Virtual Verduria

Verbal morphology Nominal morphology Other parts of speech Derivational morphology

Verbal morphology [Index]

Conjugations Infinitive Present Past Past Anterior Future Conditional Imperative Participles

The verbal inflection of Verdurian is quite simple, compared to Caďinor. There are only four tenses (present, past, past anterior, future), plus the conditional and the imperative, each marked by person and number. As in English, modals and adverbs are used to express other meanings.

For the use of the tenses, see The use of the verb.


There are three verbal paradigms or conjugations, those in N, R, and C (soî launi ab ne, ab ra, ab cës), named after the final letter in the infinitive. The personal endings are uniform within each conjugation:
I sing. se I -ai -u -ao
II sing. le you -ei -eu -eo
III sing. il- he/she -e -e -e
I pl. ta we -am -um -om
II pl. mu you -o -o -o
III pl. ca they -u -u

In Verdurian grammars the forms are named after the pronouns: the first person singular forms are called se forms, and so on. We will adopt the same practice, for its brevity.

Note that the il and mu forms are identical across all three conjugations.


Verbs are listed in dictionaries in the infinitive: žiren, imocan, baďir, valer, elirec.

The verb root, the basis of most of the tenses, is formed by removing the endings -en, -an, -ir, -er, or -ec.

Present Tense (demeric)

The present is formed by adding the personal endings to the verb root.
se lelai baďu elirao
le lelei baďeu elireo
il lele baďe elire
ta lelam baďum elirom
mu lelo baďo eliro
ca lelu baďü eliru

There are a number of verbs with an irregular present tense conjugation, shown below. (Plural forms are omitted when they are regular.)

esan to be ai, ei, e, am, eo, eu
fassec to do fassao, fasseo, fas, ...
kies to do what kiai, kiei, kiet, kaiam, kaio, kaiu
lübec to love lübao, lüo, lü, ...
mizec to say mizao, mizeo, mis, ...
šrifec to know šrifao, šris, šri, ...
žanen to come žai, žes, že, ...
žusir to sell žui, žus, žu, ...

Combination forms of these verbs use the same endings: e.g. cummis, onžai. However, combinations of esan are regular: adesai.

If the verb root ends in ž, the ž changes to a g in all but the le and il forms in N and C verbs; and in the le, il, and ca forms in R verbs.

nožen squeeze nogai, nožei, nože, nogam, nogo, nogu
lažec get lagao, lažeo, laže, lagom, lago, lagu
dyužer lust for dyugu, dyužeu, dyuže, dyugum, dyugo, dyužü

Historically, these g's are actually relics, not innovations: Caďinor g changed to ž before a front vowel, so lages --> laže, but lagont --> lagu. In OV these alternations were restricted to words containing a ž which derived from Caďinor g (as opposed to say ct); but they have now been generalized to all verbs whose root ends in ž.

Past Tense (scrifel)

The past tense is formed from the verb root, plus the final letter of the infinitive, plus the personal endings.
se lelnai baďru elircao
le lelnei baďreu elirceo
il lelne baďre elirce
ta lelnam baďrum elircom
mu lelno baďro elirco
ca lelnu baďrü elircu

Roots ending in certain consonants change when the past tense ending is inserted:

in the N conjugation, cn --> sn, čn --> dn, dn --> zn, gn --> žn
in the R conjugation, čr --> dr, mr --> mbr, nr --> ndr, zr --> dr
in the C conjugation, cc --> sc, čc --> šc, mc --> nc, sc --> š, zc --> ž
any Cl --> Cli, Cr --> Cri (where C is any consonant; and the i is never accented)

ocan become osnai, osnei, osne, ...
žečir throw žedru, žedreu, žedre, ...
cučec attack cušcao, cušceo, cušce, ...
lädan go läznai, läznei, läzne, ...
legan lie ležnai, ležnei, ležne, ...
emec buy encao, enceo, ence, ...
visanir study visandru, visandreu, visandre, ...
rizir smile ridru, ridreu, ridre, ...
mizec say mižao, mižeo, miže, ...
meclir mix mécliru, meclireu, méclire, ...
ivrec read ivricao, ivriceo, ívrice, ...

Again, these root substitutions are relics of sound changes: e.g. Caďinor d normally becomes z before a high vowel, and so ridir --> rizir, but ridiru --> ridru. In OV, again, these alternations were restricted to words where the sound changes in question occurred, but they have all been fully generalized in the modern language.

The verb esan is irregular in the past tense: fuai, fuei, fue, fuam, fuo, fueu.

The irregular form fue coexists with regular esne, which is used for existential 'be'.

In addition, the verbs dan and kies have irregular roots in the past and past anterior:

dan to give donai, donei, done, donam, dono, donu
kies to do what kaivai, kaivei, kaive, kaivam, kaivo, kaivu

The Verdurian past tense derives from the Caďinor remote past tense. In Caďinor this tense was normally used for doubtful or conditional past actions; but it gradually took over the functions of the definite past tense when sound changes rendered the latter indistinguishable from the definite present, and thus useless.

Past Anterior (ižcrifel)

The past anterior is formed by inserting -er- (in the R conjugation, -e-) into the past tense forms after the final letter of the infinitive.
se lelnerai baďreu elircerao
le lelnerei baďreeu elircereo
il lelnere baďree elircere
ta lelneram baďreum elircerom
mu lelnero baďreo elircero
ca lelneru baďreü elirceru

The same root changes occur as in the past tense: läznerai, ridreu, mižerao, etc.

The Verdurian past anterior derives from the Caďinor definite past anterior, but uses the uniform Verdurian personal endings, and the past rather than the present root.

Future Tense (ctanec)

The future tense is formed from the verb root, plus -m-, -ret-, or -t- (for the three conjugations), plus the personal endings.
se lelmai baďretu elirtao
le lelmei baďreteu elirteo
il lelme baďrete elirte
ta lelmam baďretum elirtom
mu lelmo baďreto elirto
ca lelmu baďretü elirtu

Roots ending in certain consonants change when the future tense infix is inserted:
in the N conjugation, čm --> dm, gm --> žm
in the R conjugation, čret --> dret, mret --> mbret, nret --> ndret, zret --> dret
any Cl --> Cli, Cr --> Cri (where C is any consonant; and the i is never accented)

lačan should ladmai, ladmei, ladme, ...
legan lie ležmai, ležmei, ležme, ...
žečir throw žedretu, žedreteu, žedrete, ...
visanir study visandretu, visandreteu, visandrete, ...
rizir smile ridretu, ridreteu, ridrete, ...
ivrec read ivritao, ivriteo, ívrite, ...

The future root of dan 'give' is dom-: domai 'I will give', etc. And that of kies 'do what' is kaim-.

The Verdurian future tense derives from the remote present tense of Caďinor, which was used to express future, potential, or conditional actions or states.

Conditional (epesec)

The conditional is formed from the verbal root, plus -cel-, plus the personal endings. The same modifications of the root ending plus -c- occur as in the past and past anterior, but are here applied in all conjugations.
se lelcelai baďcelu elircelao
le lelcelei baďceleu elirceleo
il lelcele baďcele elircele
ta lelcelam baďcelum elircelom
mu lelcelo baďcelo elircelo
ca lelcelu baďcelü elircelu

There was no conditional tense in Caďinor; the Verdurian tense derives from the use of the auxiliary caelan 'suppose'. (Compare English 'What are we supposed to do here?' 'What would we do here?')

The conditional for dan is doncelai, etc. The conditional of kies is kešelai, etc.

Imperative (befel)

The ordinary imperative is simply formed by adding the personal endings to the infinitive.
se lelenai baďiru elirecao
le lelenei baďireu elireceo
il lelene baďire elirece
ta lelenam baďirum elirecom
mu leleno baďiro elireco
ca lelenu baďirü elirecu

The ordinary imperative bears an obvious resemblance to the past tense, and in fact is historically a form of past tense-- compare the French si nous allions? 'shall we go?', literally 'if we went?'

There is no imperative for kies.

The classical imperative

The Caďinor imperative has survived into Verdurian as an alternative formation, known as the classical imperative. It is formed as follows:
le leli baďu elire
mu lelil baďul elirel

The chief use of these forms, outside a few conservative dialects, is in the giving of orders to servants; and they have become so associated with this practice that they are shunned in all other contexts (and even by the more progressive nobles).

There are also some archaic legal usages; for instance, a plaintiff is invited to the judge's table with žani! 'come!' It is also employed throughout the Aďivro, and therefore in rites taken from it; nonetheless, a pagan in prayer would not address his god using any but the ordinary imperative.

Participles (mevdoneci)

The present and past participles and the gerund ('to be verbed') are formed by adding certain suffixes to the verb root.
pres. p. lelec baďec elirë
past p. lelul baďul elirul
gerund leläm baďäm eliräm

They are declined as declension I adjectives (except for the present participles in the C conjugation, which of course belong to declension IV).

Nominal morphology [Index]

Gender Case nominative genitive accusative dative Final accent Root changes

[Use of the noun]

Nouns in Verdurian have two genders (masculine and feminine), four cases (nominative, genitive, accusative, dative), and two numbers (singular and plural).

Gender (dinë)

Masculine (cer) nouns end in a consonant, -o, -u, -y, or -a. They must be used with the masculine form of adjectives and the masculine pronoun ilu 'he, it.'

Feminine (ionile) nouns end in -a, -ia, -i, -e, or -ë. They must be used with the feminine form of adjectives and the feminine pronoun ila 'she, it.'

The gender of a noun is thus apparent by inspection, except for nouns in -a. Almost all of these, however, are feminine; the exceptions are indicated m. in the dictionary.

In Caďinor there was a third gender, the neuter (suy)-- thus the Verdurian term dinë 'third'. The neuter and masculine have long since merged into a single gender.

The different endings in each gender are called declensions (loglauniî). Each one has a different declension pattern (set of case forms). Note that feminine nouns in -a and -ia are considered to belong to different declensions, because their case forms differ.

For nouns referring to humans and animals, gender is usually linked to sex. For other nouns, it's best to think of gender as an arbitrary pattern of declension patterns, lest it worry you that they make no sense. Why is a prison (tyurma) feminine? Why is a house (dom) masculine?

Among human-related words there are a few puzzlers. Sazë 'prince', haute 'tall man,' gurë 'lion', and řořa 'minstrel' are all feminine, while lescom 'marketwoman' fodro 'witch', and žonkrof 'menstruation' are masculine. These must simply be learned as exceptions. If it's any consolation, there are historical reasons for most of the oddities.

Names of occupations

Most occupation names are masculine, even when used of women.

Kio ila e? --Motucöm.
What is she? --A shepherdess.

In older Verdurian, feminine forms were used (e.g. motucöma). They may still be used in legal language or in poetry.

Eto sluširo, liromin er liromen!
Listen to this, all ye poets and poetesses!

Noble and ecclesiastical titles retain the gender distinction: dalu, elrei, 'king, queen'; cont, conta, 'count, countess.' Certain feminine forms such as furoma 'actress' and šadena 'knight' are still common. And note that while lescom is a marketseller of either sex, lescoma refers to a prostitute.

Esce so Šoh miže dy läzne lescomán iy lescoman?
Did the Duke say he was going to a marketwoman or to a prostitute?

Animal names

Many domestic animals have separate words for the female and the male, and one for the species as a whole: šuča, verat, truža, 'swine, boar, sow'; bouan, boua, 'bull, cow', šual, giuro, žumeta 'horse, stallion, mare.'

For other common animals the feminine is formed (when needed) from the masculine. Generally this is done by adding -a to the root, but final -u --> -ua: ven, vena 'deer', sbayu, sbayua 'calf.'

An alternative is to use the adjectives ser 'male' and žonë 'female.' This is the only possibility for words with no masculine form, such as gurë 'lion' or suri 'mouse.'

Generally birds, reptiles, and the lower orders are not distinguished by sex, except by scientists.

Case (cot)

Verdurian has separate endings for each of the four cases, for both singular and plural, and moreover has no less than ten patterns of declension, five in each gender. The English speaker is apt to emit muted moans at this point. However, Verdurian is easier than Caďinor, which has an additional case, three genders, and an even more frightening declensional system.

The masculine declensions can be identified by their final letter (in the nominative singlular): a consonant, -o, -u, -y, or -a. The feminine declensions end in -a, -ia, -i, -e, and -ë.

The nominative (etamizë)

The basic form of each noun, and the one cited in dictionaries, is the nominative singular. All the other forms can be derived from it.
Masculine s. pl. Feminine s. pl.
reď 'servant' reď reďî rana 'frog' rana ranî
dasco 'animal' dasco dascoi lavísia 'dance' lavísia lavísiî
dalu 'king' dalu dalî casi 'helmet' casi casî
katy 'spittoon' katy katî leve 'lip' leve levî
esta 'summer' esta estai gurë 'lion' gurë gurî

In almost all the declensions, the plural is formed by removing the final vowel and adding -î. (Outside of grammar books î is written i, so in writing it is not possible to distinguish casî from casi.) The only exceptions are masculine nouns ending in -o or -a, which add -i instead.

Case endings can change a word's accentuation; note gu [gu 'rjE] vs. gu ['gu rI].

The genitive (tenec)

Masculine s. pl. Feminine s. pl.
reď 'servant' reďei reďië rana 'frog' rane ranië
dasco 'animal' dascei dascoë lavísia 'dance' lavísë lavísië
dalu 'king' dalui daluë casi 'helmet' casë casië
katy 'spittoon' katii katuë leve 'lip' levei levië
esta 'summer' estei estaë gurë 'lion' gurëi gurië

As an exception to other words ending in -y, the genitive of nouns in -iy is -ii in the singular, - in the plural: ciy 'epoch' --> cii, cië.

Within the singular forms it should be noticed that the masculine forms all end in a vowel + i, and that -ei is the ending for four declensions: reďei, dascei, estei, and levei.

The plural forms are a bit easier. The feminine forms and those of the first masculine declension all end in -, and the remaining masculine forms are simply the nominative singular plus -ë.

The -ia declension is a modification of the -a forms. We saw that they were regular in the nominative plural; here, they are regular in pronunciation, and in spelling have merely been slightly simplified: -ie --> ë, iië --> .

Accusative forms (opfëe)

Masculine s. pl. Feminine s. pl.
reď 'servant' reď reďi rana 'frog' rana ranem
dasco 'animal' dascam dascom lavísia 'dance' lavísiam lavísem
dalu 'king' dalum dalom casi 'helmet' casa casem
katy 'spittoon' katim katom leve 'lip' leva levem
esta 'summer' esta estam gurë 'lion' gurä gurem

Nouns ending in a consonant or -a have identical nominative and accusative forms, in the singular. These two declensions contain the vast majority of all Verdurian nouns.

The remaining masculine declensions, and feminine nouns in -ia, all have singular accusative forms ending in m (but note the vowel changes in the -o and -y declensions). The remaining feminine singular forms end in -a; note that the accusative of -ë forms, which was originally -ia, has become -ä by analogy.

The plural forms are easy in the feminine-- they're all -em. In the masculine, three forms are -om, one is -am. The first declension has -i, which in writing will be identical to the nominative plural form -î.

The poetic accusative

Objects often hop about uncontrollably in poetry, and an accusative that looks the same as the nominative is unwieldly. Poets therefore have recourse to the poetic accusative: -em for masculine nouns ending in a consonant, -ä for masculine and feminine words in -a.

If the final consonant is h, preceded by a vowel, the ending is -m only: šoh--> šohm.

Tróumai cidënán tomem ül
Er pertul diďä lië suzannai.
Šaynu vagir ti-prosiam režim;
Colre cešta bracei füzer
Er estë daluë rihnai pavonorem.
--Uran Rosdaney, So šant mažtane, 3180

I found an ancient book today
And I recalled its days now lost.
It seemed I wandered some eternal street
Where mists of glory gathered and
Of kings I saw the great processions.

However tempting it may be to use it elsewhere, the poetic accusative is restricted to poetry.

Curiously, the poetic -em is not a survival from Caďinor (as -ä is), but a pure invention, formed by analogy with the other masculine accusatives.

The dative (prenec)

Masculine s. pl. Feminine s. pl.
reď 'servant' reďán reďin rana 'frog' ranan ranen
dasco 'animal' dascon dascoin lavísia 'dance' lavísian lavísen
dalu 'king' dalun daluin casi 'helmet' casin casin
katy 'spittoon' katín katuin leve 'lip' leven leven
esta 'summer' estan estain gurë 'lion' guren guren

The -án and -ín endings (in the masculine singular) displace any other accent: ranát --> ranatán.

In the singular, nouns in -o, -u, -a, -ia, -i, and -e simply add -n to form the dative. Only reďán, katín and guren complicate this simple rule.

The dative plural for masculine nouns can be formed by adding -in to the nominative singular form, except for nouns in -y, whose dative plural is in -uin. The feminine dative plural is -en throughout, except that casi --> casin.

In the -i, -e, and -ë declensions, the singular and plural dative forms are identical.

Final accent

If a word is accented on the final vowel in the nominative singular, the case ending is accented throughout the declension: e.g. aknó aknei aknám aknón/ aknoi etc.; pisá pisé pisá pisán / pisí etc. An accented î becomes an i. An ending with an Ž in it is already accented and behaves regularly: pisiŽ.

Root changes

Certain nouns ending in -c, -ca, -d, -g, -ga, and -t have a different form in the plural. For instance:
bröca --> brösî 'pants'
kud --> kuzî 'holes'
log --> loži 'words'
řit --> řiči 'pans'
verat --> veraďi 'boars'

These alternations are the relics of sound changes: compare Caďinor brueca --> bruecet, verath --> verathit. However, these alternations have not been generalized to all nouns ending in the consonants in question; on the contrary, there has been a tendency to eliminate them. The dictionary notes all words with irregular plurals.

Other parts of speech [Index]

Adjectives Articles Adverbs Personal pronouns Relative and interrogative pronouns

Adjectives (etaloži)

Adjectives must agree in number, case, and gender with the nouns they modify. (You English speakers, take that frown off your face.)

There are four declensions of adjectives:

declension m. nom. sing. f. nom. sing.
I - -a
II -e
III -y -y
IV -a

The case endings for each are given below:

m. f.   m. f.   m. f.   m. f.
s. nom. - -a -e -y -y -a
s. gen. -ei -e -ei -ëi -ii -ye -ëi -e
s. acc. - -a -em -im -ya -a
s. dat. -án -an -en -en -ín -yan -én -an
pl. nom. -ëi
pl. gen. -ië -ië -eë -ië -uë -yië -ëë -ië
pl. acc. -i -em -em -em -om -yem -óm -em
pl. dat. -in -en -ein -en -uin -yen -ëin -en

The endings in boldface are those which differ from the nominal declension with the same ending. It will be seen that adjectives inflect like nouns with the same ending and gender; the exceptions all lie in the columns where the corresponding nouns have a different gender.

The masculine forms in declensions II and IV are similar to other masculine nominal declensions. In declension II, all but the plural accusative (which matches the feminine) match the nouns in -u with the u's replaced with e. The story is about the same in declension IV, with a few more exceptions.

The feminine forms in declension III, except in the nominative, are those of declension I with an inserted y.

As with nouns, an accented ending supersedes any acute accent in the root: munénë 'wordly' --> m. s. dat. munenén, m. pl. acc. munenóm. But an umlaut does not: m. pl. gen. munénëë.


The definite article so 'the' is declined like a declension I adjective:
Masculine Feminine
s. nom. so [so] soa [sopen O]
s. gen. soei [swe] soe [soj]
s. acc. so [so] soa [sopen O]
s. dat. soán [sopen On] soan [sopen On]
pl. nom. soî [soj] soî [soj]
pl. gen. soië [sje] soië [sje]
pl. acc. soi [soj] soem [sopen Om]
pl. dat. soin [sojn] soen [sopen On]

The pronunciation is given in the table, as it is considerably reduced in all but very careful speech. There are considerably fewer distinct phonetic than orthographic forms.

Adverbs (ecelóži)

Adverbs can be formed from all adjectives by adding -ece to the root. (If the adjective already ends in -ec, just add -e.) They are not inflected.
beluán 'beautiful' beluanece 'beautifully'
dobre 'good' dobrece 'well'
bogaty 'rich' bogatece 'richly'
čačë 'slow' čačece 'slowly'
čorec 'fluent' čorece 'fluently'

Personal pronouns (proloži)


Like nouns, pronouns are inflected by case-- for once, English works the same way.

nom. gen. acc. dat.
I se esë et sen
you (s.) le len
he ilu lië ilet ilun
she ila lië ilat ilan
it il lië iler ilon
we ta taë tam tan
you (pl.) mu muë mun
they ca caë cam can
refl.(s.) ze zië zet zen
(pl.) za zaë zam zan
impers. tu tuë tu tun

The accusative of the impersonal pronoun is when it is used as the formal 'you.'

There are no pronominal adjectives (my, mine, etc.); their function is expressed by the genitive of the appropriate pronouns.

Relative and interrogative pronouns

nom. gen. acc. dat.
who (s.) ke ket ken
(pl.) kaë kaëne kaëm kaën
what kio kiei kiom kion
this eto etë eto eton
that tot totë tot totán
nothing niš nišei niš nišán
everyone fsya fsye fsya fsyan
everything fsë fsëi fsë fsën
where ktë ktëi ktë ktën
here zdesy zdesii zdesy zdesín
there cečel cečelei cečel cečelán

Derived forms of these words (ifkio, nibke, etc.) are declined in the same way.

Nëcto, nikto, and što are declined like eto; nibcë, ticë and ifcë are declined like ktë and fsë.

Derivational morphology [Index]

Nominalization Adjectivization Verbalization Prepositions Compounds Meaningful sound patterns

In this section we list the common Verdurian derivational affixes.

Where the affix itself has a meaning (-cole, -tene) the derivation is generally productive. With the more general derivations it is wise to consult the dictionary; e.g. the nominalization of a verb is not easy to predict.

Compound words often show assimilation, particularly before voiced consonants (ak + büt --> agbüte 'useless') and with nasals (pren + buš + --> prembušoš 'corkscrew'). However, such assimilation is often not found in newer words (cf. imnišan 'annihilate') or with less common affixes (cf. hipdalom 'consul').


1. An action is generally turned into a noun by adding -eo (or sometimes -ea).

ceštan --> cešteo overthrow
crežen --> crežeo eating
cučec --> cučeo attack
iduran --> idureo desire
prosan --> proseo walk
sënan --> sëneo trial
sešan --> sešeo cause
zet tenec --> zetteneo attitude

ašir --> ašea thought
dembir --> dembrea existence
nimec --> nimea dare
tellen --> tellea search
zamben --> zambea feigning

In certain common words this has been worn down to an -o simply:

žano coming
onmizo refrain
tombo fall

Where the verb ends in -ir the form of the ending is usually -ia:

acoďir --> acoďia separation
cogir --> cogia adultery
lavisir --> lavísia dance
salďir --> salďia feeling

Some common verbs, mainly simple actions, use the same root for noun and verb.

zet duisir --> zetduisi behavior
keša --> kešen stop
onten --> ontu showing
rizir --> rizi smile
sfahen --> sfahe speech

And there are a few unclassifiables.

capir --> capiye reverence
cyager --> cyagito flogging
šciir --> šciso rip
šrifec --> šrifta knowledge
trogan --> trogulo touching
onoteran --> onotery recognition

2. A near equivalent of our -tion or -ment is -esa. It commonly indicates the process, action, or result of a verb, or the quality of an adjective. The original form in Cuêzi and Caďinor is -eca, and newer borrowings or coinages often use it.

celëtir --> celëtesa judgment
crëir --> creisa creation
lädan --> lädeca departure
rizuir --> rizesa amusement
trair --> traesa betrayal
vanan --> vanesa alignment
voitec --> voitesa entrance
ziziger --> zizigesa intrigue

claë --> claesa brightness
dur --> duresa hardness
ofóry --> ofóriza fertility
žive --> živesa liveliness

And there are a few oddities:

lereže --> lérežan happiness
orest --> oresta truth

3. Nominalizations can be formed from any part of speech with -át. The resulting term generally names an abstract quality, an operation, or a craft.

aelutre --> aelutrát virtue
basom --> basomát slavery
curesäm --> curesát responsibility
huepe --> huepát equality
mélnite --> melnitát gratitude
šišan shoot --> šišát archery
zaker set --> zakát sunset

fäb --> fäbát painting
gunë --> gunát armormaking
pažaka --> pažakát mapmaking

4. The frequent nominal ending -ë derives ultimately from the Caďinor participial ending -ile, which became generalized into a nominalizing suffix:

colir --> culë gathering
darove --> darovë health
imlelen --> imleleë appearance
kol iron --> kolë steel
mudray --> mudraë wisdom
olotan --> olotë feeling
rihan --> rihë mirror
vulir --> vulë will

5. -el is used with the meaning 'what results from verbing.' These nouns are much more concrete than those discussed so far.

advečaen --> advečel response
ciberden --> ciberdel decision
čamzan --> čamzel bite
nasitan carry --> nasitel cargo
prorivan --> prorivel advertisement
sudir judge --> sudiel sentence

6. The - suffix signifies an instrument or other object associated with the verb.

čehen --> čehoš sculpture
griman --> grimoš drawer
mepuyan --> mepuyoš pump
testasan --> testasoš loom
vinten --> vintoš screwdriver

7. The diminutive is formed with the infix -ul-, which preserves the original ending of the word. Diminutives are sometimes formed from adjectives or even verbs as well.

cira --> cirula wifie
cuon --> cuonul doggie
rizi --> rizuli little smile
sefo --> sefulo little boy

Quite a few diminutives have become fixed in meaning: kuzulo 'second cousin', myasulo 'meatball', arbul 'shrub', beomul 'baronet.'

The OV diminutive was (m.) -ek, (f.) -ka. It is no longer productive, except for names; but it is responsible for a large number of words; indeed, in a few cases only the diminutive form of a word survives.

Alsara --> Alsarka
Ereon --> Ereonek

čüma plague --> čümka stink
fana stream --> fanka brooklet
mišu bag --> mišek sack
šama bench --> šamek stool
OV koša --> koška cat

The Caďinor diminutive was -ima, which also survives in some Verdurian words:

Caď. calco heel --> calcima knuckle --> cálima
Caď. nier holy --> nierima shrine --> niëma park

8. The augmentative is formed with the infix -áš-. Again, a few augmentatives have become fixed in meaning: e.g. belgomáš 'warlord', dobráš 'wonderful'.

cuon --> cuonáš huge dog
geni --> genáši a terrible bother
uestu --> uestášu big man

The Caďinor augmentative was -und- or -ond-, which has come down to Verdurian as -un- or -on-:

kuna --> kunondise expensive
luka bend --> lukona chin
pere first --> perun million
safir --> safun leap
Caď. belues lovable --> beluán beautiful
Caď. sabos tallow --> sabun soap
Caď. bora flood --> boruna torrent
Caď. nier --> nëron holy
Caď. pava cart --> pavona wagon

9. -ora forms the name of a collection of things.

curayora argument
cumonora league
laitonora brass section
logora dictionary
neziora archipelago

10. The names of occupations and avocations are formed with -om, or perhaps even more often with the present participle -ec (-ë for verbs in -ec). The past participle -ul is sometimes seen. For gender usage, see Names of occupations,.

alaďea --> alaďeom musician
hežan --> hežom guard
testasan --> testasom weaver
ihtüan --> ihtüec fisherman
sfahen --> sfahul celebrity

-om is also used with some localities to form the name of the inhabitant: Melináe --> melinaom 'man of Melináe.'

11. -ilo, derived from Cuêzi, means an inhabitant or a follower. (See Place names,.)

nanilo Nanese
šurilo Skourene
sarilo Easterner (speaker of proto-Eastern)
utuilo follower of Utu

12. -viso, from Cuêzi vissánavos, means 'study of.'

dascoviso zoology
eliriviso biology
säteviso architecture
susoviso geology

For a scientist in these fields (-ologist) use the fuller form -visanom: elirivisanom 'biologist.'

And for the adjective (-ological), use -visete: sätevisete 'architectural.'

13. The ending -ana is used to name an area or an office.

beom --> beomana barony
curë --> curana curacy
mot --> motana sheepfold

14. -náe names a place or building.

haltnáe camp
nuvnáe bedroom
ontnáe gallery
řemnáe temple

15. Idiosyncrasy. The suffix -otá is rather like our -icism.

avelotá tournure characteristic of Avéla
caďinotá Caďinorianism
ostrotá witticism
rurotá 'ruralism', faux pas

16. -gues means -ocracy.

dálugues monarchy
žengues democracy

17. mal- 'wrong' creates an antonym, with the suggestion of badness or wrongness.

bem head --> malbema headache
lon honor --> mallon dishonor
lübor love --> mallübor sexual immorality
sfahe speech --> malsfaom barbarian

18. -arda refers to a disease or disorder. Since most medical terms are in Caďinor, the Caďinor form of the root must be used.

Caď. agasan poke --> agasarda cholera
Caď. dicena gums --> dicenarda scurvy
Caď. Iliages moon god --> ilëgárda menstruation

19. A number of affixes are used to form names within the family. Most of them are used only when extra precision is desired. For more detail, see Kinship terms.

an- eldest ammeď eldest son
bo- in-law bobaraďu brother-in-law
leb- step-, half- lebpiro stepfather, lebsädra half-sister
mi- maternal mivlay maternal uncle
pi- paternal pikuza cousin on father's side
ba- brother's banemo brother's son
sa- sister's sanema sister's daughter
on- child of onkuzo cousin's son

20. Many names of families end in -ey (m.) and -eya (f.): Karley, Soley, Hutorey, etc. The belief that this suffix derives from patronymics in -ei inspired hypercorrections such as Sëruy, Eženiy alongside Sërey, Eženey; but in fact it is a reduced form of -eon, used since Caďinorian times in names of clans: Arvëon, Itileon.


1. An adjectival form is generally made by adding -ise or -ete.

belacát chivalry --> belacatise courteous
cel between --> celise mutual
čil each --> čilise ordinary
ecelóg --> eceložise adverbial
gués power --> guésise de facto
leďa example --> leďise representative
lübec love --> lübise romantic
oräna --> oränise heavenly
oteran know --> oterise grounded
parna mountain --> parnise mountainous
sfay duty --> sfaise dutiful
sira body --> sirise physical
zontor season --> zontorise seasonal

brisir break --> brisete fragile
cairo time --> cairete timely
Ctuzo a god --> ctuzete artificial
ďumë stone --> ďumete stony
lacri tear --> lacriete tearful
olotë feeling --> olotëte sensitive
zadi meanng --> zadete meaningful

The Caďinor -ë is used to form adjectives too:

droë right --> droëë rightful
fsur hunger --> fsurë hungry
lelesa faith --> lelesë faithful
řuzi chest --> řuzë chesty
Skuldi a god --> skuldë deadly

And there's a few ringers.

lesüas reason --> lesüne reasoning
niru machine --> niruy mechanical
peace --> peil peaceful

2. The ending -se is often found on adjectives of quality.

brac --> bracse glorious
dyuž --> dyušše lustful
mallon --> mallonse dishonorable
orgöl --> orgölse proud
želea --> želse calm

3. The Cuêzi -cole is used for our -phile.

aďicole godly
čivicole sadistic
ličicole litigious
pratecole talkative
vincole fond of wine
visanocole scientific

4. -tene means -full.

baltene tactful
bostene lucky
dunetene energetic
fascotene busy
muyotene perilous

5. com- means -like.

comdalue princely
comdruke amiable
comlefe wolfish, malicious

6. sam- means -less.

samlele blind
samlence separate
samsfahe mute
samsrame shameless

7. Antonym. řo- is regularly used to form a negative.

řofasíl difficult
řolele invisible
řovanul unaligned, neutral
řozadete pointless

The Caďinor equivalent was bu-, still found in a few words, but no longer productive: e.g. buďaye 'wrong'.

8. mal- creates an even stronger antonym, expressing badness or wrongness.

maldobre hypocritical
malmese frivolous, foolish
malvoleme with ill will

9. Our -able form is expressed by the Cuêzi oti-.

otibeže movable
otibruhe useful
oticunëse trustworthy
otipitë drinkable
otitene available

10. -šue weakens the sense of an adjective, or adds a slangy, disrespectful feel.

fálšue whitish
žombrelšue kind of scared
tardíšue a bit late


1. Noun to verb. Most often only the ending is changed: add -an to masculine nouns, -en to feminine words; but -i becomes -ir.

duav --> duavan owe
činek --> činecan boss
elčena --> elčenen lunch
biyeta --> biyeten elect
fikši --> fikšir whip

2. Adjective to verb. im- plus a quality Q forms a verb 'to make something Q.'

imagrenir persuade
imgaran talk sense into
immezinyen set in order
imnižnyen overpower
imseoran purify
imyasnen explain
induran harden

The same prefix may be used to make intransitive verbs transitive:

imbarucir lay down
imloën rent out
imvalitan knock down
increšir grow

3. The gerund -äm is used to form adjectives with the meaning 'to be verbed'; these can easily be turned into substantives.

agolec face --> agoläm important
bliďren busy oneself --> bliďräm agenda
elir live --> cumeliräm fiancé
isuven go out --> isuväm payable
nizener avenge --> nizenäm grudge
vižien wait --> řovižiäm unlikely

4. Inchoative. za- creates a new verb 'begin to verb.'

začoran burst into tears
zašantan burst into song

5. Applied to a noun N, often a part of the body, -ačir (or -atir, the Caďinor form) means 'to use N'; by extension it can be used to intensify the meaning of a verb.

fifir flutter about --> fifačir attend (like a servant)
levi lip --> levatir kiss
nožen squeeze --> nogačir charge interest
pili eyelash --> pilačir blink

6. Numerous verbs are created by prefixing a preposition. This process is productive, but one should not needlessly invent substitutes for existing words: use řekan 'to cross', not tralädan.

adžanen arrive
celsfahen converse
cumlelen witness
cumnuven sleep with someone
comšaynir resemble
iskričen exclaim
onžanen return
suriluvan illuminate

Such verbs generally take the accusative, although the associated prepositional expression takes the dative: comšaynir dalum, šaynir com dalun,'to resemble the king.'


The prefixes re- 'far', sy- 'touching', zdy- 'component', im- 'inside' and f- 'throughout' can be applied to many prepositions: syderë 'touching the back of' fšircau 'all throughout.' See Prepositional prefixes, .


Compounds can be formed quite freely in Verdurian. The most common patterns are as follows. (Hyphens are inserted here to show the components; compounds are not actually hyphenated.)

1. adjective + noun

ciš-cöre apathetic
ďin-cota triangle
es-ďitel highway
lert-log aphorism
plen-šrifta mastery
řem-uris religion
tës-vuáë unanimous

2. adjective + verb

fsur-šuščan starve
lebe-řaner maintain
pak-rihan attend to
sfut-lelen spot
tës-pitir carouse

3. noun + noun

caln-aďom chaplain
den-säte archives
elusi-gués republic
gent-urokec metalworker
prezu-den passport
piď-nuva crib
řež-žina maid
sus-luoma potato
ven-myaso venison

4. noun + verb

guéz-zovir negotiate
hun-načalan follow a discipline
kela-dan invest
me-puyan pump
sram-donec shameful
šat-amenec friendly
žen-mize proverb
žumbruhan practice

5. prepositional phrase

ak-ženy malicious
im-bušan savor
ir-tëse supreme
pro-letka prostitute
sul-limura décolleté
širc-ilura bracelet

6. verb + noun (less common than noun + verb)

cues-rëcen introduce
čas-iššelec despair
dim-šuten exceed
sev-nilna trashy woman
tem-pleran enjoy
ušic-lebi town crier
vu-läde ambitious

7. miscellaneous constituents

anië prusi bar of single ones --> anieprusi singles bar
ci er ce this and that --> cierceyen waver
dos fasadán back to front --> dosadan retreat
esë oligu my group --> sëoligom partisan
eto er tot this one and that one --> etertót argument
muďe nirto most often --> muďnirto generally

Meaningful sound patterns

A discussion of word creation would not be complete without a mention of onomatopeia, which has provided words for animal noises (coe 'caw', cucurú 'cock-crow', řaf 'bark'), everyday sounds (bris 'sound of breaking glass', dširan 'rip', kluš 'splash', kopan 'drip', křumban 'explode'), human noises (dacdacir 'babble', hüan 'sigh', řarkir 'spit') and even such words as fikši 'whip' and tompom 'drum'.

Words such as tsisir 'glitter' and sfešer 'flash' can be seen as attempts to synaesthetically duplicate visual effects in the medium of sound, while bedorcan 'stumble' is traditionally explained as directly representational, the tongue stumbling across the palate as a man stumbles along the ground.

Like many languages, Verdurian offers tantalizing evidence for the claim that front vowels, particularly i, represent smallness or brevity (piďa 'baby', licre 'poor', erme 'shallow', miy 'spoonful', ris 'grain', niš 'nothing', lebe 'new', sitre 'sudden', piya 'instant') and back vowels, particularly u, largeness or slowness (bolë 'big', mäzun 'giant', noróum 'vast', pote 'deep', bogaty 'rich', ďuro 'flagon', cucuri 'unit of weight', muše 'many', muďe 'most', bome 'old', hora 'hour'); but also some important exceptions (pav 'small', macre 'thin', diminutive infix -ul-, gliny 'long', muán 'least'). Readers may undertake their own researches in the Thematic Dictionary.

Virtual Verduria