Volapűük nulíik

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Volapȕük nulíik
Flag of Volapükȁän
Created by ArmasUkko
SettingEarth, year 2018, history dates back about 2500 years
Native speakersca. 10 Mio. (2016)
  • volapük tsänodik
    • volap'üük nulíik.
      • Volapȕük nulíik
Official status
Official language in


Real setting

Volapȕük nulíik was a project which came into existence as some kind of a game with morphology and phonetics, especially with Volapük but also Gaeilge and Inuktitut. I have tried to create other conlangs from other constructed languages (e.g. Esperanto), but since the morphology of Volapük involves some degree of complexity, it was easier for me to use elements within the language (particles, case suffixes, prepositions etc.) and combine them in a new way. There is no real purpose or design goal of this language that might become visible, as it does not look that well-built; for instance, there is no special syllable structure designed for euphonic reasons. There are, however, some elements that add a special tone to sound, such as initial sound mutation, which has become a feature of verbal and noun morphology.

Fictional setting

The language is located in the old country of Volapükȁän. The country has been inhabited for more than 5000 years. Written records of the language exist from about 1500 years BC. About 1000 years (1000 AD) ago new settlers arrived at the shores of the northern coast. Those settlers, Irishmen and Inuktituts, found their dwellings and as an ongoing process intermixed with the local population, leaving deep traces in the language. The traces are less visible in the vocabulary but are far moreso in the structure and morphological richness that makes the language a unique mixture of very distinct features. The language continues to be used as a language of official affairs, media, daily conversation, etc., and thus is fully functioning. Due to its special stress patterns, it is not a preferred mean of poets, yet they have developed a style of their own to suit the special requirements of its stress patterns.



Volapȕük nulíik is written in Latin script with four diacritics (¨ ̏ ´ `)for vowels. Long vowels and geminated consonants are written with two graphemes. Besides the diactrics given, there are two more special letters: <Å>, <å> and <Đ>, <đ>. Their phonetic value will be explaned in the sections vowels and consonants. Names of persons, places, countries, companies are written with a capital letter. The orthography is strictly phonetic. This gives way to a phenomenon that occurs in many languages with a diverging representation of dialects: words tend to be written slightly differently in different dialects due to small difference in the phonetic inventar of each dialect. This holds stand also for Volapȕük nulíik whose five dialects differ especially in the representation of diptongs in wordstems.


The following table provides an overview of the phonemic inventar of Volapȕük nulíik:

The phonemic inventar of Volapȕük nulíik
place of articulation
bilabial labiodental dental alveolar postalveolar palatal velar glottal
type of articulation unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced unvoiced voiced
plosive p <p> b <b> t <t> d <d> c <ty> ɟ <dy> k <k> g <g>
nasal m <m> n <n> ny <ɲ> n <ŋ>
trill r <r>
fricative β <bh> f <f> v <v> ð <đ> s <s> z <z> ʃ <š> ʒ <ž> x <x> ɣ <gh> h <h> ɦ <ħ>
affricate t͡s <ts> d͡z <dz> t͡ʃ <> d͡ʒ <>
approximant ʋ <w>
lateral approximant l <l> ʎ <ly>

Most of the consonants present may appear in a long and short form: pomíba 'my apple [acc.]' vs. pommidön 'to eat an apple'. The ratio of length between a short and a long consonant is 1:2. Lenghened plosives are lengthened by holding the air for a longer period of time before release. The consonants which appear only as weak grades of lenited consonants [β, ð, ɣ, ʋ] do not have a lengthened counterpart since they do not appear in basic stems, prefixes or suffixes. When written as a lengthened consonant, the single grapheme is usually doubled:

single consonant phoneme geminated consonant phoneme
p [p] pp [p:]
b [b] bb [b:]
t [t] tt [t:]
d [d] dd [d:]
k [k] kk [k:]
g [g] gg [g:]
m [m] mm [m:]
n [n] nn [n:]
r [r] rr [r:]
f [f] ff [f:]
s [s] ss [s:]
z [z] zz [z:]
š [ʃ] š [ʃ:]
ž [ʒ] žž [ʒ:]
h [h] hh [h:]
l [l] ll [l:]

Consonants that are represented by a digraph and able to undergo gemination have a different approach:

single consonant phoneme geminated consonant phoneme
ty [c] tty [c:]
dy [ɟ] ddy [ɟ:]
ry [rʲ] rry [r:ʲ]
my [mʲ] mmy [m:ʲ]
ny [ɲ] nny [ɲ:]
sy [sʲ] ssy [s:ʲ]
zy [zʲ] zzy [z:ʲ]
ly [ʎ] lly [ʎ:]


As many morphophonological processes in many languages in the world, such as consonant graduation in Balto-Fennic languages, ecclipse, lenition and nasalisation in Celtic languages and consonant adaptation in Inuktitut, the process called lenition [Vpk. translation] shares two features. The first feature is phonetic / phonological. It means that a consonant is articulated within a specific environment differently as it would be without this specific environment. The second feature is a rule which describes the environment in which this change of articulation takes place. This rule will be dealt later again, however in another section. This following section will take a look at the phonetic realisation of this process, the phonological environment and the dialectal variation. The specific rules when lenition does occur will not be treated in this paragraph, it will be explained later on where also an overview of the historic development and the influence from other languages will be given which favoured the creation of this process.

Phonologically speaking, several processes are subsummised under this term "lenition".

1. Voiceless consonants become voiced. This applies to plosives and fricatives.

2. Nasals and laterals are lengthened. This rules does not apply to all dialects.

3. Voiced plosives become voiced fricatives.

4. Voiced fricatives will lengthen the vowel following. If the following vowel is already long, the fricative will be lengthened.

5. The voiced labiodental fricative becomes a voiced labiodental approximant.

These rules give the following changes subsumised under "lenition":

Normal form IPA Lenited form IPA Rule / Process
< p > [p] < b > [b] 1 / voicing
<t> [t] <d> [d] 1 / voicing
<k> [k] <g> [g] 1 / voicing
< b > [b] <bh> [β] 3 / fricativisation
<d> [d] <đ> [ð] 3 / fricativisation
<g> [g] <gh> [ɣ] 3 / fricativisation
Normal form IPA Lenited form IPA Rule / Process
<f> [f] <v> [v] 1 / voicing
< s > [s] <z> [z] 1 / voicing
<š> [ʃ] <ž> [ʒ] 1 / voicing
<h> [h] <ħ> [ɦ] 1 / voicing

Dialectal variations

Though most of the rules are universal to the language, some variations have come up in the five dialects.

Dialectal variations
Normal Form Central dialect Southern dialect Eastern dialect Western dialect Northern dialect
b [b] bh [β] w [ʋ] w [ʋ] v [v] v [v]
d [d] đ [ð] dd [ð] dd [ð] dy [ɟ] dh [ð]
g [g] gh [ɣ] gg [ɣ] gg [ɣ] h [h] h [h]
l [l] ll [l:] ll [l:] ll [l:] ly [ʎ] ly [ʎ]
n [n] nn [n:] nn [n:] nn [n:] ny [ɲ] ny [ɲ]
m [m] mm [m:] mm [m:] mm [m:] mm [m:] / w [w] w [w]
ts [t͡s] dz [d͡z] dz [d͡z] dz [[d͡z] s [s] tt [t:] / [θ] / [t']
tš [t͡ʃ] dž [d͡ʒ] dž [d͡ʒ] dž [d͡ʒ] š [ʃ] šš [ʃ:]
h [h] hh [h:] - [-] - [-] ħ [ɦ] ħ [ɦ]


Volapȕük nulíik has a quite large vowel inventory. Besides the quality of a vowel, the length of a vowel plays an important role as well. In the proto-language, the inventory was rather small:

Front Central Back
Close i /i/ ü /ü/ u /u/
Close-mid e /e/ ö /ö/ o /o/
Close-open ä /ɛ/
Open a /a/

All vowels shared a closed quality and could be combined quite freely into combinations of two vowels which did not form a single syllable, thus dipthongs were unknown in the proto-language.

Over time this inventory underwent several changes. The first of those changes was that almost all highly articulated vowels were lowered when they occured in an open syllable. Later, this process took also place in closed syllables which had single vowels. Combinations of two vowels remained higher or kept a higher pronounciation. This devision broadened the vowel inventory:

Front Central Back
Close i /i/ ü /ü/ u /u/
Near-close î /ɪ/ û /ʏ/ u: /ʊ/
Close-mid e /e/ ö /ö/ o /o/
Near-open ë /ɛ/ ô /œ/ o: /ɔ/
Near-open ä /æ/
Open a /ä/

The next big change in the inventory was the lengthening of short vowels which occur in main-stressed syllables of the stem. Vowels of inflectional suffixes do not undergo this shift. Due to this change in pronounciation, the opposition between short and long vowels is established.

Front short Front long Central short Central long Back short Back long
Close i /i/ ü /ü/ u /u/
Near-close î /ɪ/ û /ʏ/ îî /ɪ:/ ûû /ʏ:/ u: /ʊ/ uu: /ʊ:/
Close-mid e /e/ ö /ö/ o /o/
Near-open ë /ɛ/ ô /œ/ ëë /ɛ:/ ôô /œ:/ o: /ɔ/ oo: /ɔ:/
Near-open ä /æ/ ää /æ:/
Open a /ä/ aa /ä:/

This system starts to develop further in this sense that those combinations of vowels containing an /i/ as the second part start to shift to /e/ (with the exception of /ui/, /üi/ and /ii/) and furthermore become long vowels. The quantity of these long vowels is slightly longer than the quantity of those close-mid and near-open long vowels with a roughly distinction of (short : long 'open' : long 'closed') 1 : 1,75 : 2. This means that now both "closed" and "open" vowels have an opposition of quantity between long vs. short. The vowel /ä/ splits into the vowels /a/, /a:/ for open vowel positions and /ɑ/, /ɑ:/ for closed vowel positions.

Front short Front long Central short Central long Back short Back long
Close i /i/ ü /ü/ ii /i:/ üü /ü:/ u /u/ uu /u:/
Near-close î /ɪ/ û /ʏ/ îî /ɪ:/ ûû /ʏ:/ u: /ʊ/ uu: /ʊ:/
Close-mid e /e/ ö /ö/ ee /e:/ öö /ö:/ o /o/ oo /o:/
Near-open ë /ɛ/ ô /œ/ ëë /ɛ:/ ôô /œ:/ o: /ɔ/ oo: /ɔ:/
Near-open ä /æ/ ää /æ:/
Open a /a/ aa /a:/ a: /ɑ/ aa: /ɑ:/

The latest development was the creation of the sound /ɒ:/ <åå> that evolved from the combination / later dipthong /o.a/ ~ /o‿a/. This vowel does not occur in every dialect, however it is recognised as in the standard language.

Front short Front long Central short Central long Back short Back long
Close i /i/ ü /ü/ ii /i:/ üü /ü:/ u /u/ uu /u:/
Near-close î /ɪ/ û /ʏ/ îî /ɪ:/ ûû /ʏ:/ u: /ʊ/ uu: /ʊ:/
Close-mid e /e/ ö /ö/ ee /e:/ öö /ö:/ o /o/ oo /o:/
Near-open ë /ɛ/ ô /œ/ ëë /ɛ:/ ôô /œ:/ o: /ɔ/ oo: /ɔ:/
Near-open ä /æ/ ää /æ:/
Open a /a/ aa /a:/ a: /ɑ/ aa: /ɑ:/ åå /ɒ:/

The last change occurred in the 1920s, when the orthographic representation was modified to represent current usages:

Front short Front long Central short Central long Back short Back long
Close î /i/ ü /ü/ îi/íî /i:/ üü /ü:/ û /u/ ûu/úû /u:/
Near-close i /ɪ/ ü /ʏ/ ii /ɪ:/ üü /ʏ:/ u /ʊ/ uu /ʊ:/
Close-mid ê /e/ ö /ö/ êe/éê /e:/ öö /ö:/ ô /o/ ôo/óô /o:/
Near-open e /ɛ/ ö /œ/ ee /ɛ:/ ôô /œ:/ o: /ɔ/ oo /ɔ:/
Near-open ä /æ/ ää /æ:/
Open a /a/ aa /a:/ â /ɑ/ âa/áâ /ɑ:/ åå /ɒ:/



The term stress refers to an articulatory phenomenon that causes one syllable in one word to be spoken at a higher pitch than all other syllables in a word. In Volapȕük nulíik this syllable is in defined position in verbs and nouns. Verbs feature a main stress and, under certain conditions a second, less higher pitch. Nouns only have one stressed syllable. The main stress is marked by an acute accent (´) on a vowel, giving [á, é, í, ó, ú] and on vowels with a trema [··] [ȁ, ȍ, ȕ]. The main stress is always set first. The second stress is uniformously marked by grave accent [`] giving [à, è, ì, ò, ù, ȁ, ȍ, ȕ]. In handwriting, the main stress is also done with a double acute accent on [ä, ö, ü], yet due to technical restriction this has not been possible and thus the language board has decided to allow a grave accent to mark main stress on these three vowel letters.


The main stress used to fall always on the last sylable in Volapük. This means that nouns used to have a main stress on its stem, e.g. dóm 'house', however when a case ending was added to the stem, it shifted from the stem to the last vowel, giving e.g domá 'of the house', domí 'the house (acc.)' This principle is still visible in the present noun declension: dóom : domá : domí : niđomé. In nouns this main stress on monosyllabical words led to a lengthening of the consonant and created finally the length distinction between nominative / vocative and all other oblique cases and nounforms with a reduced [unshortened] stem vowel. With verbs this principle gave the following pen'ön 'to write' : pen'ob 'I write' : epen'ob 'I have written'. Due to a reanalysis of the future forms, e.g. open'ob 'I will write', the second vowel before the personal pronoun suffix was reanalysed as the carrier of the tense information and thus changed analogically: epen'eb, open'ob, ipen'ib, etc. The first letter was abandoned leaving only the vowel before the personal pronoun suffix with the information concerning time. This gave rise to the present situation that the mains tress falls on the time slot and also explains why a tense has always to be stated in every verb.


In conjugated verb forms falls the main stress on the first vowel after the stem and before the personal pronoun suffix: penáb 'I write', löfábaf 'I love her'. kabenbóleb. 'You will be able to write me.' In non-conjugated forms, however, not the tense marker is not stressed but the last suffix: pen'ön 'to write', pepen'öl 'written'. This main stress is however not marked on the last syllable as this rule dates back to the very beginning of the language.



The syllabic structure of a language can be analysed from different perspectives. One perspective is to take a look at the maximum structure of a syllable. Another perspective is the question, which sounds are allowed on which position.

Maximum syllable structure

The maximum syllable structure in Volapȕük nulíik is:


A minimum syllable consists of CV, which indicates that no syllable may beginn with a vowel. Personal pronouns are an exception to this rule, since they favour a syllabic structure V:C. The maximum structure consisting of three consonants in the onset is mainly reserved for clusters like str-, skr-.



Consonantal gemination


The basic morphology of Volapȕük nulíik encompasses only three categories:





Adjectives are predominantly nouns - they have a fixed position within the noun phrase and may function as nouns on their own. However, they may also function as a verb in conjunction with the copula verb "binön" or they may function as a verb on their own, which is considered a higher style.:

Binán klotéedat šerlíik.
Bin-á-n klotéed-at šer-líik.
BE-pres.-3.sg.obj. LADYDRESS-demons.near EXPENSIVE-adj.
Šerlikán klotéedat.
Šer-lik-á-n klotéed-at
[EXPENSIVE-adj.]verb.copula-pres.-3.sg.obj. LADYDRESS-demons.near

"This dress is expensive."

The first version is more common among speakers of a lower social status, whereas the second has a more official and literary style. The first version, however, may also be used by people of higher status, especially in situations when someone wants to emphasize that the dress really IS expensive. This is in contrast to languages like German or English, as Volapűük_nulíik expresses emphasis not on the intonational level but on the morphological.


Numerals also belong, just like adjectives, predominantly to the category of nouns, but can be used as verbs as well:

Lödáps niđom žönlig giló
Löd-á-p-s ni-đom žön-lig gil-ó
RESIDE-pres.-m./f.pl. IN-HOUSE-abs. BEAUTIFUL-adj.abs. THREE-loc.

"They live in three beautiful houses."


"We are twenty men."

Nummerals will be discussed in detail in the section "Nummerals".


This category does not appear as a category of itself but appears in different forms:

1. suffixes

2. incorporated roots

3. nouns in essive case

4. nouns in a noun phrase starting with "mod".


This type of adverbs encompasses adverbs of time, place and degree. They are suffixed to verbal structures and nouns and thus cannot appear on their own. If one wants to emphasise these adverbal meanings, they have to use a similar meaning noun, add suffixes and place it before the verb, for example:

"Deedȁpšimokdȁäl." [no emphasis]



They killed him here yesterday.

"Topakó deedȁpšimdȁäl." [place emphasised]

TOP-ak-ó | DEED-ȁ-pš-i-m-dȁäl

PLACE-this-loc. | KIIL-past-3.pl.anim.neutr.-acc.-3.sg.anim.mask.-yesterday

Dȁälú topakó deeddȁpšim. [place and time emphasised, place a bit more important than time]

DÄÄL-ú. | TOP-ak-ó | DEEL-ȁ-pš-i-m

YESTERDAY-ess. | PLACE-this-loc. | KILL-past-3.pl.anim.neutr.-acc.-3.sg.anim.mask.

The word right before the verb structure receives the most emphasis and the farer away a word stands, it is less emphasised. This implies that normally only about three or four words are put separately before a verbal structure.

Incorporated roots

This adverbal structure is reserved for verb-nouns ending in -íik or -líik. The verb-noun appears in a lenited form, example:

Penžönlikfáminemnù penöní.

PEN-ŠÖNLIK-f-á-m-i-n-e-m-nù |PENÖN-í

WRITE-BEAUTIFUL-bitr.-pres.-3.sg.anim.masc.-acc.-3.sg.inam.-dat.-3.sg.anim.masc.-now |LETTER-acc.

"He writes beautifully a letter to him."

This type of adverbal structure is reserved for single adverbs only. Adding several adverbs to a verb will need a noun structure.

Nouns in essive case

Nouns in a noun phrase with "mod"


The category of nouns encompasses all words that denote concrete and abstract objects, persons, animals, plants, feelings, and concepts. Noun is the basic category of words, since each adjective, verb, and so on is based on a nominal root and derived from it. Nouns inflect for case, number, and possession and may receive further conjunctive/modal particles

Each noun is built up according to a fixed scheme:

Prefix Stem Determiner Case suffix Number suffix Possessiv suffix Modal particles


Nouns inflect for number, meaning they indicate whether a noun appears as a single entity (singular), as a pair/in two (dual), or in more than one entity (plural). Each number has a specific marker:

Singular Dual Plural
Suffixes -ø-/-b- -t-/-d- -s-/-z- (-š-/-ž-)

Since the singular is a category that almost any object, person, animal, idea, or anything else can appear in, it is considered the 'default' category and remains unmarked. This is also true for most natural languages, where there is no explicit suffix denoting a single unit of something. However, there are languages, such as Welsh, which provide a singular suffix for nouns that normally denominate entities that exist in conglomeration, e.g. the trees of a forest coed, where a single tree is derived from the whole via the suffix -en, thus giving coeden 'a tree'. This system does not apply to Volapȕük nulíik. Every noun has the default numerical value 1, and thus is in the singular by default. The second suffix for the singular number is actually a suffix occasionally used, e.g. for poetic purposes or when a speaker wants to stress the singularity of a noun. The dual suffix has a correspondence with the number word for 'two' tel. It can appear in a voiced alternative, which evolved as a result of voiced surrounding consonants. This applies also to the plural marker s, which alternates with z. In personal endings there is also the alternation -š-/-ž- which evolved due to phonological changes.


Volapȕük nulíik has a complex set of cases. The complexity arises from a set of nine primary cases, which exist independently but can also be combined with a set of prefixes of local, temporal, or abstract function. This combination creates more than seventy different cases, which can not all be named and are not all actually regarded as cases of their own.

The basic cases and their suffixes are:

Case Name Suffix Main function(s)
Nominative serafáal Subject of transitive & intransitive verbs
Vocative vokafáal -ø/-ȍ Form of a noun to call someone/something
Genitive faláak -á(-) Relational case, direct object in negative sentences
Dative faléek -é(-) Receiver of bitransitive verbs, [logical] subject of emotional verbs, locative: origin of movement
Accusative falíik -í(-) Direct object of transitiv verbs
Locative falóok -ó(-) Indicating position in a place, space etc.
Translative falȕük -úu(-)/-ȕ(-) Change of state
Essive falúuk -ú(-) Being in a changeable state
Exlative falwéek -wé(-)/-wȁ(-) Ending of a state

The Northern dialect has retained a tenth case, which has collapsed in other dialects with the dative suffix -é(-), and thus adding its meaning to the dative case:

Case Name Suffix Main function(s)
Nominative serafáal Subject of transitive & intransitive verbs
Vocative vokafáal -ø/-ȍ Form of a noun to call someone/something
Genitive faláak -á(-) Relational case, direct object in negative sentences
Dative faléek -é(-) Receiver of bitransitive verbs, [logical] subject of emotional verbs
Accusative falíik -í(-) Direct object of transitiv verbs
Locative falóok -ó(-) Indicating position in a place, space etc.
Delative falȁäk -ȁ(-) Origin of movement
Translative falȕük -úu(-)/-ȕ(-) Change of state
Essive falúuk -ú(-) Being in a changeable state
Exlative falwéek -wé(-)/-wȁ(-) Ending of a state

The Vocative provides two optional endings: a) a zero-ending, differing from the nominative only in this feature that the beginning of the word appears in its lenited form:

Nominative Historical vocative Modern vocative Meaning
dóom o đóom! đóom! house
táal o dáal! dáal! earth
góod o ghóod! ghóod! god / God
píid o bíid! bíid regret

The particle was traditionally used to express exclamations, e.g. seelȍ! "Quiet!" < seel "being quiet", moȍ! "Get out of here!" < mo "away". This usage has extended towards nouns and names of persons: Kal ("Charles") > Kalȍ!, Floor ("flower") > Floorȍ!, etc.

In the Northern dialect this principle has remained to the very day and developed in a manner that adding the suffix showed the person addressed a form of respect. Addressing a "normal" person was gradually done by simply using the nominative form. However, about two hundred years ago, the people speaking the northern dialect started to adopt a fashion of using the lenited nominative form as a normal form of address. Therefore, the dialect incorporated both forms, having a "normal" vocative form and a "special" vocative form, showing extra respect to the person addressed.:

Vocative Usage Meaning intended
o Gal! Most dialects normal form of adressing someone
Kal! Northern dialect normal form of adressing someone; other dialects: harsh adressing
Kalȍ! Northern dialect respectful manner of adressing someone

The further development spread the -suffix to other dialects and within about 50 years the usage as a marker of respect evolved. Therefore, the language today has two forms of marking the vocative case: a) using the lenited nominative stem b) adding the suffix -ȍ to show more respect to the person addressed.











The category Prefix encompasses a wide range of lexical elements that have two things in common:

a) all of them were prepositions and became attached to the stem at some point in the history of the language.

b) they change the beginning of the noun they are attached to by a process called lenition. This process is explained in detail in the section morphophonological processes.

c) they do occur alone but are always combined with a specific case suffix. In some cases a single prefix may be combined with more than one case suffix and thus giving a specific, different meaning with each case suffix.

Local prefixes

These prefixes indicate spatial relations. In most natlangs and conlangs these relations are expressed via separate words. In Volapȕük nulíik this used to be done as well. However, about two thousand years ago, speakers started combining adverbs with prepositions, e.g. in domó 'at the house' > indomó. These new expressions were very quickly recognized and analyzed as complete words and only about 100 years after the first appearance of such constructions were they written with the initial syllabic structure CV-, including a change of the initial consonant: niddomó ( dd representing a dental fricative [ð]).

Most of these prefixes kept the phonetic structure they had as prepositions.

Since these prefixes inherit a local meaning they are combined with the locative case. They do this if they mean a place or a location where an action takes place. When they indicate the aim of a movement, they are combined - as e. g. in German or many Slavic languages with the accusative case. The third option is different depending on the style of language used. For indicating the origin of a movement, the Northern dialect employs the delative case (expressed by the suffix -ȁ-), the other dialects and the standard language use the dative case (-é-) instead.

This table givs an overview of the local prefixes and their meaning:

Suffix Name Meaning Case combined (case in other languages) Example Translation
ni- nivalóok inside of locative (inessive) niđomó in the house
ni- nivalíik into sth. accusative (illative) niđomí into the house
ni- nivaléek out of sth. dative/delative (elative) niđomé / niđomȁ out of the house
fo- fovalóok in front of locative (?) fođomó in front of the house
fo- fovalíik into the front of accusative (?) fođomí into the front of the house
fo- fovaléek from the front of dative/delative (?) fođomé / fođomȁ from the front of the house
po- povalóok behind locative (?) pođomó behind the house
po- povalíik into the backside of accusative (?) pođomí into the backside of the house
po- povaléek from the backside of dative/delative (?) pođomé / pođomȁ from the backside of the house
di- divalóok under locative (?) diđomó under the house
di- divalíik into the underside of accusative (?) diđomí into the underside of the house
di- divaléek from the underside of dative/delative (?) diđomé / diđomȁ from the underside of the house
lü- lüvalóok the direction of locative (?) lüđomó in the direction of the house (place)
lü- lüvalíik into the front of accusative (?) lüđomí in the direction of the house (movement)
lü- lüvaléek from the direction of dative/delative (?) lüđomé / lüđomȁ from the direction of the house
lo- lovalóok above locative (?) lođomó above the house
lo- lovalíik into the space above of accusative (?) lođomí above the house (movement)
lo- lovaléek from the space above of dative/delative (?) lođomé / lođomȁ from the space above of the house
su- suvalóok on locative (?) suđomó on the house
su- suvalíik onto accusative (?) suđomí onto the house
su- suvaléek from the upside of dative/delative (?) suđomé / suđomȁ from the upside of the house
be- bevalóok between locative (?) beđomót between the two houses
be- bevalíik in between accusative (?) beđomít in between the two houses (movement)
be- bevaléek from in between of dative/delative (?) beđomét / beđomȁt from in between of the two houses
da- davalóok through locative (?) dađomó through the two houses (place)
da- davalíik through sth. accusative (?) dađomí through the house (aim)
da- davaléek from through of dative/delative (?) dađomé / dađomȁ from in through the house (origin)
le- levalóok into the space at locative (?) lođomó into the space at the house
le- levalíik from the space at sth. accusative (?) lođomí from the space at the house (movement)
le- levaléek from at dative/delative (?) lođomé / lođomȁ from at the house
mu- muvalóok next to locative (?) muđomó next to the house
mu- muvalíik into the space next of accusative (?) muđomí next to the house (movement)
mu- muvaléek from the space next of dative/delative (?) muđomé / muđomȁ from the space next of the house
ta- tavalóok against [local] locative (?) tađomó against the house
ta- tavalíik against [movement] accusative (?) tađomí against the house (movement)
ta- tavaléek from the space against of dative/delative (?) tađomé / tađomȁ from the space against of the house
plö- plövalóok outside of [local] locative (?) plöđomó outside of the house
plö- plövalíik outside of [movement] accusative (?) plöđomí into the space outside of the house
plö- plövaléek from the space outside of dative/delative (?) plöđomé / plöđomȁ from the space outside of the house
nü- nüvalóok inside of [local] locative (?) nüđomó inside of the house
nü- nüvalíik inside of [movement] accusative (?) nüđomí into the space inside of the house
nü- nüvaléek from the space inside of dative/delative (?) nüđomé / nüđomȁ from the space inside of the house
de- devaléek from [loc.] dative (ablative) deđomé from the house
šü- šüvalíik until accusative (terminative) šüđomí up to the house

Temporal prefixes

The second large group of prefixes is the group of temporal prefixes, which indicate information on time. Due to their specific meaning they occur normally only in time-related words and expressions. They have in common that they combine only with the essive case suffix. As an example the noun déel "day" will be used, except for dü- which is only used with a specific point of time.

Suffix Name Meaning Case combined (case in other languages) Example Translation
nö- növalúuk at / in / on [temporal] essive (?) nöđelú on a day
bü- büvalúuk before essive (?) büđelú before the day
po- povalúuk after [temp.] essive (?) pođelú after the day
de- devalúuk from [temp.] essive (ablative) deđelú from the day on
du- duvalúuk during essive (?) duđelú during the day (as a period of 24 hours)
šü- šüvalúuk to / until essiv (?) šüđelú to the day
dü- düvalúuk at ... o'clock essive (?) düdegú at ten o'clock
plö- plövalúuk outside of essive (?) plöwobú outside of working hours
tü- tüvalúuk within [temp.] essive (?) tüđelút within two days
si- sivalúuk since [point of time] essive (?) siđelatú since this day
fo- fovalúuk for [space of time] essive (?) fođelút for two days
tö-/te- tövalúuk/tevalúuk in ... time essive (?) töwekú/tewekú in one week

Modal prefixes

Another category are modal prefixes. This prefixes transfer a variety of meanings, e. g. the mean by which something is done or the medium via something has been transmitted. Therefore, their case suffixes vary and

Suffix Name Meaning Case combined (case in other languages) Example Translation
fa- favalúuk through sth. [abstract] essive (mediative?) fawüretodú, favlenú through the internet, through a friend
me- mevalúuk with sth. [instrument] essive (instrumental) menneefú with a knife
ko- kovalúuk with s.o. [comitative] essive (comitative) kovlenú with a friend
sä- sävalúuk as if / like essive (comparative?) sämmotú, sännaanú as a mother [standard, northern dialect]
sa- savalúuk as (same quality) essive (comparative) sammotú, savlenúba as my friend (the same height, the same weight)
ka- kavaléek than [comparison] dative (comparative) kavlenéba than my friend
ko- kovaléek because of [circumstance] dative (circumstantial causative kovlenéba because of my friend being there (no direct causation)
bi- bivaléek because of [causation] dative (direct causative effect) bizdoné because of the stone (the stone fell and the vase broke)
ma- mavalúuk according to [oral citation] essive (quotative) mawödúfes/mawödúfäs according to her words (the words she said, according to her opinion)
ba- bavalúuk according to [written text] essive (quotative) ballonú according to the law (as it is written)
ta- tavulúuk against (abstract) essive (?) binön tagrigú to be against war
pro- provalúuk for, in favour of essive (?) binön prollon nulikú to be for / in favour of the new law
dö- dövalúuk about [sth., a theme] essive (?) dödzarús buk a book about the Tsars
be- bevalúuk among [concrete, visible] essive (?) bemmenatús among those people
vü- vüvalúuk among [abstract] essive(?) vünnetús among nations, internationally [vünnetulíik = international]
se- sevaláak from, out of genitive (?) sellaná out of wool, [made] from wool

The two cases used for quotation are used for different quotation purposes. Mavalúuk indicates an oral citation, something that is said and not recorded, something from the memory, a citation of an oppinion. Bavalúuk on the other hand quotes texts, written sources or natural laws, in general things that are fixed in stone, on paper and not an opinion. If there is an opinion written down on a paper, mavalúuk is used instead.

Negative preffixes

Negative prefixes encompass meanings of negativity and exclusion. They combine exclusively with the genitive suffix, which is also used in verbal structures to mark a direct object in a negative statement or question.

Suffix Name Meaning Case combined (case in other languages) Example Translation
ne- nevaláak without genitive (abessive) nevlená without a friend
plä- plävaláak except for genitive (privitative) plävlenába except for my friend
da- davaláak of sth. genitive (partitive) davlená a friend/no friend (usage cf. partitive in Basque and Finnish in neg. sentences)

Negation is normally marked on the verb (by the prefix no-), however sometimes also a noun or a whole noun phrase needs to be negated, e.g. "I am not searching for peace, not for clarity, not for freedom, but for war, for misconception, for slavery." In this case, the negation can also be expressed on a noun or a noun phrase. The noun/noun phrase remains as it is in a positive statement, however the prefix "no-" is added [no lenition is applied] and at the end of the noun/the noun phrase the suffix -k is added, to mark the end of the negation. Since negation accourse very often of direct objects, the following case is genitive, but in general any other case could be used. As an example the phrase will be used:

"I am not searching for peace, not for clarity, not for freedom, but for war, for misconception, for slavery."

"Zukkában püdá, nokleeliká, nolibiká, sukkábintà krigí, pölsuemí, slafí."

Zukk-á-b-a-n püd-á no-kleel-i-k-á no-lib-i-k-á suk-k-á-b-i-n-tà krig-í pöl-suem-í slaf-í.
LOOK FORneg.-pres.-1.sg.-gen.-3.sg.obj. PEACE-gen. neg.-CLARITY-acc.-nominalizer-gen. neg.-FREEDOM-acc.-nominalizer-gen. LOOK FOR-pres.-1.sg.-acc.-3.sg.obj.-in contrast WAR-acc. ERROR-UNDERSTANDING-acc. SLAVERY-acc.


Determiners are used to specify a noun. In Volapȕük nulíik they follow the noun immidiately but in contrast to derivational suffixes they do never take the stress of the word which reminds before or after the determiner.

Suffix Etymology Meaning Example Person Translation Place Translation
-ak ak < *at this dóomak "this house" pösóodak this one / this man tóopak this place / the place here
-ek ek < *et that dóomek "that house" pösóodek that one / that man tóopek that place / the place there
-al al < *al, alik every dóomal "every house" pösóodal every person / everyone tóopal every place, everywhere
-Cal Cal < *val, valik all dóommal "all houses" (coll. dóommals) pösóoddal all people, everyone tóoppal all the places
-an an < *anik some dóoman "some house(s)" (coll. dóomans) pösóoddan some persons / people tóopan some places
-on on < *no no dóomon "no house" pösóodon no one / nobody tóopon no place, nowhere
-em em < *seimik any dóomem "any house" pösóodem any person, anyone tóopem any place, anywhere
-om om < *somik such dóomom "such a house" pösóodom such a person tóopom such a place
-ot ot < *ot same dóomot "the same house" pösóodot the same person tóopot the same place
-Cot Cot < *vot- other dóommot "the other house" pösóoddot the other person tóoppot the other place
-[C]im im < prim the [very] first dóom[m]im "the very first house" pösóoddim the very first person tóoppim the very first place
-Cät lät < lätik the [very] last dóommät " the very last house" pösóoddät the very last person tóoppät the very last place

Personal pronouns/Pösodenéem pösodlíiks

Since verbs and nouns contain all personal related information, personal pronouns do occur quite rarely on their own. One situation they are used is when a speaker wants to give another person / other persons the chance to say somehting.

The basis of every personal pronoun is the personal suffix that is added as the possessive stem to nouns.

As an example for all cases, the firs singular pronouns will be presented:

Case name Pronoun 1.sg. Remarks
serafáal oob
vokafáal vob!
faláak aab
faléek eeb
falíik iib
falóok obó
falȁäk obȁ
falúuk obú
falȕük obȕ
falwéek obwé

Personal pronouns with prefixes

The prefixed forms on personal pronuns are a bit mor complicated than the nominal forms. Since pronominal forms retain very often old features or forms that have been used centuries ago, they appear irregular, even in languages that otherwise feature regular nominal forms, e.g. Finnish talo : talo-n : talo-a vs. minä : minu-n (!): minu-a (!) or Turkish dil : dile : dili vs. ben : bana (!) : beni. Volapȕük nulíik is no exception to this type of rule. Since the prefixes used to be indipendent prepositions with a different ending, at first, they were glued together quite easily: kod 'because of' obú > kodobú 'because of me', pos 'behind' + obú > posobú, ni 'in' + obó > niobó. A lot of this prepositions were nouns and thus had a structure (C)CVC which after adding the noun to the personal pronoun created a final structure CVCV'C((C)C)V. This structure became widespread and even prepositions with the syllabic structure CV that had no final consonant received an extra consonant, as a rule, the initial consonant, before the first o of the pronoun, e. g. niobé 'in me' > ninobé. suobé 'on me' > susobé and so on. This intervocalic voiceless consonant got during a period of around 100 years (Volapȕük tsenolíik) period) voiced and created a new set of scheme for personal pronouns: C1VC2VC3((C)C)V, where C1 and C2 are identical, except for voicing: C1 voiceless, C2 voiced. This new rule changed the pronominal system alot: pos + obú > posobú >> pobobú; kod + obú > kodobú >> kogobú; su + obé > susobé > suzobé. This process did not simply stop, but over a period of about another 100 - 150 years, these forms began to become simplier. The voiced consonant between vowels started to fell out: suzobé > suobé; pobobú > poobú; kogobú > koobú. The forms with a /b/ as C2 were the first to lose their /b/, especially in first person and third person neutral animate forms. After around another 200 years, these pronouns had evolved into a structure CVV'CV. These forms are today accepted as literal forms which should be used in books, written texts in general. However, during the last 300 years [this development took place within the last 800 years], these standard forms have changed in spoken and colloquial language. Nowadays the standard pronoun reference form is CV'C((C)C)V, where CV marks the prefix and 'C((C)C)V marks the pronoun. In the dialects, espcially the northern dialect the older forms still exist and especially for monoconsonantal pronouns (singular) are preferred: plööbé [Northern dialect] vs. plöobé [stan.] / plöbé [coll.]. Because of this, the next table will not only show the given forms used today but also provide information on earlier stages and the etymology of the prefixes.


The category of possession is build up the same way as the personal suffixes for verbs. So, the category features three numbers (singular, dual and plural) and three persons: speaker, person addressed and a third person. The third person itself divides itself into the main categories animated and inanimated, dividing the first category into three other subcategories, masculine, feminine and a neutral person. This neutral person is either used to indicate a person of unknown gender / sex or is used to refer to person who do not identify themselves as masculine or feminine. From a etymological perspective this suffix arose from a mixture of the masculine /-m/ and feminine suffix /-f/ giving a preform *-mf which later developped into *-mp and finally losing the nasal part giving -p as a fully productive personal suffix which can be combined with various other persons.

Basic suffixes of the possessive suffixes
category suffix
singular Ø
dual -t
plural -s
1. person -b
2. person formal -r
informal -l
3.person animate masculine -m
feminine -f
neutral -p < *mp < *mf
inanimate object -n

Overview of possessive suffixes [standard language]
Singular Dual Plural
Dual +1 Plural + 1 Plural + 2 Plural + 3+
1. Person general -b- -bd- / -dd- [bd < *bt] -bz- / -zz-
inclusive informal -lb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -lbz-
formal -rb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -rbz-
exclusive masculine -mb- < -m- + -b- -mbz- -mdž- < *mtbž < *mtbz [d < tb] -zbž- < *msbž < *msbz
feminine -vb- < -f- + -b- -vbz- -vdž- < *fdž < *ftbž < *ftbz -sbž- < *fsbž < *fsbz
neutral -bb- < -p + -b- -bbz- -bdž- < *ptbž -spš- < *sps
2. Person inclusive informal -l- -lt- -lz-
formal -r- -rt- -rz-
exclusive informal masculine -lmV- -lmzV-
feminine -lfV- -lvzV-
neutral -lpV- -lpsV- / -lbzV-
formal masculine -rmV- -rmzV-
feminine -rfV- -rvzV-
neutral -rpV- -rpsV- / -rbzV-
3.Person animate masculine -m- -mt- -mz-
feminine -f- -ft- -fs-
neutral -p- -pt- -ps-
inanimate -n- -nt- -nz-

A general formular for composing the suffixes cannot be given, hower there some tendency visible:

1. The speaker / person addressed appears first and gives the first element of complex suffixes.

2. The plural / dual suffix is the last to be attached.

3. The plural suffix is voiced when possible

4. The dual suffix is almost never voiced, except /b_

5. Additional persons are placed in between.

6. An exception to this rule are the first person plural + 1 suffixes which indicate a group of people (we)with another single person. Here the extra person is mentioned first hand and the 'group'-suffix is rendered afterwards. This difference in ordering is due to phonotactic rules that prohibit the following of a sibilant by another sibilant, nasal or plosive sound.

7. Inanimate objects are never combined with animate suffixes.

Overview of possessive suffixes [colloquial language]
Singular Dual Plural
Dual +1 Plural + 1 Plural + 2 Plural + 3+
1. Person general -b- -dd- / -d- -z- / -ž- (-bž-)
inclusive informal -lb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -lž- / -lbž-
formal -rb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -rž- / -rbž-
exclusive masculine -mb- < -m- + -b- -mž- -mdž- < *mtbž < *mtbz [d < tb] -zbž- < *msbž < *msbz
feminine -vb- < -f- + -b- -vž- -vdž- < *fdž < *ftbz -sbž- < *fsbž < *fsbz
neutral -bb- < -p + -b- -bž- -bdž- < *ptbž [d < tb] -spš- < *sps
2. Person inclusive informal -l- -lt- -lš-
formal -r- -rt- -rš-
exclusive informal masculine -lmV- -lmšV-
feminine -lfV- -lfšV-
neutral -lpV- -lpšV-
formal masculine -rmV- -rmšV-
feminine -rfV- -rfšV-
neutral -rpV- -rpšV-
3.Person animate masculine -m- -mt- -mš-
feminine -f- -ft- -fš-
neutral -p- -pt- -pš-
inanimate -n- -nt- -nš-

The difference between standard and colloquial language is mainly a difference in the plural suffix (standard: -s- / -z- (rarely -ž-), colloquial: -š- / -ž- (in general after /b/, which falls out)). First persona general forms are even more reduced, very often to just one letter: -b- (singular), -d- (dual), -z- / -ž- (plural). A more formal colloquial language retains the geminated -dd- (dual) and the plural suffix -bž-. The overall number of categories is the same, independently of standard or colloquial language. This indicates that these categories are well established and vastly accepted by the speakers.

Modal particles

These particles do not only appear in nouns but are also used in verbal construction. They encompass different types of lexical particles, e.g. conjunctions, particles of degree and so on. This means the particles in this category have different functions but have one common place to be put into in each noun or noun phrase. Therefore, they are grouped under this term.

suffix meaning example translation
-te only kaf balíte [I take] only one coffee
-ti almost šitsilíti [he hit] almost the girl
-mu extreme fit grandíikmu an extrem big fish
-(g)ee and Petéer Páulee Peter and Paul
-(g)ee ... -(g)ee both ... and ... Petéeree Páulee both Peter and Paul
-(g)uu or Petéer Páuluu Peter or Paul
-(g)uu ... -(g)uu either ... or ... Petéeruu Páuluu either Peter or Paul
-ba maybe, perheps ? ?
-la possibly ? ?
-le completely, the whole; not at all ? ?
-no yet / not yet ? ?
-(g)ii too, also Petéerii Peter, too
-mö much níifmö much snow
-ve very váad koldíikve very cold water

Examples / sáams




"and maybe with all my students"

kååpáfa mevaabotúnotigùu

kååp-á-f-a | me-FAAB-ot-ú-n-o-ti-uu

BODY-gen.-3.sg.anim.fem.-gen. | instr.-FIBRE-every-essive-3.sg.inam.-loc.-almost-or

"or with every fibre of her body."

Nummerals / Nȕüms

The numeral system in Volapȕük nulíik consists of cardinal and ordinal numbers. Both types of numbers are part of the larger realm of nouns. The original counting system is a decimal system with seperate words for hundred and thousand. Due to the immigration of Inuit and Irish a vigesimal system has evolved. This system has a fixed range of uses, especially counting people, units of time [years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, the age of a person]. Due the presence of two counting systems and the speakers' ability to switch between the two systems, the development of a third system has taken place. this system is not officially regulated but depends on the individual abillity of every speaker two switch between the two systems. This third system presents itself as a mixture between decimal and vigesimal to varying degrees and replacements. In general, the tens are kept in the vigesimal and the hundreds, thousens and so one are used in decimal. However, different collocations are possible, too. This third system is an integer part of colloquial speech and will be avoided completely in the written and official language. In recent years, it has become a dominant system to count non-human animate entities, such as animals and plants. In the written language, these have to be counted in decimal, not vigesimal.

The basic numbers

The basic numbers include the numbers from 0 to 20. These numbers do not change, independently of the counting system. The numbers from 0 to 10 are monosyllabic and have a short vowel.

Numerical value Word Colloquial forms Translation
0 ser - zero
1 bal - one
2 tel - two
3 kil - three
4 fol - four
5 lul - five
6 mäl - six
7 vel - seven
8 šöl - eight
9 tsül - nine
10 deg - ten
Numerical value Word Colloquial forms Translation
11 degbal debal eleven
12 dektel dekel twelve
13 dekkil dekil thirteen
14 dekfol defol fourteen
15 deglul delul fifteen
16 degmäl demäl sixteen
17 degvel devel / devvel seventeen
18 dekšöl dešöl eighteen
19 dektsül detsül / desül nineteen
20 telđeg teleg / teeg twenty

The short form teeg is the basis of the vigesimal system. This number has led to a colloquial short form of tens.

Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
21 telegbal teegbal / teebal twenty-one
22 telektel teektel / teetel twenty-two
23 telekkil teekkil / teekil twenty-three
24 telekfol teekfol / teefol twenty-four
25 teleglul teeglul / teelul twenty-five
26 telegmäl teegmäl / teemäl twenty-six
27 telegvel teegvel / teevel twenty-seven
28 telekšöl teekšöl / teešöl twenty-eight
29 telektsül teektsül / teetsül / teesül [slang] twenty-nine
30 kilđeg [teegdeg] kileg / kiig thirty
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
31 kilegbal [tee[g]de[g]bal / teedeg bal] kiigbal / kiibal thirty-one
32 kilektel [tee[g]de[k]tel / teedeg tel] kiiktel / kiitel thirty-two
33 kilekkil [tee[g]de[k]kil / teedeg kil] kiikkil / kiikil thirty-three
34 kilekfol [tee[g]de[k]fol / teedeg fol] kiikfol / kiifol thirty-four
35 kileglul [tee[g]de[g]lul / teedeg lul] kiiglul / kiilul thirty-five
36 kilegmäl [tee[g]de[g]mäl / teedeg mäl] kiigmäl / kiimäl thirty-six
37 kilegvel [tee[g]de[g]vel / teedeg vel] kiigvel / kiivel thirty-seven
38 kilekšöl [tee[g]de[k]šöl / teedeg šöl] kiikšöl / kiišöl thirty-eight
39 kilektsül [tee[g]de[k]tsül / teedeg tsül] kiiktsül / kiitsül / kiisül [slang] thirty-nine
40 folđeg [teldeeg] foleg / foog fourty
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
41 folegbal [teldee[g]bal / teldeeg bal] foogbal / foobal fourty-one
42 folektel [teldee[k]tel / teldeeg tel] fooktel / footel fourty-two
43 folekkil [teldee[k]kil / teldeeg kil] fookkil / fookil fourty-three
44 folekfol [teldee[k]fol / teldeeg fol] fookfol / foofol fourty-four
45 foleglul [teldee[g]lul / teldeeg lul] fooglul / foolul fourty-five
46 folegmäl [teldee[g]mäl / teldeeg mäl] foogmäl / foomäl fourty-six
47 folegvel [teldee[g]vel / teldeeg vel] foogvel / foovel fourty-seven
48 folekšöl [teldee[k]šöl / teldeeg šöl] fookšöl / foošöl fourty-eight
49 folektsül [teldee[k]tsül / teldeeg tsül] fooktsül / footsül / foosül [slang] fourty-nine
50 lulđeg [teldee[g]deg] luleg / luug fifty
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
51 lulegbal [teldeeg de[g]bal] luugbal / luubal fifty-one
52 lulektel [teldeeg de[k]tel] luuktel / luutel fifty-two
53 lulekkil [teldeeg de[k]kil] luukkil / luukil fifty-three
54 lulekfol [teldeeg de[k]fol] luukfol / luufol fifty-four
55 luleglul [teldeeg de[g]lul] luuglul / luulul fifty-five
56 lulegmäl [teldeeg de[g]mäl] luugmäl / luumäl fifty-six
57 lulegvel [teldeeg de[g]vel] luugvel / luuvel fifty-seven
58 lulekšöl [teldeeg de[k]šöl] luukšöl / luušöl fifty-eight
59 lulektsül [teldeeg de[k][t]sül] luuktsül / luutsül / luusül [slang] fifty-nine
60 mälđeg [kildeeg] mäleg / määg sixty
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
61 mälegbal [kildee[g]bal / kildeeg bal] määgbal / määbal sixty-one
62 mälektel [kildee[k]tel / kildeeg tel] määktel / määtel sixty-two
63 mälekkil [kildee[k]kil / kildeeg kil] määkkil / määkil sixty-three
64 mälekfol [kildee[k]fol / kildeeg fol] määkfol / määfol sixty-four
65 mäleglul [kildee[g]lul / kildeeg lul] määglul / määlul sixty-five
66 mälegmäl [kildee[g]mäl / kildeeg mäl] määgmäl / määmäl sixty-six
67 mälegvel [kildee[g]vel / kildeeg vel] määgvel / määvel sixty-seven
68 mälekšöl [kildee[k]šöl / kildeeg šöl] määkšöl / määšöl sixty-eight
69 mälektsül [kildee[k][t]sül / kildeeg tsül] määktsül / määtsül / määsül [slang] sixty-nine
70 velđeg [kildee[g]deg] veleg / veeg seventy
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
71 velegbal [kildeeg de[g]bal] veegbal / veebal seventy-one
72 velektel [kildeeg de[k]tel] veektel / veetel seventy-two
73 velekkil [kildeeg de[k]kil] veekkil / veekil seventy-three
74 velekfol [kildeeg de[k]fol] veekfol / veefol seventy-four
75 veleglul [kildeeg de[g]lul] veeglul / veelul seventy-five
76 velegmäl [kildeeg de[g]mäl] veegmäl / veemäl seventy-six
77 velegvel [kildeeg de[g]vel] veegvel / veevel seventy-seven
78 velekšöl [kildeeg de[k]šöl] veekšöl / veešöl seventy-eight
79 velektsül [kildeeg de[k][t]sül] veektsül / veetsül / veesül [slang] seventy-nine
80 šölđeg [foldeeg] šöleg / šöög sixty
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
81 šölegbal [foldee[g]bal / foldeeg bal] šöögbal / šööbal eighty-one
82 šölektel [foldee[k]tel / foldeeg tel] šööktel / šöötel eighty-two
83 šölekkil [foldee[k]kil / foldeeg kil] šöökkil / šöökil eighty-three
84 šölekfol [foldee[k]fol / foldeeg fol] šöökfol / määfol eighty-four
85 šöleglul [foldee[g]lul / foldeeg lul] šööglul / šöölul eighty-five
86 šölegmäl [foldee[g]mäl / foldeeg mäl] šöögmäl / šöömäl eighty-six
87 šölegvel [foldee[g]vel / foldeeg vel] šöögvel / šöövel eighty-seven
88 šölekšöl [foldee[k]šöl / foldeeg šöl] šöökšöl / šööšöl eighty-eight
89 šölektsül [foldee[k][t]sül / foldeeg tsül] šööktsül / šöötsül / šöösül [slang] eighty-nine
90 tsülđeg [foldee[g]deg] tsüleg / tsüüg ninety
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
91 tsülegbal [foldeeg de[g]bal] tsüügbal / tsüübal ninety-one
92 tsülektel [foldeeg de[k]tel] tsüüktel / tsüütel ninety-two
93 tsülekkil [foldeeg de[k]kil] tsüükkil / tsüükil ninety-three
94 tsülekfol [foldeeg de[k]fol] tsüükfol / tsüüfol ninety-four
95 tsüleglul [foldeeg de[g]lul] tsüüglul / tsüülul ninety-five
96 tsülegmäl [foldeeg de[g]mäl] tsüügmäl / tsüümäl ninety-six
97 tsülegvel [foldeeg de[g]vel] tsüügvel / tsüüvel ninety-seven
98 tsülekšöl [foldeeg de[k]šöl] tsüükšöl / tsüüšöl ninety-eight
99 tsülektsül [foldeeg de[k][t]sül] tsüüktsül / tsüütsül / tsüüsül [slang] ninety-nine
100 tum [luldeeg] baldum a hundred
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
101 tumbal [luldee[g]bal / luldeeg bal] baldumbal a hundred and one
102 tumtel [luldee[k]tel / luldeeg tel] baldumtel a hundred and two
103 tumkil [luldee[k]kil / luldeeg kil] baldumkil a hundred and three
104 tumfol [luldee[k]fol / luldeeg fol] baldumfol a hundred and four
105 tumlul [luldee[g]lul / luldeeg lul] baldumlul a hundred and five
106 tummäl [luldee[g]mäl / luldeeg mäl] baldummäl a hundred and six
107 tumvel [luldee[g]vel / luldeeg vel] baldumvel a hundred and seven
108 tumšöl [luldee[k]šöl / luldeeg šöl] baldumšöl a hundred and eight
109 tumtsül [luldee[k][t]sül / luldeeg tsül] baldumtsül / baldumtsül / baldumsül [slang] a hundred and nine
110 tumdeg [luldee[g]deg / luldeeg deg] baldumdeg a hundred and ten
Numerical value Word [vigesimal] Colloquial forms Translation
111 tum de[g]bal [luldeeg de[g]bal] baldum de[g]bal hundred-eleven
112 tum de[k]tel [luldeeg de[k]tel] baldum de[k]tel hundred-twelve
113 tum de[k]kil [luldeeg de[k]kil] baldum de[k]kil hundred-thirteen
114 tum de[k]fol [luldeeg de[k]fol] baldum de[k]fol hundred-fourteen
115 tum de[g]lul [luldeeg de[g]lul] baldum de[g]lul hundred-fifteen
116 tum de[g]mäl [luldeeg de[g]mäl] baldum de[g]mäl hundred-sixteen
117 tum de[g]vel [luldeeg de[g]vel] baldum de[g]vel hundred-seventeen
118 tum de[k]šöl [luldeeg de[k]šöl] baldum de[k]šöl hundred-eighteen
119 tum de[k]tsül [luldeeg de[k][t]sül] baldum / de[k]tsül / de[t]sül [slang] hundred-nineteen
120 tumteleg [mäldeeg] baldumteeg a hundred-twenty

Besides the vigesimal and decimal system, a second system has developped that is used to express larger numbers. It is based on the basic decimal numbers - deg [10], tum [100] and mil [1000]. These bases are combined with suffixes that are derived from the numbers 1 - 9 and indicate the times the base number is multiplied with itself.

Numerical value Word basic suffix numerical value
1 bal -Cab x^1
2 tel -Cet x^2
3 kil -Cik x^3
4 fol -Cof x^4
5 lul -Cul x^5
6 mäl -Cäm x^6
7 vel -Cev x^7
8 šöl -Cöš x^8
9 tsül -Cüts x^9
10 deg -Ceg/-Ced x^10
Suffix base 10 [numerical value] base 100 [numerical value] base 1000 [numerical value]
[-Cab] deggab [10] tummab [100] millab [1.000]
[-Cet] degget [100] tummet [10.000] millet [1.000.000]
[-Cik] deggik [1.000] tummik [1.000.000] millik []
[-Cöf] deggöf [10.000] tummöf [100.000.000] millöf []
[-Cul] deggul [100.000] tummul [] millul []
[-Cäm] deggäm [1.000.000] tummäm [] milläm []
[-Cev] deggev [10.000.000] tummev [] millev []
[-Cöš] deggöš [100.000.000] tummöš [] millöš []
[-Cüts] deggüts [] tummüts [] millüts []
[-Ceg/-Ced] deggeg/degged [] tummeg / tummed [] milleg / milled []

Numbers with the suffix -Cab do exist theoretically but are not used neither in written nor in spoken language.

The suffixes may also be used for units of surface and space:

méet [metre] + Cet > *méettet > mettéet 'squaremetre' [m.-et]

metíil [kilometre] + Cet > *metiillet > metilléet 'squarekilometre' [mm.-et]

metáak [centimetre] + Cet > *metaakket > metakkéet 'squarecentimetre' [mdg.-et]

méet [metre] + Cik > *méettik > mettíik 'cubic metre' [m.-ik]

metáak [centimetre] + Cik > *metaakkik > metakkíik 'cubic centimetre' [mdg.-ik]

metíll [kilometre] + Cik > *metiillik > metillíik 'cubic kilometre' [mm.-ik]

Since numeral expressions follow the noun, kilo-, mega - a.s.o. are expressed in the format unit of measurement[partitive] + numeral expression. Examples:

dammetá [metre, part.] + mil > dammetamíil [mm.] 'kilometre' [coll. metíil]

daghramá [gram, part.] + mil > daghramamíil [gm.]'kilogram' [coll. gramíil]

daghramá [gram, part.] + deggäm > daghramadeggȁäm [gg.] 'ton' [coll. gramȁäm]

dametá [metre, part.] + dađegá > dametadađegáak [mdđ.] 'dekametre' [coll. međáak]

dametá [metre, part.]+ dađeggetá > dametadeggetáak [mdg.] 'centimetre' [coll. metáak]

dametá [metre, part.] + dammilá > dametadammiláak [mdm.] 'millimetre' [coll. memáak]

dametá [metre, part.] + dammilletá > dametadammilletáak [mdmt.] 'micrometre' [coll. meláak]

dametá [metre, part.] + dadummulá > dametadadummuláak [mdtl.] 'nanometre' [coll. medáak]

dawatá [watt, part.] + millet > dawatamilléet [vmt.]'megawatt' [coll. vatéet]

daghramämá [ton, part.] + millet > daghramämamilléet [gmm.] 'megaton' [coll. gramäméet]

dawatá [watt, part.] + millik > dawatamillíik [vmk.]'gigawatt' [coll. vatíik]

daghramämá [ton, part.] + millik > daghramämamillíik [gmk.] 'gigaton' [coll. gramämíik]


Verbs are the core of every sentence in Volapȕük nulíik. A sentence can be made without any noun but may not lack a verb, be it even an adjective used as a verb. This focus on verbal structures is expressed in that way that verbs normally open a sentence, except e. g. for emphasis. Verbs are so important because they bear a lot of information which allow them to function as single-word sentences. Each verb is built up in a strict manner and though a verb can have several suffixes following the stem and giving special information on space, time and point of view, they all follow the very same structure.

Verbal structures encompass the following information based on slots:

Slot I Slot II Slot III Slot IV Slot V Slot VI Slot VII Slot VIII Slot IX Slot X Slot XI Slot XII
Passiv + tense Modal prefix Motional Hearsay Stem tense (habitual) Subject (nom.) Object [1.Acc./Gen. 2. Dat. 3.Essive 4. Translative 5. Exlative] Lokative / Temporal Modal particle Subordinated phrase Questions & Moods


The negative suffix noL- can be inserted before any of the slots I - IV, depending on what element should be negated.


The category of person is included in every verb, independently if it is the subject, direct or indirect object. Only participles and infinitives can be used without personal suffixes but this happens rarely, e. g. as entrances in dictionaries. The following table gives an overview of the personal suffixes in the standard language. In colloquial speech this endings might change a bit, but the suffixes are the same as the possessive suffixes used for nouns. Therefore, this table will be sufficient for an overview.

Overview of possessive suffixes [standard language]
Singular Dual Plural
Dual +1 Plural + 1 Plural + 2 Plural + 3+
1. Person general -b- -bd- / -dd- [bd < *bt] -bz- / -zz-
inclusive informal -lb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -lbz-
formal -rb- -dmV- / -dvV- / -dbV- [d < *bd] -rbz-
exclusive masculine -mb- < -m- + -b- -mbz- -mdž- < *mtbž -zb- < *msb
feminine -vb- < -f- + -b- -vbz- -vdž- < *ftbž -sb- < *fsb
neutral -bb- < -p + -b- -bbz- -bdž- < *ptbž -sp- < *sp
2. Person inclusive informal -l- -lt- -lz-
formal -r- -rt- -rz-
exclusive informal masculine -lmV- -lmzV-
feminine -lfV- -lvzV-
neutral -lpV- -lpsV- / -lbzV-
formal masculine -rmV- -rmzV-
feminine -rfV- -rvzV-
neutral -rpV- -rpsV- / -rbzV-
3.Person animate masculine -m- -mt- -mz-
feminine -f- -ft- -fs-
neutral -p- -pt- -ps-
inanimate -n- -nt- -nz-
cataphoric -k- -kt- -ks-
anaphoric -t- -tt- -ts-

Slot I / Bóok I

This slot is soley used to indicated passive voice. All verbal structures in passive will start with the suffixe p- + a tense vowel that equals the vowel in slot V. This structure is inherited from the proto-language. Without the p-prefix it indicated time back then. However this vowel was moved to Slot V and thus created a "double tense marking" in the passive.

Slot II / Bóok II

This slot is reserved for modal prefixes. All modal prefixes lenite the following consonant.

Modal prefixes
Prefix Etymology Meaning Example
ka- <kan- ability Kabükkábin Volapükin nulikí 'I can speak Volapȕük nulíik.'
mö- <mög- possibility / chance Möbükkáltinot Volapük nulikí. 'You both have here the chance to speak Volapȕük nulíik.'
su- <sev- knowledge (how to) Sebenkábins vödemís. 'I can write texts [I know how to]
vi- <vil- wish / want Vibükkábin Volapük nulikí. 'I want to speak Volapȕük nulíik.'
dä- <däl- be allowed to Däzagválineb konotatí faWolapüg nulikú. 'You may tell me this story in Volapȕük nulíik.'
mü- <müt- must; obligation Müzagválineb konotatí faWolapüg nulikú. 'You must tell me this story in Volapȕük nulíik!'
sö- <söt- should Sözagválineb konotatí faWolapüg nulikú. 'You should tell me this story in Volapȕük nulíik.'
pli- <plid- like Plizagvábinelš konotís faWolapüg nulikú. 'I like to tell you stories in Volapȕük nulíik.'
ste- <steif- to try Stennisullivéb, dennisullivébab. 'I tried to reach the island but I failed.'
de- <def- to fail Dezuemgébin vödemíle. 'I failed to understand your text [the one you sent me].'
pri- <prim- to start Prillärngábin Volapük nulikí. 'I start learning Volapȕük nulíik.'
ro- <rop- to interrupt Rozbikodpábem Hyacinthé. 'I interrupt my conversation with Hyacinth [and continue it later].'
fi- <fin- to end Firreedgébinfò bukakí. 'I have finally reading this book.'
ko- <komand- to recomend Korreedvábinel buketí. 'I recommend you reading this book.'
pro- <prom- to promise Pronniđaadilamkábvoog. 'I promise to come to your banquet next week.'
slu- <slud- to decide Slummerikiglém. 'He has taken the decision to go to America.'
se- <sed- to let, to have done Sebeneddenbámeb. 'He has the letter written by me.'
ke- <koed- to permit, to refuse to prevent Keđeadgȁfim. 'She let him die.' [she did nothing to prevent him from dying]
le- <lead- to permit, to allow Lenniveriglépsib. 'I was allowed to enter university.' [to enroll in studies]

Subject versus Object

Slot III / Bóok III

This slot is reserved for motional prefixes. This prefixes indicate a type of movement that is done in order to fulfill the action of the main verb. In English and other languages this is done via a construction like "I go shopping.", "she went dancing." or "He went to fetch him from the station." In Volapȕük nulíik this task is done by motional prefixes. Those prefixes are:

prefix etymology meaning example
go- gol- 'to go' to go Gođanüdáb nidzifí. 'I to the city to dance. / I go dancing in the city.'
kö- köm- 'to come' to come [from doing sth.] Köbäskarébgaad. 'I came from fishing this morning.'
rö- rön- 'to run' to run [for doing sth.] Röbhlünkȁmin dünáan nuní. 'The servant ran to deliver the message.'
si- siim- 'to swim' to swim Sinnisullivȁbnäät. 'I swam to reach the island last night.'
fu- fug- 'to flee' to flee Fuđeedémsim. 'They have fled from killing him.' [They could not kill him and fled instead.]

Slot IV / Bóok IV

This category encompasses suffixes that express the way in which someone has received an information, e. g. via hearing, reading, listening, seeing, feeling, knowing etc. The subject of the main verb is put in the accusative. Therefore, these suffixes automatically activate the -k/-g or -f/-v suffix [accusative or accusative-dative], since the suffix requires an accusative object. A noun that is an object to the main verb will be placed as a seperate word.

prefix etymology meaning example
li- lil- to hear Lillominkekábimnäät. 'I heard him coming home last night.
lo- log- to see Lodiffébimem hipulí moní man bäldiké. 'I saw the boy stealing money from the old man.'
se- sen- to sense, to feel Sedžemiglekȁfim lȁäd bleeníik man yunikí. 'The old lady sensed the young man entering the room.'
nu- nol- to know [to know from knowledge] Nuđeadgábin Napoleoní sulLebakó! 'I know that Napoleon died on Elba!
ti- tik- to think [to suppose] Tidiffébimem hipulakí moní man bäldiké. 'I think this boy stole has stolen the money from the old man.'
bi-/be- betik- to consider Beđäsingélinslì vabís? 'Have you considered drawing cars?'
re- read- to read Ressevgábim Sherlock Holmesí Doyleá bukís. I know Sherlock Holmes from reading Doyle's books.
tse- tsed- to mean Tseđitfóbimellà. I think you should leave him.
ši- šin- to appear Pežiđeedbémep katé. He seems to be killed by the cat.

Slot V / Bóok V

This category contains the main verb. The slot can be filled with simple verb stems, such as fitön 'to eat', golön 'to go', penön 'to write' or derived verb stems, such as nüdugön 'to introduce', ledanön 'to thank very much'. The stem may be followed by a suffix that indicates which object a noun will have. These suffixes apply only to verb stems who may appear on their own, with a dative or with an accusative object or with both. Nouns that are suffixed with a co-verb suffix will not receive the accusative case suffix as the noun is automatically the accusative object. They may however receive a accusative and dative marking suffix. The [e] is inserted if there is a consonant cluster before the suffix. There are three suffixes:

suffix cases example translation
-[e]k- / -[e]g- accusative/genitive pengábin vödemí. = Vödemmenáb. I write a text.
-[e]k / -[e]g- accusative/genitive fitkábin mití. = Mittitáb. I eat the meat.
-[e]p- / -[e]b- dative penbábel. I write you.
-[e]p- / -[e]b- dative givbábepš. I give them.
-[e]f- / -[e]v- accusative/genitive + dative Givvábinsel bukís. I give you the books.
-[e]f- / -[e]v- accusative/genitive + dative Kanitfúbinert Volapükäná hümí. I will have sung the hymn of Volapükȁän for you [formal]

In this group of suffixes, there is a fourth suffix: -s- / -z-. It does not infere in the distribuition of objects, i. e. does not mark the following dative / accusative or dative & accusative object, but rather conveys the idea that the subject of a sentence does not control the process expressed in the verb by pure volition but is "follows" the process independently of its own will. Typical verbs for this suffix are 'to sink', 'to go down', 'to die [as a natural process]', 'to be born [in Latin the verb rendering this meaning was a medio-passive verb], to tremble / to shiver. The subject is given in the essive case instead of the nominative.


Dremzȁäpnäättè tsilú. The child only trembled the night.

[Drem-z-ȁä-p-näät-tè | tsilú | TREMBLE-val.ess.-pret.gen.-3.sg.anim.neutr.-only | CHILD-ess.]

Falfifsȁb. I fell to the front.

[Fal-fif-s-ȁ-b | FALL-to.the.front.-val.ess.-pret.-1.sg.]

Tülzȁb. I felt dizzy.

[Tül-z-ȁ-b. | TURN-val.ess.-pret.-1.sg.]

Danüdzȁm. He danced as in trance.

[Danüd-z-ȁ-m. DANCE-val.ess.-pret.-3.sg.anim.masc.]

Goolniđitsȁmit lüđomíma bibhirémö. He went home tottering because he had too many beers.

[Gool-niđit-s-ȁ-m-i-t | lü-đom-í-m-a | bi-bhir-é-mö || GO-to.right.to.left.-val.ess.-pret.-3.sg.anim.masc.-dir.-deict.cataph. | dir.-HOME-acc.-3.sg.anim.masc.-gen. | caus.dir.-BEER-dat.-excessive].

Slot VI / Bóok VI

This slot is reserved for the tense marker and the habitual marker. The vowel in this slot receives the main stress of the verb and is therfore and important unit in every verbal structure. Since this slot has to be filled always, there is actuall no real tenseless verbal structure. However, the present habitual / generic marker serves as an aorist which is also used in laws and other time independent texts and rules.

This table presents them:

Tense marker
marker tense usage habitual version
-a- present present events occuring at the moment, on the day; events that started in the past and continue to the present moment -aa-
-e- perfect events that have occurred in the past and whose results are visible now -ee- (rarely used)
-ä- preterite past events that started and ended in the past; story telling: framework story -ää-
-i- past preterite events that happened in the past prior to another event -ii-
-o- future events that will take later, the next day, in the next year -oo-
-u- future perfect events that will be finished in the past. -uu-

The habitual present has a special function. It is not only used for repetitive action / repeated actions but functions as an aorist, thus indicating no time reference. This function is only active if there is no explicit adverb of frequency in the verbal structure. Otherwise the habitual function is active. This form is used in law texts, for scientific laws, grammatical rules and so on.

Usage of tenses


The present tense [dunavödamagéed nulíik] describes the


[dunavödamagéed fimekégöl]


[dunavödamagéed konotlíik]

past preterite

[dunavödamagéed balidlíik]


[dunavödamagéed toollíik]

future perfect

[dunavödamagéed tuullíik]

Slot VII / Bóok VII

This slot includes the personal endings. The default value of this slot is nominative. However, if slot V provides the suffix -s- / -z- the case is the essive case.

Slot VIII / Bóok VIII

This slot includes the suffixes for the primary case endings. All suffixes used in this slot are compunt of two elements:

1. Vowel to indicate the case

2. Consonant/Consonant clusters to indicate the person involved.

Which case suffixes appear in this slot depends on many factors. One of this factor is the suffix of slot for:

valence marker suffixes case suffix filled in slot VIII translation
accusative -k- / -g- -i- normally direct object [also used for negated verbal complexes where it corresponds with genitive.]
dative -p- / -b- -e- indirect object, benefective, obligative for passive voice
accusative-dativ -f- / -v- -i- / -e- direct & indirect object are given

The object of verbs of transformation / abstraction are rendered in this slot via the tranlative, exlative and essive case.

The origin of these suffixes is rather obscure. -p- / -b- seems to be related to the passive prefix p- and and therefore at the beginning it may have been used as a reinforcement of the passive voice. Later on the relation nominative - dative might have established and then, later on, it has become a valence marker.

The marker for accusative seems to be related to the deictic suffix -k. Probably this suffix was used as a shortening / ellipse structure: Logéb diní at. > Logéb diní ak. > Logéb dinakí. > Logkéb dinakí > Loggéb [dinakí.] > Loggéb diní. If this theory holds true, the suffix denoted at the beginning a definite object and only gradually changed to become a general valence marker. The structure with the direct object being inserted after the subject marker, which is standard nowadays "Loggébin diní." appears roughly at 1500 for the first time and becomes standard within ca. 200 - 300 years. The definite meaning vanishes and is now expressed via the deictic suffixes -ak / -et.

Slot IX / Bóok IX

Locative / temporal

This slot provides information concerning the place where an action takes place and the time. This slot is restricted for adverbs of place, time and frequency. Personal pronouns may be included to indicate a person who is present or at which place the action takes place. This slot is licenced for a secondary stress. It may, however, not be stressed if there is a suffix in the question slot.

Locative endings

case marker suffix meaning translation
-o- -k- "the place [near the speaker]" "here"
-o- -t- "the place [near the listener]" "there"


Pepenvénok penéedam. "His letter has been written here."

Stanȁfotlì, šenȁnädù saséen? "Did she stand there when the murder took place?"

Binȁbom, šenȁnädù saséen. "I was with him / at his place when the murder took place."

Binȁbdäälòm, šenȁnädù saséen. "I was yesterday with HIM / at his place, when the murder took place." [Not: Binȁbomdȁäl is a second grammatically option but puts an emphasis on the time rather than on the person, so "I was YESTERDAY with him." [not today or the day before yesterday].

Temporal endings

This clase of endings is much larger than the previous. The proto-language had temporal adverbs that combined tense suffixes with expressions of time [day, year, month, ...] to creat meanings like "tomorrow, yesterday, the day before yesterday, and so on." In the development, this adverbs changed in a manner that gave rise to the the development of suffixes. A few examples will clearify the process:

English Proto-language Early form Early modern form Modern form Suffix
today adelo adaló daaló daal -daal-
yesterday ädalo ädäló dääló dääl -dääl-
next year oyeló oyoló yooló yool -yool-

English standard word before the last last this next after the next some... regular
moment timȕül -tiil- -tääl- -taal- -tool- -tuul- -tüül- -tael-
minute minúut -miit- -määt- -maat- -moot- -muut- -müüt- -maet-
hour dȕüp -diip- -dääp- -daap- -doop- -duup- -düüp- -daep-
morning gȍöd -giid- -gääd- -gaad- -good- -guud- -güüd- -gaed-
midday tsedéel -tsiil- -tsääl- -tsaal- -tsool- -tsuul- -tsüül- -tsael-
evening sóar -siir- -säär- -saar- -soor- -suur- -süür- -saer-
day déel -diil- -dääl- -daal- -dool- -duul- -düül- -dael-
night néet -niit- -näät- -naat- -noot- -nuut- -nüüt- -naet-
week véeg -viig- -vääg- -vaag- -voog- -vuug- -vüüg- -vaeg-
month móol -miil- -määl- -maal- -mool- -muul- -müül- -mael-
spring florȕüp -fiip- -fääp- -faap- -foop- -fuup- -füüp- -faep-
summer hitȕüp -hiip- -hääp- -haap- -hoop- -huup- -hüüp- -haep-
autumn flukȕüp -liip- -lääp- -laap- -loop- -luup- -lüüp- -laep-
winter nifȕüp -niip- -nääp- -naap- -noop- -nuup- -nüüp- -naep-
year yéel -yiil- -yääl- -yaal- -yool- -yuul- -yüül- -yael-
time / occasion náad -niid- -nääd- -naad- -nood- -nuud- -nüüd- -naed-
time [epoque] tíid -tiid- -tääd- -taad- -tood- -tuud- -tüüd- -taed-

This inclusion of temporal markers implies that a song title such as "Yesterday" by the Beatles cannot be rendered properly by just stating the suffix -dääl- but rather needs an implementation within a verb: e.g. "šenȁndääl" / "šenȁkädȁäl" / "šenȁtädȁäl" lit. 'it happened yesterday' or "Loggȁbindȁäl." / "Lilgȁbindȁäl." 'I saw / heard it yesterday.'. In consequence, the openess of meaning that lies in the simple mentioning of the word "yesterday" is lost and cannot be rendered in Volapȕük nulíik.

Slot X / Bóok X

Modal particles

These particles give information concerning the likeliness, the degree to which an action is performed and conjunction.

The table gives an overview:

suffix meaning example translation
-le completely, the whole; not at all [negated] ? ?
-ti almost Flaptȁmiftì šitsilí He almost hit the girl
-tää then, next Badikáan líif, deadzóptää Life is bad, then you die.
-no yet / not yet [negated] Nobhukkadébno I have not yet read the book.
-(g)ee and Petéer Páulee Peter and Paul
-(g)ee ... -(g)ee both ... and ... Petéeree Páulee both Peter and Paul
-(g)uu or Petéer Páuluu Peter or Paul
-(g)uu ... -(g)uu either ... or ... Petéeruu Páuluu either Peter or Paul
-(g)ii too, also Petéerii Peter, too
-ba maybe, perheps Möyyufpálembà. Maybe you can help him.
-fe in deed, factually ? ?
-le possibly ? ?
-sä as if ? ?
-fä if only ? ?
-bo/-so little, not much Nollärnȁbdäälbo. I did not study much yesterday.
-ni some Lärnȁbdäälni. I did learn something yesterday (not little nor much).
-mö much Mittidȁmväägmö Last week he ate much meat.
-tu too much ? ?
-mu extreme fit grandíikmu an extrem big fish
-ve very váad koldíikve very cold water
-te only kaf balíte [I take] only one coffee
-sö consequently, so kvisinbábel, mövidádd. I cook for you, so we both can eat [together].
-su immediately Robledabsugȍd kođogú gufpabemeegȍd! Stop playing with the dog immediately and help me!

If more than one suffix will be used, then there is a hierachy of suffixes:

1. completion of action/time information [-ya | -no | -le | -ti | -tää | -sö]

2. emphasis [-te | -ve]

3. likelyhood [-ba | -fe | -la | -sä]

4. degree of quantity [-bo/-so | -ni | -mö | -mu | -tu]

5. conjunction [-(g)uu | -(g)ee | -(g)ii ]

An example of several suffixes:

"Peneddenémyatebà." He might have already written only the letter."

[Pened-[d]en-é-m-ya-te-bà | LETTER-write-perf.-3.sg.anim.masc.-already-only-maybe]

The particle meaning "but" does belong to this category but it varies, according to the dialects:

dialect suffix etymology example
North -lua / -lwa < Inuktitut *-(C)aluaq Viyyufpȁbefluà! But I wanted to help her!
South/East -bä/-be < vo. *ab [through methasis and differentiation Viyyufpȁbefbȁ! / Viyyufpȁbefbè!
West/Central -xa < Old Irish *acht Viyyufpȁbefxà! But I wanted to help her!

Slot XI / Bóok XI

Subordinated clause

This slot includes suffixes that make the whole following phrase a subordinated clauses. The syntax of subordinated and main clauses does not differ, the question if a clause is a main or a subordinated clause is rather marked by the presence or absence of a subordinated clause marker. A subordinated marker may receive a second stress.

suffix meaning example translation
-bi because Lüvgóbil löfkábilbì. I leave you because I love you.
-do although Plödiglábs reenánotdò. We go outside, although it is raining there.
-da that Saggábin domimakmémda Markus. I say that Markus has come from his home.
-ne without Lüvém dinonnagémne. He has left without saying anything.]
-fi if
-ad in order to
-(i)bsä unless

Slot XII / Bóok XII

Question marker

This slot is reserved for question marker. These include the question marker -li and suffixes based on the stem -ky-/-ki- < *ki- for persons, -ks- < *ks- for objects and abstract ideas, -ly-/-li- < *li- for quality and -kl- < *kel- for relative clauses. This last suffix is used manly in written language. In spoken language, the marker for subordinated clauses -da- is combined with the personal, objectional or qualitive suffix to create a relative clause. This slot may receive a second stress if there is no other slot that can take the stress before.

The question marker for yes-no-questions is -li.

Wh-questions [sȁäk kolíiks / ksolíiks / lyolíiks]

Question marker for persons

Question Basic suffix Case Suffix used Variations [dialect] / Evolution
Who? -ky- -o [Nom.] -kyo -ko [South/East] / kyo < *kio
Whose? -ky- -a [Gen.] -kya -ka [South/East] / kya < *kia
[To] Whom? -ky- -e [Dat.] -kye -ke [South/East] / kye < *kie
Who? -ky- -i [Acc.] -kii -ki [South/East] / kii < *ki-i
With whom? At whose place? -ky- -öp [old loc.] -kyöp -köp [South/East] / *ki-öp
As who? -ky- -u [Ess.] -kyu -ku [South/East] / *ki-u
To who [transforming]? -ky- -ü [Transl.] <iw(e) -kyü -kü [South/East] / <küü[Western] <*kiw <*kiwe<*ki+we [< we< u+e]
At which time? [precise] -ky- -im [time] -kim - / kim < kiim [Northern] < *ki+im
When? [general] -ky- -üp [time precise] -kyüp -küp [South/East] / kyüp < *ki-üp
Because of whom? -ky- -ib [reason] -kib - / kiib [Western] < *ki-ib]

Question markers for objects / abstract things / non-human living things

Question Basic suffix Case Suffix used Variations [dialect] / Evolution
What? -ks- -o [Nom.] -kso ks-o < *ks- < *kis-
Of what? -ks- -a [Gen.] -ksa ks-a < *ks- < *kis-
[To] What? -ks- -e [Dat.] -kse ks-e < *ks- < *kis-
What? -ks- -i [Acc.] -ksi ks-i < *ks- < *kis-
Where? -ks- -öp [old loc.] -ksöp ks-öp < *ks- < *kis-
As what? -ks- -u [Ess.] -ksu ks-u <*ks- < *kis-
To what [transforming]? -ks- -ü [Transl.] <iw(e) -ksü ks-ü *ks- < *kis-
At which time? [precise] -ks- -im [time] -ksim ks-im < *ks- < *kis-
When? [general] -ks- -üp [time precise] -ksüp ks-üp < *ks- < *kis-
Why? -ks- -ib [reason] -ksib ks-ib < *ks- < *kis-

Question marker for Quality

Question Basic suffix Case Suffix used Variations [dialect] / Evolution
How [is]? -ly- -o [Nom.] -lyo ly-o < *ly- < *li-
of what type? -ly- -a [Gen.] -lya ly-a < *ly- < *li-
[To] Which type? -ly- -e [Dat.] -lye ly-e < *ly- < *li-
How [did one do smth.]? -ly- -i [Acc.] -lii li-i < *li- + -i
at what kind of place? -ly- -öp [old loc.] -lyöp ly-öp < *ly- < *li-
As what? -ly- -u [Ess.] -lyu ly-u < *ly- < *li-
To what [transforming]? -ly- -ü [Transl.] <iw(e) -lyü ly-ü < *ly- < *li-
At which time? [precise] -ly- -im [time] -liim li-im < *li- + -ib
When? [general] -ly- -üp [time precise] -lyüp ly-üp < *ly- < *li-
Why? -ly- -ib [reason] -liib li-ib < *li- + -ib

The marker for objects and quality are used on nouns to form questions like "which...?" [-ks-] and "what kind of / what type of?" [-ly-/-li-].


Readgálinnù bukíksi? [coll. Readgálinnù bukíks?]

READ-val.acc.-pres.-2.sg.-acc.-inam.obj.sg.-now | BOOK-acc.-qm.ob.-acc.

"Which book are you reading?"

Short question: "Readgálinnuksì?"

Readgálinnù bukílii? [coll. Readgálinnù bukíli?]

READ-val.acc.-pres.-2.sg.-acc.-inam.obj.sg.-now | BOOK-acc.-qm.qu.-acc.

"What kind of book are you reading?"

Short question: "Readgálinnulìi?"

The last group of question markers is to some degree special, as they came out of active usage about 500 years ago. However, they belong to the literal language and are there expected to be used. The spoken language [colloquial and formal] does create relative sentences differently. Instead of employing a relative sentence marker, this language variations combine a quotationmarker "-da-" [receives secondary stress] and one of the question markers [person, object or quality] to create relative sentences. Examples:

Yesterday I bought the book that I like [the book that pleases me].

"Remgȁbindȁäl bukí plidbánebklò." (Literal language) "Rem-g-ȁ-b-i-n-dȁäl buk-í plid-b-á-n-e-b-klò." BUY-val.acc.-pret.-1.sg.-acc.-inam.obj.sg.-yesterday | BOOK-acc. | LIKE-val.dat.-pres.-inam.obj.sg.-dat.-1.sg.-rlm.-nom.

"Rem-g-ȁ-b-i-n-dȁäl buk-í plid-b-á-n-e-b-dà-kso BUY-val.acc.-pret.-1.sg.-acc.-inam.obj.sg.-yesterday | BOOK-acc. | LIKE-val.dat.-pres.-inam.obj.-sg-dat.-1sg.-quot.-qm.obj.-nom.

The Relative clause markers [used in literary language only]

Question Basic suffix Case Suffix used Variations [dialect] / Evolution
which? -kl- -o [Nom.] -klo kl-o < *kl- < *kel-
Of which? -kl- -a [Gen.] -kla ks-a < *kl- < *kel-
[To] which? -kl- -e [Dat.] -kle ks-e < *kl- < *kel-
which? -kl- -i [Acc.] -ksi kl-i < *kl- < *kel-
where? -kl- -öp [old loc.] -klöp kl-öp < *kl- < *kel-
As which? -kl- -u [Ess.] -klu ks-u < *kl- < *kel-
To which [transforming]? -kl- -ü [Transl.] <iw(e) -klü kl-ü *kl- < *kel-
At which time? [precise] -kl- -im [time] -klim kl-im < *kl- < *kel-
When? [general] -kl- -üp [time precise] -klüp kl-üp < *kl- < *kel-
Why? -kl- -ib [reason] -klib ks-ib *kl- < *kel-


The category of mood encompasses suffixes of different categories. One group are clearly mood suffixes, as imperative [-öd], respectful request [-ös] and subjunctive [-la] but also the infinitiv [-ön] and the gerundium / participle suffixe [-öl] is located in this slot. Since sentences can be either questions or requests or infinitivs / participle, all suffixes in this category are mutally exclusive, thus in this category only one suffix is allowed. These suffixes are stressed by default and take the main accent. Therefore, all infinitives, participles and so on are stresst on the last syllable.


Reflexivity describes a linguistic concept in which the agent of and action and patient / receiver of an action are identical. Many language use specific pronouns to express reflexivity. Volapűük nulíik does not have a specific set of pronouns for this purpos but expresses this concept by repeating the subject pronoun suffix in the object position:




He washes.




He washes it.




He washes them [singular].




He washes her.




He washes himself.

If the person mentioned washes another person of the same gender, the deictic pronoun -t is used:




"He washes him."

In singular contexts, this procedure is not complicated or causes much problems. In dual or plural contexts, however, more possible constellations are possible and theirfore require a different approach.

1) Each member of group is doing something to themself.

If a group of two, three or more members is undergoing the process of washing and the recipient is identical to the agent, then the doer is in the dual / plural and the recipient is singular:




"They wash themselves." [each one individually]




"They two wash themselves." [each one individually]

2) Within a group of three or more members, one member is the patient / receiver and all other members are doing the work. In this case the deictic closeness pronoun is used:




"They wash him." [He is a member of the group].

3) Within a group of three or more people, each member is washing every other member. This case is considered a case of reflexivity and thus expressed via repetition of the plural subject marker:




"They wash themselves." [every member every other member]

Co-verb suffixes

Supposedly upon Inuktitut influence there has been a development of suffixes which were derived from basic verbs and attached to nouns. When attached to nouns, they lengthen the last consonant of the noun / noun phase and by this are seperated from similar derivational suffixes. These new suffixes turned the whole structure into verbs which can be conjugated the same any other verb can be. These verbs encompass verbs of perception (logön, lilön, smelön), basic human activities (drinön, fidön. Most of the nouns they are attached to function as the object of the action and thus are considered accusative objects. In contrast to accusative objects which are used independently, they do not change the case to genitive in a negated sentence nor do they receive any pronominal conjuncture after the subject phrase. Due to phonological restraints (a syllable initial consonant cluster may not involve a long consonant), these suffixes can only be placed after a singular stem. This means that nouns in plural or dual are not licensed for suffixation.


suffix etymology meaning example sentence
-Cind *-rind < *drinön to drink Vattindáb niwäreté. vat-TIND-á-b 'I drink water out of a glass.'
-Cid *fidön to eat Nommittidábnèe. no-mit-TID-á-b-nèe 'I never eat meat.'
-Cet *getön to receive Florretáabeldȍl. flor-RET-á-b-e-l-dȍl 'I receive flowers from you every day.'
-Civ *givön to give Bukkivbábel. Buk-KIV-á-b-e-l. 'I give you the book.'
-Cum *sumön to take Florruméföv. Flor-RUM-é-f-öv. 'She would have taken a flower.'
-Cok *sokön < sukön to look for Kikabbokábnu. 'I am looking for my key.'
-Cuv *tuvön to find sth. Kikabbuvébnu. 'I have found just my key.'
-Civ *rivön to reach Nisulliváb. nisul-LIV-á-b 'I reach the island.'
-Cog *logön to see Dogallogáboknùu. dog-al-LOG-á-b-o-k-nùu 'I am seeing your dog here.
-Cil *lilön to hear Kagatodrennilȁbiktȍd. ka-gat-o-dren-NIL-ȁ-b-i-k-tȍd 'I could hitherto hear your cat weep the whole time.'
-Cem *smelön to smell Pligafonnullemáabii. pli(d)-gaf-o-nul(ik)-LEM-áa-b-ii. 'I always like smelling fresh coffee [new coffee].'
-Cuk *-tuq < Inuktitut to make [food] Plibitsakkukáabeldȍl. pli(d)-bitsak-KUK-áa-b-e-l-dȍl. 'I like making pizza for you every day.'
-Cek *meekön to make [non-food] Tooddekémš. tood-DEK-é-mš. 'The men have made a car.' [coll.]
-Ced *nedön to need [sth.] Nünömmedálksüp? nünüm-MED-á-l-ksüp 'Why do you need a computer?'
-Cof *yofön to enjoy Pennofpábef motéba. pen-NOF-p-á-b-e-f 'I enjoy writing my mother.'
-Cen *penön to write Peneddenáb. pened-DEN-á-b 'I write a letter.'
-Cad *readön to read Peneddadáb. pened-DAD-á-b 'I read a letter.'
-Cif *tifön to steal Kaparabbifél. kapar-ab-BIF-é-l 'You have stolen my goat.'
-Cin *binön to exist Dawatakkináan niđärsätó. 'There is water in the dessert.' Niđärsätokkináan dawatá. 'In the desert, there is water.'
-Cüt *mütön to cause to do [by force] Penedakkennütpépsem. 'They have forced him to write this letter.'
-Cun *flunön to influence s.o. Penedakkennunbépsem. 'They have influenced him to write this letter.'
-Cag *sagön to say, to tell Konottagbémeb. 'He has told me a story.

-Cüt / -Cun are also used to create causatives in Volap'üük nulíik.

Verbs of motion can also combine with placenames to indicate a motion to or from a certain place. These co-verb suffixes do take either the accusative (-i-) for a movement directed to the place or the dative (-e-) case for movement from this place. The Northern dialect will use the ablative (-ä-) here.

suffix etymology meaning example sentence
-gl- *gol- to go Merikiglób! 'I'll go to America!'
-km- *köm- to come Domilakmél nüdzälülúu. 'You came from [your] home to the party.'
-rg- *rig- to originate Helsinkikergáaf. 'She is from Helsinki.' [the generic present is used, since it is an unchangeable fact.]
-sl- *solu- to die [in a place] Moskovisléf. 'She has died in Moscow. [the original meaning 'to dissolve' was used as a metaphore of a soul that loses its connection to the material world when a a person dies. Since the original meaning implies a directional movement (dissolve into something), the placename appears in the accusative case.]
-bl- *ble- to stay domoblársöd! Stay at home!

Another category of co-verb suffixes are directional and local suffixes. These suffixes are different to the ones mentioned before for two reasons:

1. they convey spatial / directional meanings;

2. they do not combine with the last consonant by lenghtening it.

3. their vowels differ depending if a local reference is meant (-o- / locative), a direction (-i- / accusative [directive]) or the original of a movement (-e- [-ä- in the northern dialect] / dative / exlative.

They lengthen the vowel of the verbal stem.


Compass points:

meaning direction suffix example sentence
north nol -nVl- Goolnilémz. 'The men have gone north.'
south sul -sVl- Düvlorfüpó fliitseláapsayàel sóals. 'Each year, the swallows come from the south in spring.'
west ves -vVs- Goolvisös! 'Go west!'
east lof -lVf- [-lVs- south/east] Püükneeflofsáapš. 'They speak slowly in the east."

Spatial elements can also be included:

meaning direction suffix example sentence
above löp- -lVp- Köömlepáp räníid. 'A spider is coming from above.'
down don- -dVn- Siindinzȁn Atlantíis nimmelí. 'Atlantis sank in the sea [downwards].'
front föf- -fVf- Faanbetkȁmib tiirfifkȁmibee. 'He caught me from right behind and pulled me to the front.
behind bäk- -bVk- Goolbikarsös probyed đegú. 'Go back ten feet.'
side [f]lan- / sim- -lVn- / -sVm- Mogoollinȁp kráab. 'The crab went away sideways.'
inside nin- -nVn- Köömninös! 'Please, come in!'
outside (p)löd- -lVd Sliiplodáap dóog. 'The dog sleeps outside.'
right det- -đVt- Gooldetáam himatáanif. 'Her husband always walks on the right side. [the weaker side;= he has no power at home.]
left ned- -nyVd- "Ghooldetaalnaagöd, goolnedaalaagöd, o zóonab!" 'Never walk on the right side, always walk on the left side, my son!" [Try to be a strong man at your own home]

On the basis of this system of suffixes new suffixes have been created. They combine one element of a position and one element of the suffixes for "right" or left":

basic suffix first part right / left example translation
-lVp- -l- -d[et]- -lVđ- above, right side
-lVp- -l- -n[ed]- -lVny- above, left side
-dVn- -d- -d[et]- -dVđ- -underneath, right side
-dVn- -d- -n[ed]- -dVny- -underneath, left side
-fVf- -f- -d[et]- -fVđ- -front, right side
-fVf- -f- -n[ed]- -fVny- -front, left side
-bVk- -b- -d[et]- -bVđ- -behind, right side
-bVk- -b- -n[ed]- -bVny- -behind, left side


The word order of a neutral phrase is V-S-O. This applies to main and dependend clauses. Questions follow the same pattern, with the question word attached to the main verb. If the subject of a question is another noun than a pronoun, the verbal phrase still has a filler pronoun without specific meaning.

Loggéfim maní. "She has seen a man."

Loggéfimlì maní? "Has she seen a man?"

Loggéfim vóom maní. "The woman has seen a man."

Loggéfimlì vóom maní? "Has the woman seen a man?

Constituent order

Noun phrase

A noun phrase consists at least of a noun or a pronoun. The noun itself may contain the following parts: the noun itself, determiners, case suffixes, numeral suffixes, posessive suffixes and modal suffixes. Examples:







"You [plural]"







"in their houses / in the houses of the two men"

A Nounphrase can be expanded with noun-verbs, numbers and possessors.

The sequence general sequence is "possessor [gen.] - NOUN - noun-verb - number". The noun phrase in the proto-language was put together of several elements that shared the same endings:

"nigadzóba nismaliksóba nilulóba."

in-GARDEN-pl.-loc.-1.sg.-gen. | in-SMALL-pl.-loc.-1.sg.-gen. | in-FIVE-loc.-1.sg.-gen.

"in my five gardens"

The second step in the development was that repetition of marks was reduced and, among other things, the lenition started to develop:

"nigadzó nizmaliksó nilulóba." [loss of possessive suffixe on the noun and verbal-noun phrase]

"nigadzó zmaliksó nlulóba." [loss and reduction of prefix on the adjective and numeral]

"nighadó zmalikó lluló[z]ba." [loss of plural marker on the noun and noun-verb; addition of the plural marker to the numeral]

"nighadó zmalike llulózba." [reduction of the locative suffix on the noun-verb. The remaining vowel serves to facilitate prononciation. Only beginning and end are marked for case.]

"nighade zmalike lluló[z]ba." [reduction of the locative suffix on the noun. Plural suffix on numerals becomes optional.]

"nighad[e] zmalik[e] llulóba." [plural marker on numerals disappears. the loss of the reduced further locative suffix beginns. The middle elements are the first to lose their end-vowels completely.]

"nighad[e] zmalik lulóba." [the reduced vowel(s) of the middle elements is completed. The lenition process is partly reduced, especially for liquids and nasals [not for dialects that replace /m/ : /w/]

"nighad zmalig lulóba." [loss of the reduced vowel on the noun, which is partly retained, especiall in southern dialects. Voiceless consonants in the ending of nouns and noun-verbs become voiced.]

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Examples of translations:

"If I had a flower for every time I think of you, I could walk forever in my garden." - Claudia A. Grandi


"Florretáabaafì tikábilbalbì, nesimlikánöv gáadba."

Florretáabaafì tikábilbalbì nesimlikánöv gáadba.
Flor-ret-áa-b-aa-fì tik-á-b-i-l-bal-bì ne-sim-lik-á-n-öv gáad-ba.
FLOWER-receive-pres.gen.-1.sg.-always-if THINK-pres.-1.sg.-acc.-2.sg.-one.time-because [neg.-BORDER-adj.]verb.copula-pres.-3.sg.obj.-cond. GARDEN-1.sg.gen.

Literally: "If I always get a flower because I think of you one time, my garden would be endless."

"He who hesitates is lost."

"Tsogáapaabì flotáapaa nivlumedó."

Tsogáapaabì flotáapaa nivlumedó.
Tsog-áa-p-aa-bì flot-áa-p-aa ni-vlumed-ó.
HESITATE-pres.gen.-3.sg.f./m.-always-because FLOAT-pres.gen.-3.sg.f./m.-always IN-RIVER-loc.

Literally: "Since he/she always hesitates he/she always floats in a river."

"I love pizza."



Literally: "I enjoy eating pizza."

"My heart is empty, I feel it."


Senäláb vagälikánda láadba. literally: "I feel that my heart is empty." [Very modern styled and more common among younger people]

Vagälikán láadba. Senäláneb. literally: "My heart is empty. It feels to me." [traditional]

Nesenällabán láadba, senäláneb. literally: "My heart is without emotions. It feels to me." [very traditional and stylistically on a high level.]

"Sunlight takes about eight minutes and twenty seconds to reach Earth."


"Bináans minúut šölza sekúun telđegee kontagáanadla solalíit talá suzürfatí."

Bin-áa-n-s minúut šöl-za sekúun telđeg-ee kontag-áa-n-ad-la sola-líit tal-á su-zürfat-í
BE-pres.gen.-3.sg.obj.-pl. MINUTE EIGHT-about SECOND TWENTY-and TOUCH-pres.gen.-3.sg.obj.-fin.-subj. SUN-LIGHT EARTH-gen. on-SURFACE-acc.


Daily greetings

"Gudikáperös / Gudikápelös Múun." -> Good day. [literally: May the God of time be good to you.]

"Slippudólös / Slippudórös dunneetú." -> Good night. [literally: May you sleep good during the night.]

"Gudikónös déella." -> Good morning. [literally: May your day be good.]

Informal greeting:

"Dazauná éel / éelt / éels / éelš" [Hello] "Saun éel / éelt / éelš" [Youth talk / colloquially]

Welcoming someone:

"Gudikékelà nikömelen!" [lit. May your having come in be good]


Showing one's thankfulness is an important value in the society of Volapükáan. Therefore, there is not only one translation for "thank you" but several, depending on the person to thank, the person(s) who receive the thank and finally the circumstances.

1. Circumstances

There are three main verbs which translate as "to thank":

danön - to thank [generally]

danilön - to thank a little [a small favour done]

ledanön - to thank [a big favour done / saving someone's life].

2. Basic structure

The verb "danön" and its derivations all follow the following pattern:

subject - person who says 'thank you'

accusative - thing / action that is thanked for

dative - person who receives the 'thank you'.

3. Persons

The subject is generally a first person, thus a first person suffix will be used. However, since Volapüük nulíik diferentiates very explicitly between singular, dual, plural, exclusive and inclusive forms, there are in total 19 different suffixes which can be placed in this positon.

Birthday wish

Full wish:

"Vipábanel Motedadät läbliká."

Vip-á-b-a-n-e-l Moted-a-dät läb-lik-á
WISH-pres.-1.sg.-gen.-3.sg.obj.-dat.-2.sg.inf. BIRTH-gen.-DATEabs. HAPPINESS-adj.-gen.

Of course, in spoken language the word is very often omitted and thus only "Motedadät läbliká" is used as a with for one's birthday. If a full wish wants to be said, it is important to remember, which person(s) receive the wish. The literal translation motedadéel refers only to the day of birth, so the day when a baby is born. After that a human being (or pet) can only have "motedadȁät".

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