity, zero morphemes wherever possible):

Example conjugation of the root √śro- (III) "to throw, propel, launch"
Indicative Present śroh śravi śro śroba śrosa śroḍa śravevu śroḫo śravāhai
Frequentative ośrūsau ośrūsai ośrūsai ośrūsāba ośrūsāsa ośrūsāḍa ośrūsaivu ośrūsāḫo ośrūsāhai
Perfect uśrūm uśrūvī uśrū uśrūra uśrūri uśrū uśrūvima uśrūviśa uśrū
Past śrūn śrūvīt śrūnī śrūrap śrūro śrūra śrūnān śrūthā śrūlī
Future śrūṣyam śrūṣyes śrūṣya śrūṣyara śrūṣyari śrūṣya śrūṣyima śrūṣyiśa śrūṣya
Future intentional uśrūvāḍam uśrūvāḍes uśrūvāḍa uśrūvāḍara uśrūvāḍari uśrūvāḍa uśrūvāḍima uśrūvāḍiṣa uśrūvāḍa
Subjunctive Imperfective śrūvā śrūvās śrūvai śrūvoba śrūvosa śrūvai śrūvove śrūvaut śrūvai
Perfective uśrūvā uśrūvās uśrūvai uśrūvoba uśrūvosa uśrūvai uśrūvove uśrūvaut uśrūvai
Intensive Imperfective auśroh auśravi auśro auśroba auśrosa auśroḍa auśravevu auśroḫo auśravāhai
Perfective auśrom auśraves auśrava auśrora auśrori auśrava auśravima auśraviśa auśrava
Imperative - śrau - - - - śrāvevu śrauḫo -


The Dundulanyä copula is ga; however, it is not a verb, but an invariable particle which links two nouns:

hine saṃhāram ga ṣurlāke. "This boy is Ṣurlāke."
kālomīye ga ñältahbu. "Kālomīye is my sister."
lalāruṇai fanēyai kuka ga irāḍai. "Lalāruṇai[9] and capybaras are animals."

In any role outside of the direct knowledge indicative present, the copula is replaced by the (regular) verb jall-:

kālomīye dariśah jallī. "Kālomīye was a dancer."
kālomīye dariśah jalliṣya. "Kālomīye will be a dancer."

However, whenever temporal adverbs that imply a non-present tense are found, ga is used instead:

prānilau kālomīye ga dariśah. "Tomorrow, Kālomīye will be a dancer."

The same particle ga doubles as an adpositive particle, joining nouns together in noun phrases:

līlasuṃghāṇa ga marta "city of Līlasuṃghāṇa"
mīhuṅga ga maita "Mīhuṅga river"
śaṃḫe ga hufāne ga śidrañjiḫe. "The word 'śaṃḫe' is a pronoun." (first ga adpositive; second ga copula)

The negative copula is simply idu (not), with the same usage and the same replacement verb:

hine saṃhāram idu ṣurlāke. "This boy is not Ṣurlāke."
kālomīye idu ñältahbu. "Kālomīye is not my sister."
prānilau kālomīye idu dariśah. "Tomorrow, Kālomīye will not be a dancer."
kālomīye dariśah jalliṣiga va. "Kālomīye will not be a dancer."

The singular first- and second-person pronouns have synthetic copular forms:

ludda dūhṛṃlila. "I am an office worker."
nadda umūm lila. "You are a good person."

The undeclinable so-called "copular adjectives", such as cami "great, important", lalla "high, higher; next" or umūm "good", are not used with ga, but need idu in a negative sentence:

āna lila umūm. "That person is good."
hiyome idu cami. "This is not important."

Numerals (dhujāvāmi)

Dundulanyä is one of the few human Eventoan languages - together with the other ancient languages grouped as East Mandabudi languages, a few other languages scattered in southern Lusaṃrīte, and a handful of others around the world, as well as those which have had considerable influence by Dundulanyä itself - with a pure duodecimal numeral system.

Numbers (sg. dhujāvam, pl. dhujāvāmi) have six different forms: cardinal, ordinal, collective, distributive, adverbial/multiplicative, and fractionary. The numbers from 1 to 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 as substantives, i.e. without an accompanying noun. Distributives do not decline.

All numeral roots in general usage are native, with the exception of zero, which is a learned borrowing from Kumãwawỹ ryrõ "nothing".

Digit12 Base 10 Cardinal Ordinal Collective Distributive Adv./Multiplicative Fractionary
0 0 raron (raronesi) (raroṅkoma) (b̃āraron)
1 1 emibe
rählälu emibukoma b̃āɂemibe (adv.)
2 2 rirä hälinaika rirätām riräkoma b̃ārirä (adv.)
3 3 kiṅka kiṅkesi kiṅkatām kiṅkakoma b̃ākiṅka (adv.)
4 4 nälte nältaisi nältitām nältakoma b̃ānälte (adv.)
5 5 śulka śulkesi śulkatām śulkakoma śulkośila śulkesyāṭ
6 6 tuɂla tuɂlesi tuɂṛtām tuɂṛkoma tuɂlośila tuɂlesyāṭ
7 7 chīka chīcesi chīcätām chīkkoma chīkośila chīcesyāṭ
8 8 mbula mbulesi mbultām mbulkoma mbulośila mbulesyāṭ
9 9 ḍor̃a ḍor̃esi ḍor̃atām ḍor̃akoma ḍor̃ośila ḍor̃esyāṭ
10 tālda tāldesi tāldatām tāldakoma tāldośila tāldesyāṭ
Ɛ 11 ṣūḍan ṣūṇḍisi ṣūṇḍām ṣūṇḍakoma ṣūṇḍuśila ṣūṇḍisyāṭ
10 12 mūmai mūmaisi mūmetām mūmekoma mūmāyuśila mūmaisyāṭ
11 13 emibumūmä emibumūmäsi emibumūmätām emibumūmäkoma emibumūmäśila emibumūmäsyāṭ
12 14 rirämūmä rirämūmäsi rirämūmätām rirämūmäkoma rirämūmäśila rirämūmäsyāṭ
13 15 kiṅkhälī kiṅkhälīsi kiṅkhälītām kiṅkhälīkoma kiṅkhälīvśila kiṅkhälīsyāṭ
14 16 mūmainälte mūmainältaisi mūmainältitām mūmainältakoma mūmainältauśila mūmainältaisyāṭ
15 17 mūmaiśulka mūmaiśulkesi mūmaiśulkatām mūmaiśulkakoma mūmaiśulkośila mūmaiśulkesyāṭ
16 18 mūmaituɂla mūmaituɂlesi mūmaituɂṛtām mūmaituɂṛkoma mūmaituɂlośila mūmaituɂlesyāṭ
17 19 mūmaichīka mūmaichīcesi mūmaichīcätām mūmaichīkkoma mūmaichīkośila mūmaichīcesyāṭ
18 20 mūmaimbula mūmaimbulesi mūmaimbultām mūmaimbulkoma mūmaimbulośila mūmaimbulesyāṭ
19 21 mūmaiḍor̃a mūmaiḍor̃esi mūmaiḍor̃atām mūmaiḍor̃akoma mūmaiḍor̃ośila mūmaiḍor̃esyāṭ
1ᘔ 22 mūmaitālda mūmaitāldesi mūmaitāldatām mūmaitāldakoma mūmaitāldośila mūmaitāldesyāṭ
23 mūmaiṣūḍan mūmaiṣūṇḍisi mūmaiṣūṇḍām mūmaiṣūṇḍakoma mūmaiṣūṇḍuśila mūmaiṣūṇḍisyāṭ
20 24 hälimūmai hälimūmaisi hälimūmetām hälimūmekoma hälimūmāyuśila hälimūmaisyāṭ

As for the two forms for the numeral "one", emi is used in disjunctive counting (count-ins or countdowns), while emibe is used elsewhere. Compounds always have the full form, i.e. forms such as *hälimūmāyemi do not exist, only hälimūmāyemibe.

Numbers from 2012 above are simply made by compounding teens and units with the appropriate saṃdhi changes, like 2112 (2510) hälimūmāyemibe, and then hälimūmairirä, hälimūmaikiṅka, and so on.
The other dozens are:

30 (3610) kiṅkamūmai
40 (4810) nältamūmai
50 (6010) śulkmūmai
60 (7210) tuɂṛmūmai
70 (8410) chīcämūmai
80 (9610) mbulmūmai
90 (10810) ḍor̃mūmai
ᘔ0 (12010) tāldamūmai
Ɛ0 (13210) ṣūṇḍmūmai
and 100 (14410) trāṣoḍa.

1312 originally meant "one finger/three in the second [dozen]", where the -hälī part is a worn form of hälinaika.

Numbers from 10012 to ƐƐƐ12 are still compounds, e.g. trāṣoḍaimibe, trāṣoḍarirä, and so on.
The other dozenal hundreds are:

200 (28810) rirätrāṣoḍa
300 (43210) kiṅkatrāṣoḍa
400 (57610) nältitrāṣoḍa
500 (72010) śulkatrāṣoḍa
600 (86410) tuɂlatrāṣoḍa
700 (100810) chīcätrāṣoḍa
800 (115210) mbultrāṣoḍa
900 (129610) ḍor̃atrāṣoḍa
ᘔ00 (144010) tāldatrāṣoḍa
Ɛ00 (158410) ṣūḍantrāṣoḍa.

1.000 (172810) is śāyāja and numbers above are separate words, without saṃdhi, e.g. 1.001 śāyāja emibe, 6.2ᘔ9 (1078510) ūṃse śāyāja rirätrāṣoḍatāldamūmaiḍor̃a.
Note that 2.00012 may be either one of śāyājeve, rirä śāyāja - the most common one -, or (only emphatically) rirä śāyājeve.

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 raice - and (35.831.80810) - a lallaraice.

The next two groups have their separate words, but are quantities rarely used in common speech: (129) (5.159.780.35210) is a tūśvāna and (1211) (743.008.370.68810) a lallatūśvāna.

Particles (riṇūmyobai)

Traditional Dundulanyä grammar only recognizes a single part of speech called "particles" (riṇūmyoba, pl. riṇūmyobai, literally "helper(s)") which includes conjunctions, postpositions, and interjections.

Clitic particles

The following particles are clitics added to the end of nouns; they are all conjunctive particles that do not require any particular case of a noun. They are exclusively used with nouns, pronouns or numerals, not verbs.
Most such clitic particles are added to all nouns they refer to.

  • -cu ... -cu — and (in incomplete listings - cf. -t), e.g. nilāḍacu śusopacu "East and West [and the other cardinal points]"; yuṅgaccu śilomaccu cyavūh "I want a guava, a papaya[, and...]".
  • -in ... -in — exclusive or; either ... or. Note that it undergoes irregular saṃdhi, combining with a preceding -a to the highest grade; e.g. yuṅgain śilomain "either the guava or the papaya".
  • -ka ... -ka — inclusive or; e.g. yuṅgaka śilomaka "the guava or the papaya [or something else]".
  • -t ... -t — and (in complete listings - cf. -cu), e.g. vyānat māhanat "left and right"; amamūt mamūtrat niyānit "mom, aunt, and grandma"; yuṅgatat śilomatat cyavūh "I want [only] a guava and a papaya".

Non-clitic conjunctions

  • itta is a conjunctive particle, translatable as "and", "meanwhile" or "while": nādaśrūṣeya cända itta nādaśrūṣeɂe śyūda. "Your (sg.) bike is orange, while his/her bike is black."
When preceded by a negated statement, it means "but, instead": lud idu emeni itta imāma. "I am not Emeni, [I am] Imāma"; lāltaṣveyak girgh va itta kiṣūrak "I didn't fly to Lāltaṣveya, [I flew to] Kiṣūra instead."
  • kuka — and, amongst others; while similar to the clitic -cu, it is more emphatic and generally only used together with plural nouns (or singularia tantum, see the second example), and comes after the last of the nouns it refers to. It can be more accurately rendered with periphrases such as "[things] like ..."; e.g. lalāruṇai fanēyai kuka ga irāḍai "Lalāruṇai and capybaras, amongst others, are animals"; nāra maɂiḍa kuka idu dambū itta mugba. "[Foodstuffs] like sorghum or rice are not fruits, but cereals."


  • araṇa (+ bound form (accusative in formal usage)) is an ornative particle, originally a perfect form of the class 0 root raṇ- (to equip, to confer), e.g. dvārmev araṇa līve (formal: dvārmeyītha araṇa līve) "two-room flat".

Derivational morphology (vāb̃lavona hufāmvailaḫlana)

Noun-forming morphemes

There are four morphemes that are used to form general derivatives from verbal roots: -a, -vu, -ib-e and -uḍu. The first two are generally unproductive nowadays (even though a terminal -a is often added to the end of loanwords, it is not considered to be this morpheme), while the latter two are still somewhat used in new coinings. All four morphemes are used with the zero-grade (ślūtya) root.

  • lel- (to live) → lila (person; living thing)
  • jo- (to hurry) → jūva (hurry) (with epenthetic -v- due to regular saṃdhi)
  • tvorg- (to fear) → tūrgibe (fear)
  • mord- (to promise) → murdibe (promise)
  • ḫamf- (to express oneself) → ḫamfa (language)
  • nyäɂ- (to laugh) → nyäɂvu (laugh) (also nyäɂa)
  • dhā- (to let, permit) → dhauḍu (permission)
  • ṣrop- (to honor, celebrate) → ṣropuḍu (praise)
  • tamb- (to kiss) → tambuḍu (kiss)
  • lav- (to go, walk) → lavibe (walk)

-(i)ḫ-e (first ablauting declension) sometimes marks a result of the action denoted by a verb root, but commonly has unpredictable meanings (even agents, particularly body parts).

  • lel- (to live) → lelḫe (life)
  • rañj- (to name, identify, mark) → rañjiḫe (name; noun)
  • tuḫ- (to beat) → tuḫḫe (heart)
  • bhel- (to eat) → bheliḫe (meal)

-ta has a similar meaning (or unpredictablity) as -(i)ḫ-e, but often implies a sense of collectiveness, or an abstract state. Used with the middle-grade (būcūya) root.

  • ṣar- (to rule, govern) → ṣarta (government, rule; in compounds: -cracy)
  • śod- (to know, understand) → śodda (knowledge; in compounds: -logy)
  • ni-sākh- (to create, produce) → nisāktha (production, artifact; the works of an artist)

-uṣ-a (second ablauting declension) forms meaning related to qualities, but sometimes also something used for a determinate action.

  • bhaṭ- (to expand, swell, bloat) → bhaṭuṣa (expansion, swelling)
  • kṛs- (to wait) → kṛsuṣa (wait)
  • meś- (to see) → meśuṣa (visibility)

-na (-ra after t or d; -iyāna after Cy; -uvāna after Cv; -ṝna with a preceding ), with a middle-grade root, is the most common suffix denoting qualities.

  • meś- (to see) → meśña (sight)
  • ne- (to say, tell, speak) → nena (voice)
  • śoc- (to clean) → śocña (cleanliness)
  • dhomy- (to hope) → dhomiyāna (hope)
  • prā-nart- (to imagine, foresee) → prānartra (imagination; clairvoyance)

-ūmma, with middle grade ablaut, is a rarer suffix with a meaning overlapping to -uṣ-a.

  • pūn- (to work) → pūnūmma (work [a relationship between employer and employee])
  • bhe- (to cure, care for) → bhayūmma (caring)
  • dar- (to do) → darūmma (action; verb)
  • rav- (to open) → ravūmma (width, breadth)

-anah, with middle grade ablaut, denotes an act or process, or its tangible manifestation (see third example).

  • śoc- (to clean) → śocanah (cleaning, the act of cleaning)
  • khāh- (to buy) → khāhanah (shopping)
  • meś-on- (to see + causative marker) → meśonnah (exhibition)

-āmita, with higher grade ablaut (udhyukṣṇise) when used with verb roots, also forms quality, states, but often with more abstract meanings - cf. English -hood, -ship, -ism - or denoting a state in scientific terms. Unlike most previous suffixes, it is most commonly (but not exclusively) used to derive nouns from other nouns, instead of verb roots or stems.

  • ñältah (sister; (male's) sister; sibling) → ñältāmita "siblinghood; sisterhood, brotherhood"
  • lilāḍu (friend) → lilāḍvāmita (friendship) (bookish variant lilāḍūmita)
  • lel- (to live) → lailāmita (the state of being alive)
  • girḍ- (to be wet) → gīrḍāmita (humidity)

-āvam (m-stem non-ablauting), with zero grade ablaut, has various generic and sometimes unpredictable meanings, though typically instrumental.

  • dhoj- (to keep together; assign, allocate) → dhujāvam (number, numeral)
  • khor- (to sing) → khurāvam (choir)
  • śod- (to know, understand) → śudāvam (explanation)

-ūlt-e, or -lt-e with lengthening of a stem-final vowel (more rarely simply -lt-e), with middle grade ablaut, forms nouns that generally denote tools, something used in doing an action; containers; more rarely places - cf. Latin -brum.

  • nādah (leg) → nādālte (knee-length sock)
  • tuḫ- (to beat) → tuḫūlte (drum)
  • śoc- (to clean) → śocūlte (detergent; cleaning product)
  • hamvy- (to cradle) → hamvyūlte (cradle)
  • näly- (to think) (class V) → nälilte (brain)

-ṅ-ka (second ablauting declension) also denotes tools, or instruments that do a particular action - not always synonymous with the preceding one.

  • haf- (to insert) → hāṅka (socket)
  • ni-de- (to stand on, to stand over) → nideṅka (roof)
  • ni-ko- (to sit on) → nikoṅka (chair)

-ura (but -y-ura-ira), attached to a verb's perfect stem, denotes something that has undergone a certain action (i.e. the equivalent of a past participle).

  • pad-miś- (to see beyond, to see further) → padimiśura (view, overlook)
  • cor- (to save, keep for the future) → ucururai (savings) (pl. tantum)
  • lūkr- (to fold) → ulūkrura (wardrobe [the elements composing it, and colloquially, by extension, the piece of furniture])

-s-e, with a zero grade root, is a synonym of -ura, but generally used in a compound where the first element denotes the agent, or with a verb prefix.
Note that ablauting roots ending in -ar-, no matter the class, lengthen the vowel to -ār- and do not add the -s-.

  • nādah (leg) + śro- (to propel, launch) → nādaśrūṣe (bicycle, bike)
  • pūnan (worker) + ṣar- (to rule) → pūnaṃṣāre (worker cooperative)
  • pad- (forth, beyond) + gṇyau- (to give birth; to be born) → padagṇyausi (sons and daughters) (pl. tantum)
  • udhi- (within) + ukṣṇy- (to grow) → udhyukṣṇise (higher grade ablaut, vṛddhi)

-ḫana, with zero grade ablaut, forms nouns meaning "that ought to be X-ed", i.e. a future passive participle.

  • uc- (to believe) → vacchana (miracle)
  • meś- (to see) → miśaḫana (video)
  • śod- (to know, understand) → śuddhana (rule)

-tya (-dya after voiced stops; -ś-tya-cya) is a singulative suffix, denoting either a single thing of a collective noun, or a single constituent of a broader act. In modern coinings, it is also used to denote a division of something.

  • jo- (to hurry) → jūtya (run)
  • meś- (to see) → micya (a look)
  • tvorg- (to fear) → tūrgdya (fright, scare)
  • ślo- (to be left) → ślūtya (remain, residue; zero grade ablaut)
  • daśa (rain) → dacya (raindrop)

-aC(-e), where C is the last consonant of the root, is one of multiple suffixes forming (mostly human, but not exclusively) agent nouns:

  • pūn- (to work) → pūnan (worker)
  • meś- (to see) → miśaśe (guard, warden)
  • brom- (to blow, wipe) → brūmam (wind; gale)

-ar (ṛ-stem non ablauting, with lemma form in -ah) with middle grade ablaut and -i- infixed before the last consonant forms agent (often occupational) nouns:

  • helk- (to dye) → helikah (dyer)
  • darś- (to dance) → dariśah (dancer)
  • nart- (to dream) → naritah (dreamer)

-oba with zero grade ablaut and -nū- before the last consonant sequence of the root also forms agent nouns. It is never used with class I, VI, VII and VIII roots.

  • bog- (to steal) → bunūgoba (thief)
  • deh- (to use) → dinūhoba (user)
  • remy- (to help) → riṇūmyoba (helper)

-īya, with zero grade ablaut, forms mostly non-human agent nouns. It is no longer productive.
In some older coinings, it surfaces simply as -ya.

  • śan- (to breathe) → śñīya (nose)
  • śmer- (to bake, roast) → śmirīya (oven)
  • yon- (to create, beget) → yunya (nature; creator spirit; goddess)
  • gläp- (to lick, lap) → glipya (tongue; blade; oar)

-eṣa forms collective nouns.

  • lila (person) → lileṣa (people)
  • ñältah (sister; (male's) sister; sibling) → ñältaɂeṣa "siblings; brothers and sisters"
  • laire (sky; air) → laireṣa (galaxy)

-apa, with zero grade ablaut, forms nouns referring to places and locations:

  • ij- (to teach) → yajapa (school)
  • dhroṣ- (to plow) → dhruṣapa (farm)
  • śusva (evening) → śusopa (west)
  • rirä (two) + maila (water) / vāla (sea) → rirämailapa/rirävālapa (peninsula, spit; isthmus)

-īd-e (-d-e after a vowel or a sonorant, except in class I roots), with zero grade ablaut and zero grade reduplication, is another derivation forming place nouns.

  • pūn- (to work) → pupūnde (workplace)
  • ṣar- (to rule, govern) → ṣaṣrīde (headquarters; department; (hist.) seat of power; throne; capital city; sometimes used as a toponym)
  • kṛs- (to wait) → kakrasīde (waiting room)

-ādhu means "having X".

  • maiha (daughter) → maihādhūve (parents) (dual/plural only)
  • b̃īla (terrain, soil) → b̃īlādhu (field)

-(m)ūya denotes something which has X as a distinctive trait; for some words, especially denominal formations, it can mean "made of X".

  • girḍ- (to be wet) → girḍūya (tongue)
  • jo- (to hurry) → jūmūya (deadline)
  • būc- (to be flat) → būcūya (middle grade ablaut, guṇa)
  • tāmira (rock, stone) → tāmirūya (stone tool)

-ic-e (1st ablauting declension) forms nouns, generally from verbal roots, with the meaning of "result, remain, product or byproduct of an action":

  • gird- (to be wet) → girḍice (the mark left by something wet)
  • meś- (to see) → meśice (liter., bookish: knowledge)
  • goṃs- (to cut) → goṃsice (piece, part)

-äśah (-ɂäśah when added to -ah nouns) denotes a tree or a plant having a certain fruit[10].

  • māra (mango) → māräśah (mango tree)
  • dīlla (peas) → dīlläśah (pea plant)
  • haisah (pineapple) → haisɂäśah (pineapple tree)

-īrä is a fossilized suffix used to form temporal units.

  • jūlafe (market) → jūlafīrä (week)

-ida, with higher grade ablaut, is an older diminutive suffix, often now lexicalized and rarely used productively.

  • īs-ko- (to sit hanging) → īskāvida (swing)
  • b̃oṭa (finger) → b̃oṭida (little finger, pinky)

-ulu with higher grade vowel is a suffix that forms demonyms (cf. vṛddhi derivation). In some cases, there are more variants of a same word depending on the strengthened vowel, and the one that is preferred depends on usage (usually the last one, with the exception of lausaṃrītulu).

  • Lusaṃrītelausaṃrītulu (preferred) or lusaṃraitulu
  • Jūhmajauhmulu
  • Mūmäfumbemūmäfaumbulu
  • Lāltaṣveyalāltaṣvājñulu (with regular saṃdhi from the underlying form *lāltaṣvaiyulu)

In older stages of the language, vṛddhi derivations were also formed with the suffix -a; this remains as a fossilized suffix in certain words, cf. given names in -faula from fulah "hearth".

-(y)ek-e, fronting velars to palatals if possible, (or -ik-e after palatals themselves), -īcen-e, also palatalizing velars, and -iccha are productive diminutive suffixes. Of the three, -īcen-e often implies endearment, coziness, especially when contrasted to the other two or explicitely used after the same noun modified with one of the other two suffixes.

  • saṃhāram (boy) → saṃhārmyeke (little boy)
  • ābābi (town square) → ābābīceni (a nice and cozy little town square) (pl. tantum as the unmodified noun)
  • cūlla (car) → cūlliccha (toy car)
  • lilāḍu (friend) → lilāḍīcene (little friend - often used by parents referring to kids' friends)
  • yalka (beach) → yalcīcene (small, often secluded beach)


Verb phrase

Positional-classificatory verbs

Positional and classificatory verbs are the most lexically complex part of Dundulanyä verbs, together with the rich system of positional prefixes which is a distinguishing feature of the language. Such roots are used to describe states of people, animals and objects, as well as the ways in which they are carried, brought or pulled.

Positional-classificatory verbs are categorized for two dimensions: the nature of the patient and the nature of the action. According to the nature of the patient, positional-classificatory verbs are distinguished by their reference to the following categories:

  • Spherical objects, or otherwise with approximately the same width, length and height;
  • Long objects (much greater in one dimension than in the others), generally stiff;
  • Ropes or other long, non-stiff objects (e.g. palm leaves);
  • People, children, pets and farm animals;
  • Masses or generic/uncategorized objects, as well as figurative meanings;
  • Non-contained liquids;
  • Contained liquids;
  • Contained masses of (homogeneous) solids, e.g. seeds, flour;
  • Contained masses of heterogeneous solids, or mixed bundles;
  • Sheets, paper sheets, slabs, also rocks;
  • Large objects that cannot be carried by humans, as well as wild animals.

According to the nature of the action, positional-classificatory verbs are:

  • Stative-existential:
    • Horizontal ("to be; to lie");
    • Seated ("to be; to sit");
    • Vertical ("to be; to stand");
  • Verbs of placing:
    • Horizontal ("to put, lay");
    • Seated ("to put, seat");
    • Vertical ("to put, place");
  • Verbs of carrying:
    • in the hands or arms;
    • on the head;
    • on the back;
    • by vehicle;
  • Verbs of pulling, dragging;
  • Verbs of throwing.

For most patient natures, the stative-existential meaning is the perfect of the corresponding verb of placing; however, the "people, children, pets and farm animals" category uses the bare root as the stative-existential and the causative as the corresponding verb of placing. All patient nature categories except for "spherical objects" and "contained heterogenous masses" are differentiated in the horizontal stative-existential/placing category, although the horizontal root for the "large objects/wild animals" category is the same one used for vertical position for the "people, children, pets and farm animals" category. In all other action nature categories there is at least one root used for two or more patient nature classes, or at least one such class which lacks a root.

Not all intersections of patient nature and action nature have a corresponding verb; for example, there are no verbs of carrying for the "large objects that cannot be carried by humans/wild animals", nor have most categories verbs for seated and vertical positions. As an extreme example, the "non-contained liquids" category only has the horizontal stative-existential/placing verb and the verb of throwing (which can be simply translated as "to splash").

The verbs of putting, placing and throwing furthermore correspond to verbs of giving when used together with a dative termination, e.g. mārat tyūhya "I give/hand you the mango"; tūfītha śravūbasin "We throw you the balls"[11]. The ablative marker, meanwhile, forms verbs of taking from verbs of putting, and verbs of catching from verbs of throwing, e.g. snīghidat hāsyūvi "you take the sheet", mārat dūṇū gātyuyūh "I take the mango out of the box"; tūfat śrūyūh "I catch the ball".

Some positional-classificatory verbs have acquired further meanings, for example the reflexive of "to put down a non-contained liquid" (or, simply, "to pour") means "to rain", which can then also be specified with the cislocative prefix: cf. ijmaika (id-s-me-ik-a) "it's raining [here]", līlā idemaika (id-eme-ik-a) "it has rained in Līlah [we are/were in another city]", līlā ijemaika (id-s-eme-ik-a) "it has rained in Līlah [we are/were there]".

The following table indicates all positional-classificatory verb roots with the respective ablaut classes:

Dundulanyä positional-classificatory verb roots
→ Action nature
↓ Patient nature
Stative-existential Placing Carrying Pulling, dragging Throwing
To be, lie To be, sit To be, stand To put, lay To put, seat To put, place
In the hands/arms On the head On the back By vehicle
Spherical/proportionate (utyuva) - - √tyu- (0) - - √yup- (0) - - √klem- (II) - √śro- (III)
Long, stiff objects (akā) (achāsa) √kā- (0) √chās- (0) √dom- (III) √lon- (III) √yaṅk- (I) √eñj- (II) √khol- (III) √kon- (III)
Long, non stiff objects
(apṣma) - √pṣam- (I) - ta-√pṣam- (I) - - -
People, children
Pets and farm animals
-√oṭ- (III)
-√ko- (III)
-√de- (II)
-√oṭ-on- (III) -√ko-on (III)
-√de-on- (II)
-√tol- (III) √yaṅk- (I) √eñj- (II) - (√yug-) (0)
Masses, generic/uncategorized
Contained, heterogeneous masses
(amyava) - - √myo- (II) - - ta-√myo- (II) - √ilm- (0) √kon- (III)
Non-contained liquids (emaya) √me- (II) - - √mañc- (0)
Contained liquids (aśoma) √śom- (III) √pse- (II) √lon- (III) √so- (III) √klem- (II) -
Contained masses of homogeneous solids (aiya) √ī- (0) √ilm- (0)
Contained masses of heterogeneous solids
Mixed bundles
(utyuva) √tyu- (0) √yup- (0) √ilm- (0) √so- (III) √klem- (II) √śro- (III)
Sheets, paper sheets
Slabs, rocks
(ahāsa) √hās- (0) ta-√hās- (0) √ilm- (0) √so- (III) √khol- (III) √yug- (0)
Large objects that cannot be carried
Wild animals
(-edaya) (utūṣa) (achāsa) -√de- (II) √tvoṣ- (III) √chās- (0) - - - √khol- (III) √khol- (III) -

Telicity in perception verbs

A subset of Dundulanyä verbs are known as "perception verbs" and, while generally grammatically regular, they deserve a specific subsection in an English-language grammar as, syntactically and semantically, they are inherently different from the corresponding English verbs.

In this subset of verbs, the semantic patient is the one who undergoes the experience of perceiving (seeing, knowing, lacking, etc.), due to the non-volitional nature of the action described.

Perception verbs are therefore inherently atelic and intransitive: the semantic patient is the perceiver, while the perceived thing is an ablative argument. In this respect, it could be said that Dundulanyä extends to physical perception the syntactic treatment of feelings. See for example the two following sentences, both using different perception verbs:

jñū meśah.
jñu-ū meś-∅-∅-h

I see the tree.
nenūya chläh.
nena-ū=ya chlä-∅-∅-h
voice-ABL.SG=2SG. be_happy-EXP-PAT-1SG.IND.PRES.

I'm happy to hear from you.

Perception verbs include many common roots in the language, such as √meś- (to see), √śod- (to know, understand), √nely- (to think), √chlä- (to be happy, glad), √śeñc- (to lack, miss), √vart- (to need), √hend- (to hear), √hälp̃- (to be moved, touched), √lom̃b̃- (to like), or √kol- (to forget).

From most atelic roots, telic transitive verbs can be derived by means of different prefixes (most commonly ta- (here), sam- (to the next one), mīram- (towards), pad- (beyond), sve- (full, all); where the action is conceptualized as negative also viṣ- (away), but more specific meanings can be formed through other prefixes). The results are lexicalized verbs, which are often better translated using different English verbs; cf. the following ones:

  • meś- (to see) → ta-meś- (to watch);
  • śod- (to know, understand) → saṃ-śod- (to learn) → causative saṃ-śod-on- (to teach);
  • hend- (to hear) → ta-hend- (to listen);
  • śeñc- (to lack, miss) → vikṣeñc- (viṣ-śeñc-) (to renounce);
  • vart- (to need) → ta-vart- (to require, demand);
  • kol- (to forget) → viṣ-kol- (to purposefully forget).



Dundulanyä people traditionally distinguish 13 basic colours (hīmba), with the notable presence of two heavily culturally significant ones: golden yellow and lilac:

Colour Noun Verb
to be …
Prototypical example
Black śyūda śyūdah
Blue, also dark green kāmila kāmilah
Brown tūnya tūnyah
Golden yellow chlīm̃a chlīm̃ah
Gray nijam nijmah
Green bhāca bhācah
Light yellow khañja khañjah
Lilac kalya kalyah
Orange cände cändah
Pink kīlana kīlanah
Red ūnika ūnikah
Violet, dark lilac somye somih
White pāṇḍa pāṇḍah


The Eventoan day is about 34.8 Earth hours long, and there is no uniform standard to divide it among the various parts of the planet. The Dundulanyä divide the day into 48 (4012) subdivisions called garaṇai (singular garaṇa), each one about 43.5 Earth minutes long. The day is, for timekeeping and time expressions, divided into eight periods, called TBD, of six garaṇai each.

Each garaṇa is divided into four timeframes called railai (singular raila) - about 10.8 Earth minutes - further divided into 30 (2612) units known as nartī (singular narti) - a little less than 22 Earth seconds each.
Nartī are divided into eight nīmaṣi (sg. nīmaṣe) - 2.72 Earth seconds - which are further divided into twelve idimaṣi (sg. idimaṣe) - 0.227 Earth seconds.

"Thinking" in Dundulanyä

The English verb "to think" may be translated in different ways in Dundulanyä. Its meaning "to think" in the sense of imagining or communicating in one's own mind is translated by the root √nely-:

nad tho nelyah. — I'm thinking about you.
nelyāpah jallah. — I think, therefore I am.

When "to think" is used in order to state one's opinion, Dundulanyä makes the distinction of that thing being a personal opinion based on experience or trustable facts (root √sām-) or an uncertain opinion, often because of mere sensation (still √nely-) (much like the Danish distinction between at synes and at tro). Both verbs require the quotative particle tati:

duljive umūm tati sāmūh. — I think the movie is good. (for I have seen it)
duljive umūm tati nelyah. — I think the movie is good. (but I haven't seen it)

√sām- is used also to state one's opinion about a situation (still requiring tati) as well as in the construction (2SG) inyo, better translated as "if I were you" (needs a subjunctive verb):

taśive umūm tati sāmūh. — I think it's a good idea.
viṣam guntai nad inyo sāmūh. — if I were you, I'd buy the other one. (note imperfective subjunctive)
viṣam uguntai nad inyo sāmūh. — if I were you, I'd have bought the other one. (perfective subjunctive here)

√nely-, on the other hand, is used in the past to state something that was thought to be one way but turned out not to be. Also, it is used for future forecasts:

nälte nilavā tati nilin, lalla dāvan cāhin jallīyās. — I thought it was 4:00 in the morning, but it was already lalla dāvan (7:00 in the morning).
nadda naṅgaśaurulu tati inilyam hä ! — I thought you were from Naṅgaśūra! (the perfect here could also be translated as "until now, I had been thinking ...")
prānilau daśa mäliṣya tati nelyah. — I think it's going to rain tomorrow.

Note that √nely- is a perception verb, as defined above, and therefore intransitive, unlike √sām-.

Still, it's better not to translate directly "to think" as √nely- as in many cases Dundulanyä simply uses an evidential marker:

ut drävūnī. — I think (s)he did it. (= apparently, (s)he did it)
ut drebūnī. — I think (s)he did it, but it's probably not so. (= apparently, (s)he did it, but probably not)
duljive umūm emi. — I've been told the movie is good.

Sensorial and emotional beauty

There are two Dundulanyä words that translate to "beautiful": lītanah (√lītan-) and ñäheyah (√ñähey-). While conceptually similar, they are often not interchangeable: ñäheyah refers to sensorial beauty, while lītanah to beauty in an emotional sense. Some examples:

naṅgaḍuk padimiśura ñäheya. — the view on the lake is beautiful. (note also how padimiśura (a view) requires dative case on its argument)
lelḫe hiyo lītana. — life here is beautiful.
huline ñäheya. — the woman is beautiful. (i.e. her appearance is beautiful)
huline lītana. — the woman is beautiful. (i.e. she has many good qualities)

The derived nouns ñähejña (with a rarer variant ñähīna) and lītanna may be translated as "outer beauty" and "inner beauty" respectively.

Personal names

Main article: Dundulanyä names

External history

Dundulanyä is a conlang project that I “officially” started in early December 2021 (coincidentally around the fifth anniversary since I started Chlouvānem), although it and its goals are, to a large extent, the conflation of multiple projects that I sporadically worked on for most of 2021:

  • A long process of “refinement” of Chlouvānem – that happened offline, so it was never reflected in any edit on the wiki pages here – by eliminating or changing some quirks that had formed over time and that had brought me to a standstill in working on that conlang by late 2020. Ideas for the refinement started from nominal morphology but then they eventually snowballed to the point it was impossible to implement them without basically starting the conlang anew;
  • A radical reboot of Tameï that was meant to give it an a priori language family in a slightly changed conworld setting (although still on an alternative Earth); this was the language I originally created the glottonym Dundulanyä for;
  • Various unnamed sketchlangs, mostly attempts at Hurro-Urartian diachronic conlanging, that were the results of a general interest in Ancient Near Eastern languages as a side-effect of my work on Lifashian (my “conlang of choice” for most of 2021) - although some of those ideas eventually became the "successor" to Lifashian, that is, Elodian.

Nevertheless, Dundulanyä for years has mostly been a collection of ideas still not totally parted from Chlouvānem, and it gained steam on its own only in late 2023 (first half of November), two years after its official start.

Dundulanyä is meant to be the first conlang for a sort of reboot of CalémereEventoa – as, much like in Chlouvānem itself, there had come to be quite a few things in and about Calémere that I wasn’t that sure of keeping, but changing them would have meant to change so many things about the conworld that depended on them. Eventoa, as of now (November 14, 2023) is a WIP conworld about which I'm still adding and discarding ideas nearly every time I work on it, so there’s little to be written about it – but it eventually will incorporate a few elements of Calémere. Dundulanyä will play a role in Eventoa vaguely similar to the one Chlouvānem had in Calémere, although unlike earlier conworld reboots I have decided not to trash everything away (hence why I chose a different name for Eventoa), keeping eight years’ worth of documentation about Calémere and five years’ worth about Chlouvānem intact.

See Chlouvānem § External history and Calémere § External history for more.

Compared to Chlouvānem, Dundulanyä is going to tone down somewhat the Sanskrit and particularly the Lithuanian and Japanese influences, while being more influenced by PIE itself, Hurrian, Urartian, Elamite, Anatolian languages, Akkadian, languages of the Caucasus (particularly Adyghe), and more aesthetic influences from Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil.

See also


  1. ^ Literally "Dundulanyä our-language", with a 1PL possessive; the stylistic variant dundulanyä ḫamfarān (lit. "Dundulanyä their-language") is sometimes found in neutral contexts.
  2. ^ Class 0 is known as kuḍachiṣadīra dhopta "non-ablauting class"; the others are referred to with ordinals: rählälu dhopta, hälinaika dhopta, kiṅkesi dhopta and so on, up to mbulesi dhopta.
  3. ^ More commonly used in the prefixed form ni-sākh- "to build, create, make".
  4. ^ In colloquial Dundulanyä, such nouns are often declined like -a nouns, given that their declensions are similar, the main difference being vowel lengthening in most forms.
  5. ^ The few e-stem common nouns in general usage include, however, frequently used words such as most notably eme "star", hāreṇe "dawn", or lilene "clan".
  6. ^ The word latiri is the plural of latire (wave, ray), but the compound itself does not have a singular form.
  7. ^ Cf. for the irregular vowel quality also the numeral emibe "one", which has e-stem and a-stem forms throughout its declension and an u-stem combining form.
  8. ^ While there is no difference for most verbs, this is meaningful in the case of verbs with suppletive stems: for example, meś- has the suppletive past stem āsmy-, but the future stem is miśiṣy-.
  9. ^ Giant domestic lizards endemic to central Lusaṃrīte: in Dundulanyä culture and history they have a role similar to horses.
  10. ^ As for all living things, being Eventoa a different planet, the given translation is the one of the closest equivalent on Earth.
  11. ^ Note that, for sake of brevity, the translation used here omits that agent, patient and receiver are all dual: the more accurate translation would be "we two throw you two the two balls".