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Hadda (Native: ħaɗɗa) is an a priori language inspired by various (mostly African) languages.




Hadda orthography
IPA Latin Simplified Latin Greek Cyrillic Maraasa Arabic Ge'ez Hebrew Notes
a A a A a Α α А а ـَ סַ
Aa aa Aa aa Ά ά Я я ـَا סַא
b B b B b Б b Б б ب ּב
β̞ Ƀ ƀ B b Β β В в ب ב allophone of /b/ between vowels
ɓ Ɓ ɓ B' b' Бϥ bϥ Бъ бъ ڀ קּו
c C c Ch ch Κι κι Ч ч چ כ׳
d D d D d D d Д д د ּד
ð̞ Đ đ D d Δ δ Ԁ ԁ ذ ך allophone of /d/ between vowels
ð Dh dh Δ δ Ԁ ԁ ዘ, ደ ךֿ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /d ~ ð̞/
ɗ Ɗ ɗ D' d' Dϥ dϥ Дъ дъ ڟ טּ
ɛ E e E e Ε ε Э э ـٖ סֵ
ɛː Ee ee Ee ee Έ έ Е е ـٖي סֵי
f F f F f Φ φ Ф ф ف פ
g G g G g G ɡ Г г ݣ גּ
ɣ̞ Ǥ ǥ G g Γ γ Ғ ғ ڠ ג allophone of /g/ between vowels
ʁ Ɣ ɣ Gh gh Γ γ Ғ ғ غ גֿ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /g ~ ɣ̞/
ɠ Ɠ ɠ G' g' Gϥ ɡϥ Гъ гъ ڨ קּ
Gw gw Gw gw Gυ ɡυ Гў гў ڭو גּו
h H h H h Χ χ Х х ھ ኸ, ሀ ה allophone of /k/ between vowels in non-guttural environment;
phonemic in loanwords (nativized as /ħ/ or /k ~ h/)
Hw hw Hw hw Χυ χυ Хў хў هو הו allophone of /kʷ/ between vowels in non-guttural environment
ħ Ħ ħ X x Һ h Һ һ ح ח
χ X x Kh kh Χ χ Х х خ כֿ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /k ~ h/ or /ħ/
i I i I i Η η И и ـِ סִ
Ii ii Ii ii Ή ή І і ـِي סִי
ɟ J j J j Gι ɡι Џ џ ج גּ׳
ʄ Ɉ ɉ J' j' Gϥι ɡϥι Џъ џъ ݘ קּ׳
k K k K k Κ κ К к ک כ
Kw kw Kw kw Κυ κυ Кў кў کو כו
l L l L l Λ λ Л л ل ל
m M m M m Μ μ М м م מ
n N n N n Ν ν Н н ن נ ֹ
ɲ Ɲ ɲ Ny ny Νι νι Њ њ ݧ נ׳
ŋ Ŋ ŋ Ng ng Ϝ ϝ Ҥ ҥ ݢ נ״
ŋʷ Ŋw ŋw Ngw ngw Ϝυ ϝυ Ҥў ҥў ڬو נ״ו
ɔ O o O o Ο ο О о ـٗ סֹ
ɔː O o O o Ό ό Ѡ ѡ ـٗو סוֹ
p P p P p Π π П п پ פּ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /f/ or /b/
q Q q Q q Κϥ κϥ Къ къ ق קּ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /ɠ ~ ʔ/ or /k/
ʔ Ɂ ɂ ' Γϥ γϥ Ғъ ғъ ٯٔ ، ء ק allophone of /ɠ/ between vowels
ʕ Ҁ ҁ C c S s Ҁ ҁ ع ע
ɾ R r R r Ρ ρ Р р ر ר allophone of /l/ between vowels;
occurs phonemically in loanwords (nativized as /l ~ ɾ/)
ɾˀ Ɍ ɍ R' r' Ρϥ ρϥ Ръ ръ ݬ [ጠ] ט allophone of /ɗ/ between vowels
s S s S s Σ σ ς С с س ס
ʃ Σ ʃ Sh sh Χι χι Ш ш ش ש allophone of /c/ between vowels;
phonemic in loanwords (nativized as /c ~ ʃ/ or /s/)
t T t T t Τ τ Т т ت ת
θ Ŧ ŧ Th th Θ θ Ѳ ѳ ث תֿ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /t/ or /s/
u U u U u Ω ω У у ـُ סֻ
Uu uu Uu uu Ώ ώ Ѹ ѹ ـُو סוּ
v V v V v Β β В в ۋ בֿ occurs in loanwords; nativized as /b ~ β̞ /, /f/, or /w/
w W w W w Υ υ Ў ў و ו allophone of /gʷ/ between vowels; phonemic word-initially
ʔʷ Ⱳ ⱳ 'W 'w Βϥ βϥ Въ въ ؤ קו allophone of /ɓ/ between vowels
j Y y Y y Γι γι Й й ي י allophone of /ɟ/ between vowels; phonemic word-initially
ʔʲ Ƴ ƴ 'Y 'y Γϥι γϥι Йъ йъ ئ [ጨ] ק׳ allophone of /ʄ/ between vowels
z Z z Z z Ζ ζ З з ز ז occurs in loanwords; nativized as /s/ or /d ~ ð̞/
ʒ Ʒ ʒ Zh zh Ζι ζι Ж ж ژ ז׳ occurs rarely in loanwords;
nativized as /ɟ ~ j/ (initially) or /c ~ ʃ/ (between vowels)


Allophones are enclosed in square brackets and loanword-exclusive phonemes are enclosed in round brackets.

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labiovelar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ ŋʷ
Plosive voiceless (p) t c k (q) [ʔ]
voiced b d ɟ g
glottalized ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ
Fricative voiceless f (θ) s [ʃ] [hʷ] (χ) ħ [h]
voiced (v) (ð) (z) (ʁ) ʕ
Approximant/Flap plain [β̞] [ð̞] [ɾ] l j [ɣ̞] w
glottalized [ɾˀ] [ʔʲ] [ʔʷ]




Stress is on the final long syllable in a word. A long syllable is one that contains a long vowel or a short vowel followed by two consonants.



Syllable structure is (C)V(C).

Vowels cannot occur in hiatus. A syllable with a long vowel cannot have a coda.


  • Velar consonants and their allophones can be modified by labialization and palatalization.
    • Labialization: k, h, g, ǥ, ɠ, ʔ, ŋ → kw, hw, gw, w, ɓ, ⱳ, ŋw
    • Palatalization: k, h, g, ǥ, ɠ, ʔ, ŋ → c/ʃ, ʃ, j, y, ɉ, ƴ, ɲ
  • Some consonants are lenited between vowels. This lenition is indicated in the orthography.
    • b, d, j, g, gw, c, l → ƀ, đ, y, ǥ, w, ʃ, r
    • ɓ, ɗ, ɉ, ɠ → ⱳ, ɍ, ƴ, ʔ
    • k, kw → h, hw (unless preceded or followed by /ħ/, /ʕ/, or a glottalized consonant)




Affects final vowel.

  • Absolutive: -a
    • Citation form, direct object of verb, nominal complement, object of adpositions.
  • Nominative: -u
    • Subject of verb.
  • Genitive: -i (palatalizes final velar)
    • Possessor ("of"), adjectives, participles.
    • The genitive can be declined to agree in case with the modified noun, in which case its absolutive is -iya - e.g. Yaħyiyak "away from Yahya's"
  • Dative: -o
    • Indirect object of verb ("to", "for").
  • Locative: -e (palatalizes final velar)
    • Location ("at", "in", "by", "on")
  • Ablative: -ak
    • Movement away from.
  • Allative: -am
    • Movement towards, purpose (with infinitives).
  • Essive: -aŋ
    • State ("as").
  • Translative: -af
    • Change of state ("into").
  • Instrumental: -as
    • Means ("with", "by means of"), agent ("by").
  • Comitative: -al
    • Accompaniment ("in company with").


Infixed before case vowel, causing shortening of penultimate long vowels.

  • Paucal: -aan-
  • Plural: -aaw-


(Example verbs are gaaⱳa "to throw", maara "to lead", and ħaɗɗa "to be ħaɗɗa")

Non-finite forms

The present infinitive is of the form XCaaCa or XCaCCa, where X can be anything. Only the final portion (after X) changes. Therefore, "initial" consonant below refers to the initial consonant in the penultimate syllable.

Each tense has an infinitive formed with the stem of that tense that declines as a noun - e.g. gaɓɓam "in order to habitually throw". The corresponding participles/adjectives are formed with the genitive - e.g. gaaⱳiya "throwing" ("of throwing"), lamooriya "about to be lead", and ħaɗɗiya "Hadda (adj.)" ("of being Hadda").

The infinitive can also be used with person prefixes - e.g. mugaaⱳa "my throwing".

Agent/patient nouns are formed with the suffix -ra with the verb in the appropriate voice and tense (minus the -n suffix) - e.g. gaaⱳara "thrower, that which throws, that which is throwing", layiiⱳara "that which was thrown".


Affects ending.

  • Indicative: -an
    • Used in declarative sentences for a statement of fact - ħaɗɗan "is Hadda"
  • Potential: -en (palatalizes final velar)
    • Used for an event considered likely - e.g. ħaɗɗen "probably is Hadda"
  • Dubitative: -on
    • Used for an event considered possible but unlikely - e.g. ħaɗɗon "maybe is Hadda"
  • Conditional: -un
    • Used for an event whose occurrence is dependent on another condition - e.g. ħaɗɗun "would be Hadda"
  • Imperative: -in (palatalizes final velar)
    • Used for command, imploring, self-encouragement, etc - e.g. ħaɗɗin "be Hadda!"

Tense + Aspect

Affects stem.

  • Simple future: Used for an event in the future.
    • Initial velar: labialized - e.g. gwaaⱳan "will throw"
    • Other: stem vowel becomes o - e.g. mooran "will lead", ħoɗɗan "will be/become hadda"
  • Simple present: Used for an event currently occurring (progressive) or general truths (gnomic).
    • Stem is identical to the present infinitive - e.g. gaaⱳan "is throwing, has been throwing; throws", maaran "is leading, has been leading; leads", ħaɗɗan "is hadda"
  • Present habitual: Used for an event that regularly occurs (habitual) or general truths.
    • CaaC- verbs become CaCC- - e.g. gaɓɓan "throws", mallan "leads"
    • CaCC- verbs become CaCaCC- - e.g. ħaɍaɗɗan "regularly becomes hadda"
  • Simple past: Used for a simple event in the past.
    • Initial velar: labialized + stem vowel becomes i - e.g. gwiiⱳan "threw"
    • Other: stem vowel becomes u - e.g. muuran "lead (past)", ħuɗɗan "became hadda"
  • Past progressive: Used for an event that was occurring in the past.
    • Stem vowel becomes i (palatalizing initial velars) - e.g. jiiⱳan "was throwing", miiran "was leading", ħiɗɗan "was hadda"
  • Past habitual: Used for an event that regularly occurred in the past.
    • Like present habitual, but with stem vowel changing to i - e.g. jiɓɓan "used to throw", millan "used to lead", ħiɍiɗɗan "used to become hadda"
  • A future habitual can be formed by reduplicating the final consonant of the simple future - e.g. gwaɓɓan "will throw regularly", mollan "will lead regularly", ħoɍoɗɗan "will regularly become hadda". Normally, this would be formed with a gaaran construction - e.g. gaɓɓa gwaaran "will throw regularly" (literally: will say throwing regularly)
  • The auxiliary verb gaara "to say" is ubiquitous in Hadda verbal morphology. Its functions include:
    • Forming compound tenses, which can either form new tenses or disambiguate existing forms - e.g. gaaⱳa gwaaran "will be throwing", gaaⱳa jiiran "was throwing" (equivalent to jiiⱳan; might be used if another verb has the same past form), gwaaⱳa jiiran "was going to throw"
    • Deriving verbs from nouns, interjections, loanwords, etc - e.g. ħiʔ gaaran "to hiccup" (literally: to say ħiʔ), telefoona gaaran "to telephone" (literally: to say telephone).

Person + Number

Indicated by prefixes attached to the verb stem. The initial consonant of the verb is not lenited, despite occurring between vowels. The prefixes may be dropped if clear from context. Subject prefixes always precede other argument prefixes (objects, agents, etc).

Subject (nominative):

  • 1S: nu- e.g. numiiran "I was leading"
  • 1P: nawu- e.g. nawugaaⱳan "we are throwing"
  • 2S: tu- e.g. tuħaɗɗin "be Hadda!"
  • 2P: tawu- e.g. tawujiiron "you (pl.) might have said"
  • 3S: fu- e.g. fumallan "he/she leads"
  • 3P: fawu- e.g. fawumooran "they will lead"

Other arguments:

  • Replace final -u- of corresponding subject prefix with appropriate case ending - e.g. namiiran "was leading me", nammiiran "was leading towards me"
  • There is an additional reflexive prefix: sa- (takes appropriate case endings) - e.g. nusamaaran "I am leading myself", fusammiiran "he/she was leading towards him/herself" (compare fufammiiran "he/she was leading towards him/her/it (someone else)")


Indicated by prefixes attached to the verb stem. Unlike person prefixes, these do cause the initial consonant to lenite and lenite themselves when occurring after person or other voice prefixes. When multiple voice prefixes co-occur, the order is passive/reflexive/middle-inchoative/cessative-causative-inchoative/cessative-intensive (the position of the inchoative/cessative relative to the causative depends on if it means "started/stopped causing X" or "caused to start/stop X") - e.g. nutaslaʃiŋafahwaǥaⱳayiɓɓan (1S.NOM.2S.INS.PAS.INCH.CAUS.3S.ABS.CESS.INTEN.throw.PST.HAB.IND) "I started to be caused by you to stop habitually throwing it repeatedly".

  • Passive: -la- e.g. laǥaɓɓan "is thrown"
    • Indicates that an action is performed on the subject. The patient takes the nominative and the agent takes the instrumental.
  • Middle: -ma- e.g. maǥaɓɓan "gets thrown"
    • Indicates that an action affects the subject, without indicating the source of the action.
  • Intensive: Formed by reduplicating -Ca- or -CaCa- e.g. gaǥaaⱳan, gaⱳaǥaaⱳan "is throwing repeatedly/intensely"
  • Causative: -ŋa- e.g. ŋaǥaaⱳan "is causing to throw"
    • Causative occurs after person prefixes if it is modified by them (e.g. "I caused X"), but before if it modifies them (e.g. "caused me to X").
  • Inchoative: -ci- e.g. ciǥaaⱳan "is starting to throw"
  • Cessative: -kwa- e.g. kwaǥaaⱳan "is stopping throwing"


Negation is accomplished by dropping the final -n and adding the circumfix ka-ŋ - e.g. numiiran "I was leading" → kanumiiraŋ "I was not leading"


Constituent order

Free, but most often SOV.

Noun phrase

Usually head-initial (i.e. noun comes before modifiers).

Verb phrase

Usually head-final (i.e. verb comes at the end).

Adpositional phrase

Usually head-final (i.e. postpositions).

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)

Yooƀu leraawiyu gweeme ni ɓaaŋwaŋ ciiɂaŋ-la biine fawumanaađan. Ħiiƀa moħħa-ra fawumaŋaaⱳa, ni giǥaawaŋ ɗaara fawudaŋŋan.

Other resources