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Created byBenJamin P. Johnson,

creator of:

curator of:

SettingPlanet Aterra

Hakdor (natively known as Iuqilol /juʤiˈlol/) is any of various language modes employed by the Hakdor (also known as “the Blighted”), a genetically modified race of humanoids on Aterra.


Unlike standard human languages, the language of the Hakdor is not based exclusively on phonology. Instead it is based on a series of “modes,” of which phonology is just one expression. It is possible for a group of Hakdor who primarily use a vocal language to communicate instantly with a group whose language is primarily manual, written, or melodic, since all the modes are just reflexes of the same processes.

However, since spoken language is the theme of this exercise, the average approximate phonology of verbalized Hakdor follows. ̩


  Labial Coronal Palatal Dorsal
Stop p
p · b
t · d
ʧ · ʤ
k · ɡ
Fricative f
f · v
s · z
ʃ · ʒ
x · (#h)
Nasal n
· (#m)
· n
· (ŋ#)
Approximant u
· w
· r
· j
· l


  Front Back
High i · · u
Mid e · · o
Mid a ·


  • The standard syllable is CVC with a maximum CC at syllable boundaries.
  • ⟨N⟩ is a homorganic nasal which is realized as [m] in onsets, [n] when intervocalic, and [ŋ] word-finally.
    • E.g. nanan ‘name’ = [manaŋ]
  • ⟨I⟩ and ⟨U⟩ may be recognized as consonants or vowels depending on adjacent phonemes. The Hakdor language is structured in such a way that nearly every word follows a pattern of CVC(VC), so if they appear adjacent to a consonant, they’re vowels; otherwise, they’re consonants. (The sole exception to the CVCVC rule occurs in verbs when the particle ra is written as a suffix to the verb, resulting in a CVCCV structure.)

Orthography & Romanization

Hak Rom IPA Comp
i i i~ɪ Like ⟨i⟩ in machine.
e e e~ɛ Like ⟨ay⟩ in day.
a a a~ɑ Like ⟨a⟩ in father.
o o o~ɔ Like ⟨o⟩ in rope.
u u u~ʊ Like ⟨oo⟩ in food.
p p p Like ⟨p⟩ in pool.
p b b When between two vowels, ⟨p⟩ is like ⟨b⟩ in able.
t t t Like ⟨t⟩ in take.
t d d When between two vowels, ⟨t⟩ is like ⟨d⟩ in radar.
q ch ʧ~ʨ Like ⟨ch⟩ in cheese.
q dj ʤ~ʥ When between two vowels, ⟨q⟩ is like ⟨g⟩ in rages.
k k k Like ⟨k⟩ in keep.
k g ɡ When between two vowels, ⟨k⟩ is like ⟨g⟩ in eagle.
f f f~ф Like ⟨f⟩ in fine.
f v β When between two vowels, ⟨f⟩ is like ⟨v⟩ in every.
s s s Like ⟨s⟩ in seek.
s z z When between two vowels, ⟨s⟩ is like ⟨z⟩ in hazard.
c sh ʃ~ɕ Like ⟨sh⟩ in shake.
c zh ʒ~ʑ When between two vowels, ⟨c⟩ is like ⟨s⟩ in usual.
h h h At the beginning of a word, like ⟨h⟩ in hand.
h kh x When between two vowels or word-finally, ⟨h⟩ is like ⟨j⟩ in Spanish rojo.
n m m At the beginning of a word, like ⟨m⟩ in moon.
n n n In the middle of a word, like ⟨n⟩ in any.
n ng ŋ At the end of a word, ⟨n⟩ is like ⟨ng⟩ in English singing.
u w w Like ⟨w⟩ in awake.
r r r~ɾ Like ⟨rr⟩ in Spanish perro.
i y j Like ⟨y⟩ in yell.
l l l Like ⟨l⟩ in like.

For improved readability, our “presentation form” transliteration differentiates between the letters W and U; Y and I; M, N and NG; H and KH; and the voicing pairs P~B, T~D, CH~J, K~G, F~V, S~Z, and SH~ZH; though in the Hakdor alphabet these letters are not distinguished.

The vowels are pronounced roughly as they are in Spanish, though there can be wide variation from one speaker community to another and even from individual to individual.



Gender and Number

Hakdor nouns lack grammatical gender and number. The pronouns show rudimentary reduplicative plural forms.


Possession is indicated with the adposition -is which is suffixed to the substantive it modified (very similar to English “-’s”). In addition to standard possession of nouns, it is also used with pronouns to form the basis of the possessive pronouns rather than a separate genitive-like construction. (More under #Adpositions, below.)


Personal pronouns are fairly simple in scope. The third person does not have gender distinction, but accounts for animacy. The first person plural has clusivity (i.e. there is a difference between “we including you” and “we but not you”). The inclusive pronoun, cesan, is used for both singular and plural (i.e. “you and me” and “you all and me”); the derivation “**cesasan” is not correct, though is sometimes heard from children.

The personal pronouns are:

Singular Plural
cek ‘I, me’ cecek ‘we, us’
cesan ‘you and I, we’
san ‘you’ sasan ‘you (all)’
tui ‘he, she’ tutui ‘they’
tak ‘it’ tatak ‘they, those’


Hakdor has a small, closed set of adpositions which follow the noun phrase (i.e. post-positions). Many common “locational” prepositions are formed with a combination of directional phrases and pertingent, allative, apudessive, genitive, or translative adpositions. For example, ‘behind you’ might be translated as kecak-et san-is – literally, “next to the back of you.”

  Meaning Type Example
as to, towards Allative Qetra cecek tis riqanol–as. ‘We are going to town.’
is of, belonging to, ’s, related to, from, away from Genitive Sitra tuiek iatup cek–is. ‘This is my parent.’
un with, by means of, using Instrumental tikra tui tak tikun–un. ‘He hits it with a hammer.’
of for, for the purpose of, for the benefit of Benefactive Sitra qeiot –ek tis san–of. ‘This flower is for you.’
uq on, touching, adjacent to, affixed to Pertingent Uekra qotec (kireu–is) tis nukip–uq tui–is ‘There is a (tree’s) leaf on his arm.’
ai with, in the company of Commitative Uekra pepan tis iatup–ai tui–is ‘The child is with her father.’
et by, next to, near, at, in Apudessive Uekra tui tis riqan–et tui–is ‘He is at his house.’
ik through, past, beyond, along Translative Iaqetra tui tis qitulik kireuol–is ‘She walked through the forest.’

Some nuance can be added using different relational adpositions, e.g. using the pertingent instead of the apudessive: kecak–uq san–is ‘behind you’ ~ “on (touching) the back of you.” Allative changes the meaning yet again: kecak–as san–is ‘behind you’ ~ “to(ward) the back of you.” Genitive imparts the opposite meaning from allative: kecak–is san–is ‘from behind you’ ~ “out from the back of you.” Translative indicates motion that does not have an origin or destination: kecak–ik san–is ‘behind you’ ~ “past the back of you.” Directional deixes are shared with the parts of the body normally associated with said directions.

(Away from)
‘top ~ head’
on, on top of
“touching the head of”
over, above
“near the head of”
to the top of, onto, upon
“towards the head of”
from the top of
“from the head of”
over the top of, overhead
“past the head of”
‘front ~ chest’
on the front of
“touching the chest of”
in front of, before
“near the chest of”
to the front of
“towards the chest of”
from the front of
“from the chest of”
past the front of
“past the chest of”
‘side ~ arm’
on, on the side of
“touching the arm of”
beside, next to, by, near
“near the arm of”
to the side of
“towards the arm of”
from the side of
“from the arm of”
past the side of
“past the arm of”
‘middle ~ belly’
in, inside, on the inside of
“touching the belly of”
“near the belly of”
into, to the inside of
“towards the belly of”
out of, from the inside of
“from the belly of”
“past the belly of”
on the back of
“touching the back of”
“near the back of”
behind, to the back of
“towards the back of”
(out) from behind
“from the back of”
behind, past
“past the back of”
‘bottom ~ foot’
on the bottom of
“touching the foot of”
under, beneath
“near the foot of”
under, to the bottom of
“towards the foot of”
out from under
“from the foot of”
under, under the bottom of
“past the foot of”


Adjectives exclusively follow the nouns they modify. E.g.

When used as a predicate, the adjective is considered the direct object and fulfills the object role without the need of the expletive pronoun. E.g.


In the last sentence, “few birds” is the predicate, not just “few,” so the expletive subject tis is still required.


Perhaps due to the unique brain structure and thought processes of the Hakdor, their standard colour system is linguistically unique. While most languages develop basic colour terms in specific stages (black/white > red > yellow/green > blue > brown > pink/purple/orange/grey), based on the hexadecimal properties of their language, the Hakdor natively recognize 8 basic colour terms: those of the 1-bit 2-channel colour palette based on RBG and CMY values.











The Hakdor numerals are hexadecimal; that is, base-16. For hexadecimal transcription, ⟨A⟩ is used to represent ‘ten’, ⟨B⟩ for ‘eleven’, ⟨C⟩ for ‘twelve’ , ⟨D⟩ for ‘thirteen’ , ⟨E⟩ for ‘fourteen’ , and ⟨F⟩ for ‘fifteen’. Decimal equivalents are given in parentheses after the hexadecimal.

While there are words for exponents – like hundred, thousand, million, and so on – most numbers are simply read as strings of digits from left to right. So 4EB6 (20,150 in decimal) is spoken: ual-ruk-tin-kut. As a result, two additional number terms are common in Hakdor: lalah, which we might translate as “double-zero,” and lalalah, which I’ll leave to you to figure out. So “100” is as likely to be pronounced kir-lalah as ren.

lah 0 iel (kir lah) 10 (16) tat lah 20 (32) iel (kir lah) 10 (16)
kir 1 kir kir 11 (17) tat kir 21 (33) tat lah 20 (32)
tat 2 kir tat 12 (18) tat tat 22 (34) ser lah 30 (48)
ser 3 kir ser 13 (19) tat ser 23 (35) ual lah 40 (64)
ual 4 kir ual 14 (20) tat ual 24 (36) net lah 50 (80)
net 5 kir net 15 (21) tat net 25 (37) kut lah 60 (96)
kut 6 kir kut 16 (22) tat kut 26 (38) pel lah 70 (112)
pel 7 kir pel 17 (23) tat pel 27 (39) hak lah 80 (128)
hak 8 kir hak 18 (24) tat hak 28 (40) iir lah 90 (144)
iir 9 kir iir 19 (25) tat iir 29 (41) heu lah A0 (160)
heu A (10) kir heu 1A (26) tat heu 2A (42) tin lah B0 (176)
tin B (11) kir tin 1B (27) tat tin 2B (43) kal lah C0 (192)
kal C (12) kir kal 1C (28) tat kal 2C (44) ion lah D0 (208)
ion D (13) kir ion 1D (29) tat ion 2D (45) ruk lah E0 (224)
ruk E (14) kir ruk 1E (30) tat ruk 2E (46) uot lah F0 (240)
uot F (15) kir uot 1F (31) tat uot 2F (47) kir lalah (ren) 100 (256)


Hakdor verbs are a bit unusual in that there are very few of them; in all there are a total of sixteen, all of which operate as what we might think of as auxiliary verbs. Most of them occur in opposing pairs, such as give ~ take or rise ~ fall. The Hakdor verbs are:

  Base Meaning (Some) Extended Meanings
ketra ‘to give’ to transfer, to remove (from oneself), to shed, to excrete
tokra ‘to take’ to eat, to consume, to steal
iitra ‘to throw’ to observe with the senses (iitra luuat = ‘look at’)
kepra ‘to catch’ to capture, to seize
pasra ‘to fall’ to do something accidentally, to sleep
sopra ‘to rise’ to ascend, to awaken, to succeed
uekra ‘to sit’ to be located,
kupra ‘to stand’ to be upright, to be in a state of
hapra ‘to have’ to control, to hold, to be imbued with (e.g. ability)
rekra ‘to do’ to make, to compel, to cause, to force
pikra ‘to pick up’ to grasp, ~take
topra ‘to put down’ to put in place, to situate, ~give, to sense (topra luuat = ‘to see’)
katra ‘to keep’ to protect, to hide
sitra ‘to be’ to exist, copula
qetra ‘to go’ to move, to travel, to start
tikra ‘to hit’ to make contact with, to touch

Yet as few verbs as there are, every clause requires one. Usually, what we generally think of as the verb of a clause is a noun which changes meaning when used as the direct object of a verb. For example, “to look at” translates as iit luuat ‘to throw eyes’, but you might think of it as the more melodious “to cast a glance.” In fact, all sensing words use iit as their verb, though “cast an ear” (iit siiek, ‘listen’) or ‘cast an eye’ (iit luuat, ‘look’) sound a little nicer to our ears than ‘throw a nose’ (iit safiu, ‘smell’) or ‘hurl a tongue’ (iit ruhac, ‘taste’).


Hakdor verbs do not inflect, so indications of tense, aspect, mood, mode, evidentiality, voice, and other verbal features are indicated exclusively with particles placed before the verb, usually in the form of affixes.

Particle Type Meaning Notes
la relative that, which A conjunction – goes at the beginning of a phrase.
na interrogative is it, does it, ĉu, か , 嗎 A conjunction – goes at the beginning of a phrase.
ia preterit did, have done Precedes negative; otherwise closest to verb root.
sa topic important Precedes all particles except the conjunctions.
ca negative not Must be closest to the verb root.
ra future will Precedes negative; otherwise closest to verb root.


Clausal conjunctions in Hakdor always go at the beginning of a clause; there are also some phrasal conjunctions which separate the arguments being conjoined. The clausal conjunctions are comprised of logic operators, so in addition to the typical ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘but’, there are also specialized conjunctions like ‘xnor’, ‘xor’, and ‘nand’. As mentioned in the previous section, the relative and interrogative particles also function as conjunctions.

Conjunction Type Meaning Notes
la relative that, which (see above)
na interrogative is it, whether (see above)
cah negative not Logical inverter: NOT; argument is false.
ti conjunctive and, and then Logic gate: AND; both arguments are true
kas disjunctive or Logic gate: OR; one or both arguments are true
ueq alternative denial nand, and not Logic gate: NAND; both arguments are false
nor joint denial nor, or not Logic gate: NOR; neither argument is true
ruh exclusive xor Logic gate: XOR; only one argument is true
noh biconditional xnor, not xor Logic gate: XNOR; both arguments are true or both are false
qek adversative but, however  

The particles la and na may operate as independent words, or as prefixes where they occur directly before a verb.


Basic Word Order & Alignments

The basic order of Hakdor is strict VSO; that is: Verb, Subject, Object. It is also topic-prominent, so a topic area may be indicated with the particle sa- (in many cases roughly equivalent to Japanese は [wa]).


Strict VSO. Sentences without an object (e.g. “I sit,” uekra cek tis,) must take a dummy object (tis) after the subject. Conversely, subjectless sentences (e.g. “It seems,” sitra tis ric,) use tis as a subject. (In English we use the expletive pronoun it in these types of sentences.) Furthermore, indirect objects always occupy the fourth position in a clause (e.g. “It seems to me,” sitra tis ric cek.)

Noun Phrases

The standard order of most noun phrases is:

  1. Noun
  2. Demonstrative
  3. Adjective (phrase)
  4. Numeral
  5. Adposition
  6. Genitive (phrase)
  7. Relative (clause)

E.g. ‘…with those three thin men from the village who stole my brother’s dog’ would be translated more literally as ‘man-that thin three-with village-from that stole who the-dog of-the-brother of-me.’

…tuiuc til serai riqanolis laiatokra tuiuc nurak nucutis cekis.
tui-uc til ser-ai riqanol-is la-ia-tok-ra tui-uc nurak nucut-is cek-is
person-dst thin 3-com village-gen rel-pst-take-vrb one-dst dog brother-gen 1sg-gen
men those thin three with village from that stole who dog brother of me of
…with those three thin men from the village who stole my brother’s dog

Adjective Phrases

Degree adverbs precede the adjective they modify:

  1. Adjective
  2. Degree Adverb (very, such, barely, quite, occasionally...)

E.g. ‘That was a very good dog,’ would be literally, ‘Was that-one dog good very.’

Iasitra tuiuc nurak tar pen.
ia-sit-ra tui-uc nurak tar pen
pst-cop-vrb one-dst dog good aug
was that one dog good very
That was a very good dog.

Verb Phrases

The standard order of most verb phrases is:

  1. Conjunction
  2. Adverb
  3. Particles (tense, aspect, mood, &c)
  4. Negative Marker
  5. Verb
  6. Subject
  7. Direct Object
  8. Indirect Object
  9. Temporal/Spatial Adverb or Phrase(s)

Relative Clauses

Relative clauses are formed by using the distal correlatives as relative conjunctions. If the correlative is a pronoun, it usually takes the place of the subject or object of the verb. Relative clauses follow the noun they modify. E.g.

Sidra tuiuc nurak laiatokra tuiuc iului ciqisis cekis.
sit-ra tui-uc nurak la- ia-tok-ra tui-uc iului ciqis-is cek-is
cop-vrb one-dst dog rel- pst-take-vrb one-dst fruit fish-gen 1sg-gen
is that one dog who took that one food of fish of me
That is the dog who ate my fish.
Sitra nuqiu nec la kanuc pasra tis ioruier iuueqis.
sit-ra nuqiu nec la kan-uc pas-ra tis iorui-er iuueq-is
cop-vrb grass wet rel time-dst fall-vrb it water-particle sky-gen
is grass wet that when falls (it) rain
The grass is wet when it rains.