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Knánith/Swadesh list

Pronunciation /knaːniθ/
Created by IlL
Setting Lõis
Language family
  • Semitic
    • Central Semitic
      • North Semitic
        • Canaanite
          • Hebrew
            • Knánith
ISO 639-3

Knánith is the sole surviving descendant of Biblical Hebrew, spoken in Lõis's Cyprus. It preserves many words of Biblical Hebrew not found in our Modern Hebrew, but its grammar has been completely restructured to use auxiliaries instead of the older Hebrew tenses. (todo: less Rabbinical Hebrew)

Numbers: 0-10: afs, ódh (m)/áth (f), sznay, szlusz, arbą, homisz, szesz, szewą, szmun, teszą, ngaxør

11-20: ódh/áth ngaxør, hnay ngaxør, hlusz ngaxør, arbą ngaxør, homisz ngaxør, szesz ngaxør, szew ngaxør, hmun ngaxør, teszą ngaxør, ngaxre

40: stay ngaxre

60: hlusz ngaxre


120: merkø

14400: rúø

before: kkorm


  • Swadesh list
  • bel-, ble- is a common prefix (conflation of ben- and ba3al-)
  • tiwdith = Thedish
  • szą sze... = when...
  • Many adverbs are from infinitive absolute
  • likkori = to die (lit. be called)
  • szovuą = week
  • midhborø = conference
  • נא becomes a focus particle no




/m p b f v w n t d θ ð ts s z ʂ j ŋ k g x h l r/ m p b f v w n t d th dh ts s/x z sz y ng k g kh h l r

Glottal reinforcement (transcribed by the doubling of tt kk) occurs before historical Biblical Hebrew emphatics /tʼ kʼ tsʼ/, and also analogically in some other cases (cf. Glottalic PIE > RP English).


Words can undergo initial lenition, as in Irish and Tiberian Hebrew:

p- b- t- d- k- g- > f- w- th- dh- kh- Ø-

"Already lenited" consonants lenite as follows: f w th dh kh Ø > nf, nw, nth, ndh, nkh, n


/a ɛ i ɔ u ə a: ɛ: i: ɔ: u: ə: ã:/ = a e i o u ø á é í ó ú ǿ ą

Word-final /i/ is silent and palatalizes the preceding consonant.



Stress is always penultimate, except with some verbs where the lV- prefix does not have the stress.





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

Nouns and adjectives

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

Cretan has lost grammatical gender.

  • The regular "feminine" singular suffix is -ø or -th.
  • The regular "masculine" plural suffix is -im or -e.
  • The regular "feminine" plural is -uth.
  • However, there are many irregular plurals, especially nouns derived from construct state constructions. e.g. benusz, blenusz = human

køfor, køforim = village, villages

bakkbøkk, bakkbøkkim = bottle, bottles

i, iim = island, islands

kiszø, kiszuth = cucumber, cucumbers

gøfø, gøfuth = corpse, corpses

takkrith, takkriyuth = incident, incidents

Cretan has lost grammatical gender and the construct state. The only remnant of the construct state is the -th- interfix used in possessive constructions between two nouns that end and begin with a vowel, respectively: e.g.

  • hadhør-mittø 'bedroom'
  • ngønove-th-anf 'the grapes of wrath'
  • nøszomø-th-ahwø 'spirit of brotherhood'

Degree markers:

  • Suffective: de- = as X as; equally X; X enough
  • Excessive: ro- = too (from Celtic)
  • Comparative/Superlative: -ter = more X or most X; comparandum takes broth 'than' (from Biblical Hebrew *birʔōṫī ʔeṫ 'when I see ACC')


Verbs use only one form, usually the inherited Biblical infinitive construct, prefixed with l-. Even for imperatives: Lathett lo hi! = 'Give it to her!' Some verbs instead are derived from other nouns derived from the triconsonantal root rather than the infinitive of a particular verb.

Regular pa3al verbs

The regular pattern is *liCCuC.

-t verbs

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

  • lalakht /laˈlaxt/ = to go
  • lakkakht /laʔˈkaxt/ = to take
  • lasekht /laˈsext/ = to go back
  • laszeft /laˈʃeft/ = to sit
  • lareszt /laˈreʃt/ = to inherit
  • lathett /laˈθeʔt/ = to give
  • larett /laˈreʔt/ = to go down
  • lalett /laˈleʔt/ = to be born
  • lasett /laˈseʔt/ = to carry
  • latsett /laˈtseʔt/ = to go out
  • lasątt /laˈsãːʔt/ = to travel
  • laghątt /laˈɣãːʔt/ = to hit, to smite
  • ladhątt /laˈðãːʔt/ = to know
  • lattątt /laʔˈtãːʔt/ = to plant

Regular nif3al

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

Regular pi3el

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

Regular hif3il

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

Regular hithpa3el

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

Other verbs


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


Various auxiliaries in Knánith
→ Person
↓ Truth value
1sg 2sg.m 2sg.f 3sg.m 3sg.f 2pl 3pl Non-pronominal
Affirmative ni, i to te u hi nanu, nu tem em re, r'
Present emphatic ngud i ngud to ngud te nguden u nguden hi ngud nu ngud tem ngud em ngud
Interrogative am ni, am i am to am te am u am hi am nu am tem am em am
Negative en ni, en i en to en te en u en hi en nu en tem en em en
Past si ni, sit i, sit ni sit to sit te so u sto hi sin nu sit tem su'm so/sto/su
Passive present ur ni, ur i tur to tri te yur u tur hi nur nu tru tem ru'm yur/tur/ru
Passive past var ni, var i, vart i vart to vart te var u vro hi var nu vart tem vru'm var/vro/vru
Subjunctive ąs i tąs to tąs te yąs u tąs hi nąs nu tąsu tem yąsu'm yąs/tąs/yąsu
Future lekh i tlekh to tlekh te lekh u tlekh hi lekh nu tlekhu tem lekhu'm lekh/tlekh/lekhu
"May" kekh i tkekh to tkekh te kekh u tkekh hi kekh nu tkekhu tem kekhu'm kekh/tkekh/kekhu
"Do X more" - present usif i tusif to tusif te yusif u tusif hi nusif nu tusif tem yusifu'm usif/tusif/yusifu
"Do X more" - past saft i saft to saft te sif u sifo hi saf nu saft tem sifu'm usif/tusif/yusifu


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

example of a knánith inflected preposition: lø "for"

  • 1sg: li, li ni
  • 2sg.m: lakh to
  • 2sg.f: lakh te
  • 3sg.m: lu hu, lú hu
  • 3sg.f: lo hi, loy hi
  • 1pl. lon nu, lonu
  • 2pl. lém tem
  • 3pl. lam em


Constituent order

The order is tense-subject-verb-object.

R'iszaz bø lékhul tapuhaz.
The man is eating the apple.
Re beth-u bø dhe-rul kø liyothøn.
His house is as big as a whale.
Sto hi lásuth halkkbeth-i bø muødh múhør.
She did her homework very late.

Noun phrase

The definite article is a clitic:

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


  • hadhør = a room
  • hadhraz = the room
  • hadhri = rooms
  • hadhril = the rooms
  • hadhør grul = a big room
  • hadhør grulaz = the big room (< hah-hadhər hag-gâdhol haz-ze)
  • botin grulin = big houses
  • botin grulil = the big houses
  • tøpuaz r' iszaz bø lékhul u = The apple, the man eats it

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

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

The abstract demonstrative is zuth.

Verb phrase

Isz li rangu "I'm hungry"

Sentence phrase


There is a complementizer mar (from אמר ʔāmar) or zuth depending on dialect.


Construct state combinations grammaticalize

  • bel, ble- = agentive
  • beth- = place noun

Example texts

UDHR, Article 1

Kol blenuszil vru'm ledhø kø vlehuri; hem szowi ngal kúdhaz ke skhøyuthil. Blenuszil vru'm lehąnikk bø thvønø ke matspøn, ke re ngalem lithnágh ódh lø hni bø nøszomø-th-ahwø.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Tower of Babel

  1. Bø khol ngulømaz sto áth sofø bø vur lødhabir ke su uthøm miluthil bø vur lisztamisz.
  2. Wini ksze su'm bø losangøth me mizroh, su'm litakkil bø miszuraz Szinngor ke lithyaszew szom.
  3. Ke su'm lemur: "Enø, butonu ląsuth lwenuth ke léfuth em ettew." Ke su lwenuthil løszamisz lom em kø awnevniyø, ke hemør kø maltt.
  4. Ke su'm lemur: "Enø, butonu lewnuth kiriø ke mídøl bo hi, yąs ruszu u lagią le szomayim, ki nąs nu ląsuth lonu szem, ke klu nąs nu lithpazir pli kol ngulømaz!"
  5. Wini Eluim so u lowu mattø, ki yąs u láwiˀt bø kiriøzu ke mídølaz sze yu blenuszil bø lewnuth.
  6. Ke Eluim so u lemur: "Szą sze su'm hátholø ląsuth zuth kø ódh ngom sze bø lødhabir áth sofø, lu yiye szum mikhszul lø múmø sze yąsu'm lithkawin ląsuth!
  7. "Enø, bu tonu lalakht mattø ke løwalbil sofø-th-em, klu yąsu'm láwin szuthif."
  8. Kokh Eluim so u løfazir em, ke su'm ládul lewnuth kiriøzu.
  9. Ke me sibøzu fu sze kiriøzu bø laˀko szemaz "Bovil" -- szom so Eluim løwalbil sofø kol ngulømaz. Me szom so Eluim løfazir em pli kol ngulømaz.

Schleicher's Fable

Other resources