Virtual Verduria

The Wede:i language family

This was the first language I put up on the web, soon after writing the Language Construction Kit. I've always liked it; the heavily agglutinative grammar (partly based on Quechua) is fun to work with, and it has a nice logographic writing system. The online grammar was a bit skimpy, though, so I've gone back and fleshed it out, and also traced two of its descendents.
--Mark Rosenfelder

Grammar * Verbs Pronouns Nouns Adjectives Combinations Negatives, questions Clauses Adpositions Word order Numbers
Samples * 1 2 3
The Wede:i script * Origins The Old Syllabary Axunašin Later developments

Sound changes from Wede:i

Sound changes from Wede:i

Sample sentences
Wede:i/Jeori/Cuolese Comparative Lexicon

Wede:i [To Index]

The Wede:i heartland Speakers of the ancient Wede:i languages dominated the Xengi plain (Xengiman) and Čeiy, established the first states of men, and created the first human writing system (c. -1550).

Ancient members of this family include the languages spoken in Jeor, Do:ju, Puroŋeli , and pre-Axunaic Čeiy. All but the latter are well attested.

Starting in -350, the Ezičimi, a branch of the Easterners, conquered the Xengi plain; Wede:i languages gradually disappeared except in Jeor, Puroŋeli and Do:ju. The invaders' language developed into Axunašin, not without being deeply modified by Wede:i, which affected its phonology and grammar, supplied hundreds of words, and provided the basis for the Axunašin writing system.

The language of Jeor, an offshoot of Wede:i, survived well into classical times. Jeor was finally conquered by the Gurdagor starting in 1950, and by the Xurnese c. 2600. It was replaced by Xurnese over the next few centuries, but survived among the local intellectuals as a badge of difference, somewhat like Irish Gaelic in Ireland; indeed, the official language of independent Tásuc Tag is Jeori.

The other modern representative of the family is Cuolese, spoken in Cuoli, to the northeast of Xurno, and Dowe, spoken in one canton of Belšai.

The Mei family of languages, spoken in Sevisor and Feináe, are usually held to be related to Wede:i, although so remotely that the connection cannot be made with certainty. (Mei and Fei are both cognates of the morpheme de:i 'people' found in Wede:i.)

This grammatical sketch describes the ancient Wede:i language, in particular that of the delta in the centuries between Nanuŋitera's unification of the Wede:i states (-625) and the Ezičimi conquest of the delta (-250).

Phonology [To Index]

The sound system of Wede:i is as follows:
Wede:i phonology

The ś sound is a lamino-prepalatal fricative, as in Kebreni or Polish ś or Mandarin x; ź is simply the voiced equivalent. (To be precise, this is our best reconstruction. Axunašin and Cuolese both have śš; Dowe has ç, which supports a more palatal original; Jeori retained ś and carefully distinguished it from š in Axunašin loanwords.)

The only syllable patterns allowed are CV and CVC (where V includes long vowels and diphthongs); a V syllable can occur at the end of a word, as in liu 'see', and very occasionally at the beginning. Initial consonant clusters are prohibited, and the final consonant, if any, can only be one of l r n ŋ k. Syllables cannot begin with *yi- or *wu-.

Note that n+g can occur medially, though it was probably assimilated to [ŋg].

All syllables should be emphatically pronounced, with a slight stress on the first syllable of a word (but on the second, if the word begins with a vowel).

Grammar [To Index]

Wede:i is an agglutinating language. Its vocabulary consists of basic roots which can be extended into different parts of speech, their meaning changed or modified, with various suffixes. Most of the suffixes are optional, so that there is a choice of what sort of information to convey with a given word.

Verbs [To Index]

Verbal suffixes are divided into three classes: VC affixes (that is, those ending in a consonant), CV affixes (that is, ending in a vowel), and object suffixes (which also end in a vowel). Suffixes of the first class must precede those of the second, and those of the third class must always be the last element in the word.
VC affixes CV affixes Object suffixes
ok   past tense    ro   imperative no   me
ur remote ra passive ku thee
en reflexive śi dative passive    tu us
I, we yu tentative we you (pl.)
il you sa causative i him
ta desiderative u her
ju abilitative jau someone else
yai inceptive
pe repetitive
ge durative
mi reportative
ze negative
źu interrogative
ki if
ka conjunctive
ne contrastive

As can be seen from the examples below, these suffixes can be combined in both simple and highly sophisticated ways.

yonu speak
yoniŋ I speak   
yonilok you spoke
yoniŋyui I may speak to him
yonokźujau did he speak to someone else?
yonuril you had spoken
yonilokśi you were spoken to
yonrono speak to me!
yonoksa made to speak
yonokgei you were speaking to him
yonenze they are not speaking to each other
yonpegeka and he keeps on speaking
pamu listen
pamiŋenta I want us to listen to each other
pamźuku is he listening to you?
pamilgekino if you are listening to me
pamgeyuu he may be listening to her
pamuraro may it be listened to!
pamokźunewe but did he listen to you?
ituri read
ituriŋju I can read
iturokpe he read it many times
iturokge he was reading
ituryuze he will not read it
iturgemi he is said to be reading it
iturilta I wish you would read it
kudu break
kudokra it broke
kuduyai it's beginning to break
kudiŋok I broke it
kudoksano he made me break it
kudupera it is broken again

The final vowel of the root disappears, unless this would create an illegal syllable. Thus we see not *kudpera or *pamraru but kudupera and pamuraro.

Again, none of these suffixes is required, particularly when the meaning can be inferred from context. One can say Yoniŋok pamiŋokka 'I spoke and I listened', or simply Yoniŋok pamuka, or even (if the subject and time are obvious from the context) Yonu pamuka.

Notes on verbal affixes
The tense morphemes normally followed the subject in classical Wede:i (yoniŋok 'I spoke'), but precede it in late texts (yonokiŋ). This may be due to Axunašin influence; note that Dowe, the descendent language least in contact with the Axunaic sphere, never made the switch.

The remote tense -ur is normally used within a past narrative to refer to events from an even earlier time: La:iŋok źenilurne 'I came, but you had already gone'. By extension, the remote may be used to emphasize that something is already done: Gu:me kokurne! 'But the man is already dead!'

It's also used when referring to events in the mythical past: ŋu:mawo na:n ŋeur 'the god raised up the mountain'.

Both subject and object are marked on the verb; however, there is no indication of whether the subject is singular or plural. For convenience I offer a table of all possible combinations.

self me thee him her other us you
I, we yoneniŋ yoniŋku yoniŋi yoniŋu yoniŋjau yoniŋwe
you yonenil yonilno yonili yonilu yoniljau yoniltu
3s/3p yonen yonno yonku yoni yonu yonjau yontu yonwe
If no subject suffix is given anywhere in the sentence, third person can be assumed.

The self (reflexive) suffix -en should be used whenever the subject and obejct are the same; as a corollary there are some blank cells in the table, and e.g. yoni can only be used for someone speaking to someone else (almost always a previous referent).

The someone else suffix -jau (other in the table) can be used for clarity when introducing a new referent: using yonjau indicates that the object is a different person than whoever would be indicated with yonu or yoni.

There are two passive suffixes: ra is used for promoting direct objects to subjects; śi for indirect objects:

ŋok sela:ini ku:rokra. The jar was given to the general.
Sela:i ŋoko ku:rokśi. The general was given the jar.
There is a set of modal suffixes, similar to our auxiliary verbs:

There is no future morpheme. It's perfectly correct to use the ordinary present for future events:

Tinti paźiwa pamuku. The king will hear you tomorrow.
The desiderative and the tentative also cover some of the ground of our future. The desiderative is used when reporting intentions of future action (Puliŋta 'I intend to stay'); the tentative when the action is uncertain precisely because it belongs to the unknowable future (Ma:kilyui 'You may defeat him').

There is also a set of aspect suffixes, which give details about the action's placement in time:

The reportative suffix -mi is an evidential; it indicates that the speaker cannot vouch for the truth of his statement: Leźugu kalmi 'The official is said to be good'. Like all Wede:i suffixes it is optional, but it's very common-- especially in administrative writing, since officials rarely want to assume responsibility.

The conjunctive -ka corresponds to our conjunction and. (There is no class of conjunctions in Wede:i.) It can be used for other parts of speech as well: go:źiŋok śaguka 'we ate and drank'; gu:men ziminka 'men and women'.

The contrastive -ne correspondes to our but; it has the same meaning as the conjunctive but expresses that the conjunction is unexpected: Yokak ŋereŋe nerneze 'The two of them live together but do not sleep together.'

There is no disjunctive; instead, alternatives are simply concatenated: gu:me zimi 'a man or a woman'; lauku:rok gojok 'he paid for it or he stole it'.

The if affix -ki and the interrogative -źu will be discussed below.

A verb meaning may be intensified by reduplicating the first syllable, with insertion of -l-, -n- or -r- in between: kunkudu 'break into pieces'; ma:ku 'defeat' → marma:ku 'utterly vanquish'.

Pronouns [To Index]

There are no personal pronouns-- they aren't needed, since persons are indicated on the verb.

In court usage circumlocutions are sometimes used to refer to the speaker, e.g. lil gu:me 'this man', śaukraguku 'your subject'.

There are a limited number of deictics and quantifiers:

lil this
go that
jok other, another
ŋozi same, the same
to:l each, every
paun some
ra:i none
Like most modifiers, these appear before the noun: lil gu:me 'this man'; to:l daudo 'at each city'.

There are not, strictly speaking, any indefinite pronouns; but there are indefinite expressions, built from the above modifiers plus words like boka 'thing', bogu 'person', jiro 'hour', tin 'day'. Expressions like to:l bogu 'every person' may be taken as equivalent to 'everyone, everybody', but they are not different in kind from more specific expressions like to:l wa:igu 'every sailor' or more complex ones such as to:l pu:kokgegun 'all of those who kept on sinning'.

Time expressions are no exception: 'now' corresponds to expressions like lil jiro 'this hour'; 'always' to to:l tin 'every day'; 'sometimes' to paun tin, etc.

See also Negatives and questions below.

Nouns [To Index]

Among the nominal suffixes used:
un plural (after vowels, -n)
o object (after vowels, -wo)
ni indirect object
a:i place
miŋ substance
gu person
zi woman
ak collection of things
wen tool
ma augmentative
a nominalization (ji and ka are others)
ur gerundive
śa which
nu:n tripod
nu:nun tripods
turak bundle of firewood (tur 'stick')
turma branch
itura:i scriptorium (ituri 'read')
śabukmiŋ quicksilver (śabuk 'fast')
paźiwaśa which king
leźu trust (v.)
leźa trust, responsibility
leźur (act or process of) trusting
leźugu trustee
rukwen weapon (ruk 'sharp')
neruwen bed (neru 'lie down']
Wede:i Wede:i people
Wede:igu a Wede:i individual
Wede:izi a Wede:i woman
Add -m- after the suffixes -gu and -zi before a vowel: Wede:izimo 'Wede:i woman (acc.)'; but the plural is simply -n (Wede:izin).

The object suffixes are generally used, even in unmarked SOV order; but the plural suffix is not at all required: do:n can mean 'horse' or 'horses', as necessary.

Kudokźu nu:no? Did he break the tripod?
Leźegun dauwo ruŋu. The officials rule the city.
Paźiwani yoniŋok. I said it to the king.
The same personal endings used with verbs-- no me, ku thou, i him, u her, tu we, we you-- can be used to indicate possession.
wa:ino my boat
melenu her heart
dautu our city
komojau someone else's house

Adjectives [To Index]

Some adjectival suffixes:
ul past participle (e.g. leźul 'trusted')
no genitive (do:nno 'horse's)
adjectivization (nanuŋ 'divine')
do locative (Yeninedo 'in Yenine')
li possessing; instrumental (do:nli 'having/using a horse')
sir without (do:nsir 'without a horse')
In addition, adjectives can be intensified by reduplicating the first syllable, with insertion of -l-, -n- or -r- in between: bi: 'white' → binbi:( Pronounced bimbi: (as is made clear by Axunašin transcriptions, among other evidence).) 'very white'; śabuk 'fast' → śarśabuk 'very fast'.

Adjectives normally precede the noun.

Combinations [To Index]

It is by no means required that all the suffixes applied to a word belong to the same syntactic class.

For instance, the gerundive -ur can be applied to verbs to which other suffixes have already been applied:

yonilnour your speaking to me
iturokur his having read it
kudurapeur its constant breaking
Processes are named using the verbal suffix -ge plus the nominalization -a: iturgea 'the process of reading', teŋea 'election'.

The 'person' nominalization -gu can be used not only with simple verbs (ruŋgu 'governor') but with more complex ones:

yonpegu one who is always speaking
iturzegu non-reader
kojokgu one who has died
Likewise with the participle -ul:
pamuzeul not listened to
takiŋul stopped by us
la:ŋeŋul married to each other
ze:nyuul possibly known
And the adjectival ending - can be used as an equivalent of the present participle:
pamugeuŋ listening
yongekuuŋ speaking to you
ruŋtauŋ who should be governiŋ
A future causative can be formed using the imperative suffix ma and the adjectivization -:
ma:kmauŋ who must be defeated
kudumaun to be broken
Adjectives (including those ending in ) can be turned into causatives with the sa suffix (bi:sa 'whiten'; nunuŋoksa 'he was made divine') and into nouns with the suffix a: kala 'goodness', su:a 'newness'.

Adjectives can be used substantively-- we:un 'the mighty', kalni 'to the good person'-- or as predicates, there being no verb 'to be':

Paźiwa kal. The king is good.
Begoŋitera we:ok. Begoŋitera was mighty.
Nouns can even be used verbally, with an existential meaning: raśak 'fox', raśakok 'there was a fox'.

Negatives and questions [To Index]

The usual way of negating a sentence is to negate the verb using the ze suffix. If it is desired to negate another word, however, the same suffix is used:
Liiŋokze de:iwo daudo. I didn't see the people in the city.
Liiŋok de:iwoze daudo. It wasn't the people that I saw in the city.
Liiŋok de:iwo daudoze. It wasn't in the city that I saw the people.
Similarly, questions are formed using the źu suffix:
Sela:i paźiwao śubokźu? Did the general spit on the king?
Sela:iźu paźiwao śubok? Was it the general who spit on the king?
Sela:i paźiwaźuwo śubok? The general spit on the king?
Other interrogatives are formed using the suffix śa 'which':
Boguśa śebarulnowo iturta? Who wants to read my book?
Pu:kok bokadośa? Where did the crime take place?
Nitukśa mo:nzi ti:zige? Why is the maiden crying?
Boguśa 'which person' can be translated 'who'; but any nominal expression can be used: na:ŋguśa 'which priest', nijiśa 'which animal', juŋkuśa 'which of your sons', kokokmiguśa 'which of those who are said to have died'.

Clauses [To Index]

Simple relative clauses can be formed with adjectivized verbs, which like other modifiers precede the noun. For instance:
śebarulo iturokuŋ gume:n the men who have read the book
la:ŋtarauŋ na:nni zimi the woman who is to be married to a god
nerokenuŋ mo:ngun youngsters who have lain together
Sentential clauses-- those which serve as a subject or object of the sentence-- are subordinated using a (postposed) particle:
Ze:niŋ [gu:me paźiwano kamugunni ba:ilok gau].
We know [that the man escaped from the king's guards]

In the same way, sentences may serve as adverbials:

[Paźiwa ituri la:uk] ba:ilsamauŋ śebarul.
Because the king has read it, the book is condemned.

In English grammar we analyze these as conjunctions, but there is no class of conjunctions in Wede:i; the adverbial X lau:k formally occupies the same place as an adverb just as tinti 'tomorrow'.

'If' clauses are expressed using the verbal suffix ki:

Śebarul kalzeki, dowogu ituryu.
If the book is not good, nobody will read it.

Jukilokzeki ba:iliŋokyu.
If you had not sneezed, we would have escaped.

As with other constituents, concatenating -ki clauses implies a disjunction:

Kalki yurki, la:ŋiltau.
(Lit.) If good, if bad, it's desirable that you marry her.
Whether she is good or bad, you should marry her.

Adpositional phrases [To Index]

Most English prepositions are not needed in Wede:i, their place being taken by nominal affixes: paźiwani 'to the king', zimisir 'without a woman', wa:imado 'on the ship'.

The adpositions that do exist (listed below for convenience) are mainly clarifiers, attached to a locative. Thus ŋokdo śen 'above the jar', ŋa:unado ta:i 'on the right side of the street'; daudo go 'away from the city'.

ben under
śen above
ra inside
rok outside
lil near
go away
sai middle
bu before
ti after
ta:i right
ŋir left
lun north
saŋ south
ju east
wor west
These can be appended to a noun to refer to a portion of an object (komora 'the inside of a house', jeŋo 'the far side of the forest', ŋa:iŋir 'the left hand') or to a geographical region (Jeiwor 'west of the Jei'; Bo:lun 'the northern Bo: valley'; Yesai 'the middle river').

Word order [To Index]

Wede:i largely follows modifier-modified order: adjectives, genitives, numerals, and relative clauses precede their head nouns; noun phrases precede adpositions; adverbs precede nouns; auxiliaries precede main verbs.

Order of noun phrases was fairly free, however. The unmarked order was, as in Axunašin, SOV; but since direct and indirect objects were normally explicitly marked, noun phrases and verbs could appear in almost any order.

Numbers [To Index]

Wede:i is singular in having a base six number system. (Almeans have ten fingers; but to this day peasants in the Xengi valley count by making a fist for 'one', then using the fingers for two through six-- a practice which also makes sense of the glyphs for 1 to 6: ).

The numbers from 1 to 36 are:

1 bo 13 yokbaŋ boka 25 tausebaŋ boka
2 yok 14 yokbaŋ yokka 26 tausebaŋ yokka
3 śir 15 yokbaŋ śirka 27 tausebaŋ śirka
4 tause 16 yokbaŋ tauseka 28 tausebaŋ tauseka
5 pina 17 yokbaŋ pinaka 29 tausebaŋ pinaka
6 baŋ 18 śirbaŋ 30 pinabaŋ
7 baŋ boka 19 śirbaŋ boka 31 pinabaŋ boka
8 baŋ yokka 20 śirbaŋ yokka 32 pinabaŋ yokka
9 baŋ śirka 21 śirbaŋ śirka 33 pinabaŋ śirka
10 baŋ tauseka 22 śirbaŋ tauseka 34 pinabaŋ tauseka
11 baŋ pinaka 23 śirbaŋ pinaka 35 pinabaŋ pinaka
12 yokbaŋ 24 tausebaŋ 36 taŋ

Numbers are named digit by digit in base 6: for each digit, one gives the multiple of the power of six, plus the name of the power (baŋ 6, taŋ 36, ke:ta 216, eze:r 1296), plus (for all but the first digit) -ka 'and'. Examples:

śirbaŋ tauseka 'three sixes and four' = 22 tausetaŋ pinabaŋka boka '4 . 36 and 5 . 6 and 1' = 175 eze:r śirke:taka yokbaŋka pinaka '1296 and 3 . 216 and 1 . 36 and 2 . 6 and 5' = 1997 yokeze:r tauseke:taka tausebaŋka '2 .1296 and 4 . 216 and 4 . 6' = 3480

There are words for the next powers of six (ja:u 7776, bo:ndo 46656), but these are used only to name orders of magnitude, and not for constructing names of precise quantities. Wede:i arithmetic became cumbersome with such high numbers, and approximations were used instead.

Ordinals can be formed with the genitive -no: śirno gu:me 'the third man'.

A collection of n objects can be named using the collective suffix -ak: yokak 'a pair, a couple'; pinak 'a group of five'.

Samples [To Index]

1. Guśali Sa:unak / The Canons of Respect [To Index]

This is an extract from Nanuŋitera's Canons of Respect (Guśali Sa:unak, -610), the first formal legal code on Almea. It states almost the entirety of the laws concerning sexual crime-- which the code views as a form of property crime. The law covers a great variety of situations with a single rule: if a man has illicit sex with a woman, he must pay her bride-price (to her family, though this is so obvious that it's unstated). Naturally the bride-price varies with her class and family status. Since those unable to pay are executed, the net effect is that sinning below your class is an expensive luxury, while sinning above it is fatal.

To:l gu:me źegusir kalzimili pulro ŋera:ino komozinlika; jok komono ma:rzimo ni:guno kalzinkawo źeguzero.
each MAN LUST-without WIFE-his-with STAY-imper HOUSEHOLD-gen SERVANT-pl-with-and / another HOUSE-gen FEMALE-acc FARMER-gen WIFE-pl-and-acc LUST-neg-imper

Gu:me lil sa:uno guśuzeki, la:ŋulaujiwo lauku:ruro; zimi la:ŋokki la:ŋzekika; gu:me kalzimili zu:rzeroneu.
MAN this LAW-acc RESPECT-not-if MARRY-MONEY-acc pay-imper / WOMAN MARRY-past-if MARRY-not-if-and / MAN WIFE-his-instr TAKE-neg-imper-but-her

Zimi ŋa:ila:okkii, gu:me bali lauku:rro.
WOMAN INVITE-past-if-him MAN HALF-instr PAY-imper

Lauku:rujuzeki, koksararo.
PAY-can-not-if DIE-caus-passive-imper

Papaiwo di:niwo śendi:niwo dataino kalzimo zu:rokki, koksararo.
MOTHER-his-acc DAUGHTER-his-acc GRANDDAUGHTER-his-acc FATHER-his-gen WIFE-acc TAKE-past-if DIE-caus-passive-imper

zimijauwo zu:rok nituk joko kokoksaki, koksararo.
WOMAN-other-acc TAKE-past for OTHER-acc DIE-past-caus-if DIE-caus-passive-imper

Gu:me pu:kpeki, lauku:rupero ŋosuraroka.
MAN EVIL-repeat-if PAY-repeat-imper FLOG-passive-imper-and

Lil sa:un ma:nguni na:ŋguni de:igunika zotiŋsage.
this LAW NOBLE-dat PRIEST-dat COMMONER-dat-and BELONG-we-caus-durative

Let each man be content with his wife and the servants of his household; let him not lust after a female of another house, or after the wives of the peasants. If any man disrespects this rule, let him pay the bride-price, whether or not the woman is married; but he may not take the woman to be his own. If the woman invited him, he may pay half. If he cannot pay, let him be put to death. If he takes his own mother or daughter or granddaughter or his father's wife, let him be put to death. If he kills a man in order to take his woman, let him be put to death. If an offense is repeated, it may be paid again, but let the man be flogged. This law applies to noble, priest, and commoner.


2. Duzulno komogumuŋ ze:nsaji / Parable of the slave's servant [To Index]

The Wede:i were fond of ze:nsajiun 'teaching stories', usually anonymous. Often part of esoteric mysteries, they were usually unwritten, except for accidents; the parables we have are found in plays, sagas, writing exercises, and the like. This one was popular enough that we have it in several versions, as well as an Axunašin translation.

The protagonist is a duzulno komogu, the servant of a slave-- obviously a low and poor condition, but perhaps not as low as it sounds. Slavery was a legal condition, and trusted slaves could become powerful and wealthy people.

The Wede:i had skin and hair coloration similar to northern Europeans. Fair skin and blonde hair were valued among them, but came to be disdained by the Ezičimi invaders; it took more than a milennium for this prejudice to die out.

Zimi la:ok muna:ido lumenokka pairadouŋ źi:a:ido, mo:ngu zu:roktayaikau.
WOMAN COME-past TEMPLE-loc BATHE-refl-past-and POOL-loc-adj GARDEN-loc / YOUTH TAKE-past-want-incept-and-her

Bi: zauuŋka rilsirguni zu:roktajusa.
FAIR SAND-adj-and EUNUCH-dat TAKE-past-want-can-cause

Da:izeyuno gau mo:ngu yedokne muna:ido duzulno komogumiŋge la:uk.
VALUE-not-tentative-me that YOUTH THINK-past-but TEMPLE-loc SLAVE-gen SERVANT-I-durative because

Śigamali na:nunni na:nku:runi yebi:liokyai zimini da:iraju nituk.
WORK-augment-instr GOD-pl-dat SACRIFICE-pl-instr RICH-past-incept WOMAN-dat VALUE-passive-can for

Kamugunili la:ok komoudo yonka kalzinoli zu:riŋwe gau.
GUARD-pl-his-with COME-past HOUSE-her-loc SAY-and WIFE-my-instr TAKE-I-you that

Woŋoksaiuŋ zimi sukwenli melendo ra sukenok.
HORROR-past-cause-him-adj WOMAN DAGGER-instr HEART-loc in STAB-refl-past

Muna:ino na:ŋgu lioksai, dauudo ma:ngu lila:uru ŋozi śojoli.
TEMPLE-gen PRIEST SEE-past-caus-him / CITY-her-loc NOBLE APPROACH-remote-her SAME PRIDE-instr

Muna:ido bamba:iluruŋ zimi benuŋo la:ŋokta yebi:ligumo paijuryai la:uk.
TEMPLE-loc FLEE-remote-adj WOMAN LOW-acc MARRY-past-want RICH-person-pl-acc FEAR-remote-incept because

A woman came to a temple and bathed in a pool in its garden, and a boy fell in love with her. Fair and blonde, the woman could cause desire in a eunuch. But he thought, she may disdain me, because I am only the servant of a slave of the temple. By means of great work and sacrifices to the gods, however, he became a rich man, in order to be worthy of the woman. He came with his retainers to the house where she lived, and said, I take you as my wife. To his horror, she took a dagger and plunged it into her heart. A priest of the temple had to explain: a nobleman of her city had approached her in the same arrogant way. She had fled to the temple, hoping to marry a base commoner because she had come to fear rich men.


3. Raśak ŋununge / The fox and the grapes [To Index]

My translation of Aesop's fable.

Raśakokmi. Nitugeuŋ raśak yumaido śen doluŋ ŋununo la:uliok. Ponok ponpeka, ŋuno zu:rokzene. Melenokudawoi digugeuŋ raśak yonok, ŋunun zanzaranyuge! Zu:rrataze.
FOX-past-reportative. WALK-progressive-adj FOX HEAD-his-locative ABOVE HANG-adj GRAPE-plural-acc FIND-past. JUMP-past JUMP-repetitive-and, GRAPE-acc TAKE-past-not-contrastive. HEART-BREAK-acc-his HIDE-progressive-adj FOX SPEAK-past, GRAPE-plural SOUR-tentative-progressive. TAKE-passive-desiderative-not.

There was once a fox. While walking, the fox found some grapes hanging above his head. He jumped up again and again, but he could not reach the grapes. Hiding his disappointment, the fox said, "The grapes are probably sour, I don't want them anyway."

Some things to note:

The Wede:i script [To Top]


The Wede:i script dates back to about the same time as their first kingdoms (-1550). It most likely developed out of the accounting and astronomical systems used by the Wede:i theocracy. For centuries there were symbols only for representing numbers, inventoried objects and animals, and astronomical objects.

do:n 'horse'

nu:n 'tripod'

mai 'wheat'

Wila:r 'Išira'

śir 'three'
The next task to be tackled, suggested perhaps by the fact that rulers' names were often taken from animals and planets anyway, was the writing of elementary chronicles (some of which still survive), on the level of "King Ramarm defeats King Lionbrow year 452." The new symbols devised for this purpose were rather fluid, as if scribes were improvising as they worked.

The earliest symbols were all pictographic or ideographic. The symbol for ma:k 'defeat', for instance, showed a sword threatening a stylized human figure: Eventually, however, it occurred to some bright soul that the same symbol could be used to represent mak 'cousin', which was not otherwise easy to represent. Similarly, wada 'stool' was pressed into service to represent wata 'year'.

Proper names composed of two or more words, such as Wila:ri:l 'Išira's eye', had long been in use; with the invention of phonograms it now became evident that polysyllabic words could be represented as a sequence of glyphs: e.g. ruŋokur 'governing' could be represented , using the signs for ru: 'sun', ŋok 'jar', kur 'ram'. (Such usages were facilitated by the simple phonologic structure of Wede:i, in which all syllables have a CV(C) structure, with the number of final consonants being severely limited.)

These discoveries greatly multiplied what could be represented using the script. By perhaps -1100 it had developed to the point where any sound in the language could be represented; it was now a true written language. There were about 1400 glyphs in use at this time.

There was still a wide range of variation in the use of the script. Many syllables could be written in multiple ways, and many glyphs had multiple meanings; there was wide variation in the style of writing and level of stylization; there was still some leeway for the invention of signs; and there were quite a few two- or three-syllable glyphs, names of cities or deities.

The script was written somewhat differently in the three Wede:i kingdoms, Yenine, Na:nyanok, and Saiśi; and this variation was complicated by minor dialectal differences: two words that sounded the same in Yenine, leading to the use of a phonogram, might not sound the same in Na:nyanok, but the phonogram might be borrowed anyway.

The use of the script now extended to the writing of monumental inscriptions, religious poetry, diplomatic correspondence, and books of proverbs.

The Old Syllabary

With the unification of all three Wede:i states in -625 by the paźiwa Nanuŋitera, the confusions and variations of the script began to seem both inefficient and shameful. Nanuŋitera therefore instructed his scholars to produce a uniform list of glyphs. The result was the Old Syllabary, completed about -611, just in time for use in promulgating the first written legal code, Nanuŋitera's Canons of Respect. The list of approved glyphs is itself mentioned in the Canons, along with penalties to be imposed for using glyphs not on the list.

The Old Syllabary is actually a mixed syllabic and logographic script; it consists of 655 signs corresponding to the possible syllables of Wede:i, plus an additional 440 signs representing particular words of one or more syllables.

Syllabic glyphs
An implicit phonological analysis of the language is inherent in the script: 18 initial consonants (plus null), 7 vowels and diphthongs, and 5 possible finals (l, r, k, n/ŋ, and null). Signs for yi- and wu- were not needed as these syllables did not occur. The representation was largely phonemic, except that long vowels were not distinguished from short (we have already seen the equivalence of ma:k and mak), and final n and ŋ were not distinguished. However, phonetic changes due to cliticization were reflected in the script, when syllabic signs were used: e.g. tenok + i 'elected him' was written with glyphs te-no-gi. It should also be noted that a few signs were used for more than one syllable, for instance for both do and don.
Word glyphs
The 440 word glyphs were in a sense superfluous, since they could be represented using one of the syllabic signs; but using special signs reduced ambiguity, shortened texts, and preserved more than half of the traditional glyphs.

Actually, rather more than 440 words could be represented using single glyphs: the word-specific glyphs could be used for other words pronounced the same way (and the phonemic ambiguities mentioned above put a little wiggle room into that 'same'); and the majority of the syllabic glyphs also served as logographs for one-syllable words (e.g. lu: 'water').

The scholars were careful to retain the traditional signs for nanuŋ 'divine' and itera 'radiance', in order, it is said, that the king could continue to make use of the only two signs he knew. This story is most likely a calumny; Nanuŋitera's line was somewhat disrespected among the Wede:i for choosing conquest over culture, but this does not mean he was an illiterate.

Style and structure
Glyphs were to be chosen according the pronunciation of Yenine; however, the approved drawing style resembled more that of Na:nyanok, considered more elegant (because more conservative) than the somewhat simplified style of Yenine.

The reader should not imagine the scribes struggling to learn 1095 completely distinct glyphs. There were systematic resemblances between glyphs; many of them could be easily recognized as combinations of simpler elements. For instance, la:ŋu 'marry' was drawn using the glyphs gu:me 'man' and zimi 'woman'; za:uni 'family' simply incorporated a drawing of a child as well. Similarly, digu 'hide' depicts a man hiding between two trees.

Nanuŋitera's scholars also disambiguated many of the homonymous glyphs by including another glyph to suggest the meaning. For instance, ko:u 'mouth' was also used for yonu 'speak'; the latter was now designated , incorporating the glyph moga 'ear'.

As most inflections were simply additional syllables, they were easily represented in the script. When the syllabic signs were used, strict syllabic separations were respected: e.g. makun 'cousins' was represented as ma + kun (using glyphs meaning 'star', 'rain'). When word-specific signs were used with suffixes, however, the final consonant of the root could be represented (redundantly) by the suffix syllable, or skipped: do:nun 'horses' was represented do:n + un or do:n + nun.

The adaptation to Axunašin

Beginning around -325, barbarians conquered the Wede:i kingdoms, and over the centuries their language, Axunašin, replaced Wede:i. Around -100 the Axunašin began to adapt the Wede:i syllabary for use with their own language. See the Axunašin/Xurnáš section of Language in Almea for details.

The Axunašin script was reformed around 650, under the patronage of the kings of Axuna and Gotanel, forming the Classical script. By this time the glyphs had become highly stylized; the Classical script systematized this tendency, writing every glyph as a combination of lines and circles:

old form new form
There was a canonical order of glyphs, based on the number of lines, topographical order, the number of circles, and orientation. This allowed,for the first times, dictionaries to be consulted to look up an unknown glyph.

Axunašin had a more complicated syllable structure than Wede:i, with the result that (say) a word like lič 'face' had to be written with two glyphs, <li><či>. The classical reform introduced diacritics representing final consonants; lič could now be written , using the <li> glyph plus a = diacritic representing final -č. This change greatly reduced the number of syllabic glyphs. (However, quite a few of the old syllabic glyphs were still used to represent entire words.)

Modern Xurno and Čeiy have each developed cursive forms of the classical script:

old form new form
A number of other languages have adapted the Xurnese script for their own languages, notably Sevisor, Qey, Lelm, and several cantons of Belšai.

Later developments in the Wede:i family

For more than a milennium the nation of Jeor continued to be ruled by Wede:i. As the language changed, developing new sounds and consonant clusters, the syllabary served it increasingly badly. The Jeori produced their own revision of the Old Syllabary in 1356, simplifying the glyphs and adapting to the current phonology of their language.

The modern Cuolese have simplified the glyphs still further, and adapted them to an even more developed phonology, including even more consonant clusters and a range of new vowels. Unlike the Axunašin, the Jeori and Cuolese have never moved in the direction of characters representing single phonemes; the Cuolese system relies heavily on two- or three-glyph combinations that represent a single phonologically complex syllable.

Lexicon [To Index]

Many words that require a separate root in English can be expressed with suffixes in Wede:i. Nominalizations, adjectivizations, causatives etc. are not shown, since they are regular; however, a few unexpected derivations are shown.
-a:i locative suffix
a:inu help, assist, accompany
ak an honorific
Akba:un legendary king of Tewor, who unified the Xengi delta in the realm of Yenine [honorific + ‘storm’]
Aklu:ma the goddess of the sea [honorific + ‘great sea’]
Akru: the sun god [honorific + ‘sun’]
Akśim the Xengi river [honorific + Śim ‘Long’, the earlier name of the river]
aktik monster; one of the old gods [‘great old one’]
ba half
bai tower
ba:ilu remove, escape
ba:ilsa condemn
bamba:ilu flee
ba:n oats
baŋ six (10 in Wede:i base six number system)
baŋotu the basis of measurement, about a meter ['half-height (of a man)']
bau quiet, tranquil
ba:un storm
beda sister
Begoŋ the largest of Almea’s moons (Iliažë)
Begoŋitera king of Yenine, conqueror of Saiśi [‘moonlight’]
beme lip
ben under
benuŋ low, lower
benpapa grandmother [‘lower mother’]
bendata grandfather [‘lower father]
benśentin the day when all laws are reversed [‘down-up-day’]
beśa flesh, muscle
bi: white, bright; fair (of skin)
bi:ka silver
Bi:dau capital of ancient Yenine in classic period [‘white city’]
bika fir
Birbi: Iliacáš, one of the moons [‘very bright’]
biźi grass
bo one
Bo: the Bolon river
bogu individual, person; someone [‘one person’]
boguśa who
boka object, thing; something [‘one’ + nominalizer]
bokaśa what
bokadośa where
Bo:lun the northern Bo: valley, modern Bolon [‘northern Bo:’]
bo:ndo 46656 (1,000,000 in Wede:i base six number system)
Bo:ndola:i lord of Śima:i who founded kingdom of Na:nyanok [‘a million glories’]
bori island
boruŋ union [‘one rule’]
Bo:saŋ the southern Bo: valley, modern Bozan [‘southern Bo:’]
boyok sum, count; price [‘one-two’]
boyoku count (v)
bu before, preceding
buka deer
bukuro owl
bu:na emptying; the time it takes to empty one tier of a water clock; cosmic cycle
bu:nu empty; pour out
buru loon
da:iu value, appreciate
da:ira be valuable, be worthy
da:ize disdain
data father
dau city
dauka whale
da:ur skin, bark (of a tree); sail
da:wi boy (before puberty)
de:i people, nation
de:igu commoner, citizen, human
De:iju the uncivilized people southeast of the Xengi [‘eastern people’]
De:ijubori Jecuor [‘De:iju island’]
digu hide
di:n daughter; girl
do: wind, breeze
Do:ju Wede:i state east of Bozan [‘east wind’]
dolu hang
do:n horse
Do:na:i city in Jeor [‘horse land’]
dowo no, not
dowogu nobody
du:r mortar (for grinding)
duzu have, own, possess
duzul slave [‘owned’]
eze:r 1276 (10,000 in the Wede:i base six number system)
gai log, beam; battering ram
gala:i enclosure; walled town
galu close, enclose
gau that (subordinating particle)
gauji fruit
ge:ŋ beard
Ge:ŋgun the northern barbarians, including the Easterners [‘beard-men’]
go away; that
goju steal [prob. ‘(make) away’]
go:rtu sea, ocean
gouŋ far [‘awayish’]
go:źi eat
go:źisa feed
go:źiji food
gu:me man
guśa respect, honor
guśu bow down; honor, respect
i:l eye
iteru shine
ituri read
ja:iu tell, recount, tell a story
ja:ia story
jan arrow
jaŋu breathe
ja:tu measure
ja:u 7776 (100,000 in the Wede:i base six number system)
jalan wave
jauka wolf
Jaukaroda the Wolf God; the planet Caiem
Jei the Ideis river; the Jeori
Jeinizun first capital of Jeor [‘Jei Palaces’]
Jeiboruŋ Jeor, Wede:i state southwest of Axunai; formed by union of Jeinizun and Taŋgun in 250; nucleus of later Jeori Empire; conquered by Gurdagor c. 1980 [‘Jei Union’]
jen forest
je:tun coyote
ji ford, river crossing
jiro moment, hour; time
jirośa when
jirowen water clock [‘hour tool’]
jok other, another
jo:na cat
joŋ black, dark; brunette
ju east
juku sneeze
juŋ son; boy
-ka- additive
kago basket
kai leg
ka:imu buy
ka:imśi sell
kaiwen leggings, trousers [‘leg-tool’]
kal good
kalzi wife [‘good-woman’]
kamu guard
kariji neck
ka:u mouth
ka:ulau clam [‘mouth-shell’]
keŋ foot
keŋka shoe, sandal [‘foot-thing’]
ke:ta 216 (1000 in Wede:i base six number system)
ki tooth
kimu bite
kin frog
kiŋ joint
koku die
koksa kill
komo house
komoma the world, the universe [‘big house’]
komogu servant [‘house-man’]
komozi maidservant
koza: rib
-ku- object suffix
kudu break
kugo hat, cap
kulana cod
kunu rain
kur ram
ku:ru give
la:i glory
La:ia son of Suma:un; lost empire to civil war [‘glorious one’]
la:ŋu marry (la:ŋeŋu ‘marry each other’; la:ŋsa ‘arrange a marriage’)
lau type of seashell
la:u come
la:usa summon
lauji money [‘shell’ + nominalizer]
la:ŋlauji bride-price
la:uk because [derivation of ‘come’; i.e ‘it comes of...’]
lauku:ru pay [‘money-give’]
la:uliu find, meet [‘come see’]
legau pear
leźu trust
leźa responsibility
leźugu trustee, responsible person
lila:u approach [‘come near’]
liu see
lisa explain, point out
lil this; nearby [liul ‘seen’]
lil jiro now
lil tin today
liluŋ near, close [‘nearish’]
loda peace
loŋ buckle, clasp
losu moose, elk
Losuna:n the Elk Goddess; the planet Hírumor
losumiŋ emerald [‘Hírumor substance’]
lu: water
lumu wash
lumra be clean
lun north
lu:źensagu engineer (of irrigation works) [‘water driver’]
mai wheat
ma:in star
ma:ku defeat
mak cousin
ma:l color, pigment
ma:n great, good, noble; (as a suffix to a place name) greater —, the — region [augm. -ma is a worn-down form]
ma:ngu noble, nobleman [‘great person’]
ma:nzi noblewoman
Ma:ndau a city, Ax. Mendau [‘great city’]
maŋa sphere, ball
maŋayuma a type of flower with a spherical head [‘ball-flower’]
ma:r female, feminine, womanly; warp (of loom)
ma:rzi a girl or woman, a female
mau fill
ma:un leopard, panther
melen heart
melenokuda heartbreak, grief [‘heart-breaking’]
men pine cone
miku tie
mikwen rope
miriŋ snake
moga ear
mogalau oyster [‘ear-shell’]
moganopaźiwa minister, vizier [‘king’s ear’]
mogau peach
mo:mo young
Mo:mor capital of late Wede:i state of Jeor; Axunašin Momor [‘young town’]
mo:ngu young person, youth
mo:nzi young woman, maiden
mu: waist
muku bull
mun holy
muna:i temple [‘holy place’]
muri turn, change
Murineli the land of the dead
mura turning; change; a level of being
mu:wen belt
na:i bird
Na:iwor a city along the Ideis [‘western bird’]
naka hemp
na:n god
na:nku:ru propitiate, sacrifice [‘god-give’]
na:nśauk rite, ritual [‘god-rule’]
Na:nyanok ancient kingdom along the middle Xengi. centered on Śimai [‘the god spoke’]
na:nyonu pray [‘god-speak’]
nanuŋ divine
Nanuŋitera king of Yenine, son of Begoŋitera; conqueror of Na:nyanok, promulgator of first law code, directed assembly of Old Syllabary [‘Divine radiance’]
na:ŋgu priest [‘god-man’]
nau ox
na:wen axe
neru lie down
nerenu sleep together
neruwen bed [‘thing for lying down in’]
ni: field
ni:gu farmer, peasant
niji animal [‘walk’ + nominalizer]
nine hill
niŋmali trade, commerce
niŋmala:i market, trading place
nitu walk
nituk for the purpose of, in order to [from ‘walk’; cf la:uk]
nitukśa why
niz mansion, palace
-no- possessive suffix
no: red
no:biźi redcane (a reedy plant found in marshes, with woody red stalks) [‘red grass’]
nu:l healthy
nu:lsa cure
nu:n tripod
ŋa:i hand
ŋa:ila:u beckon, invite [‘hand-come’]
ŋauji tongue
ŋaiki bring, fetch, carry
ŋaikwen wagon, cart [‘bring-tool’]
ŋa:una street
ŋaza clay, earth
ŋegea rising; enlightenment, revelation
ŋeka flower
ŋeli land, country
ŋeru live, reside
ŋerenu live together
ŋera:i household, residence [‘living place’]
ŋeu rise
ŋesa lift
ŋewa flax
ŋibo hips; lap
ŋiboji apron, cloth worn over the loincloth
ŋinji song
ŋinu sing
ŋinsa play (an instrument)
ŋir left (side)
ŋiyan linen
ŋo:du hunt
ŋok jar
ŋokma large jar
ŋol fire
ŋolzau glass
ŋolu burn, be on fire
ŋolsa cause to burn, set on fire
ŋor big, large
ŋosu flog, whip
ŋota high
ŋotaŋeli steppe, plateau, desert [‘highland’]
ŋozi same
ŋu:ma mountain
ŋu:mak mountain range
Ŋu:made:i the Lenani people [‘mountain people’]
ŋun grape [from Elkarîl]
o: furrow
paiju fear
paira basin, pool
pa:iu divide
palin again
pamu hear, listen
pana rooster
papa mother
paudu worship
pauka mole
paun some
paźiwa king
-pe- repetitive particle
pija mud, dirt
pik green
pina five
piŋgau apple
pir hand harp, lyre
pirma large harp
po: hair
ponu jump
pu:k crime; evil
pu:ku sin, do evil, commit crimes
pulu stand; stay, remain
puŋan wood
Puro the Puro river, running parallel to the Xengi
Puroŋeli Wede:i state along the upper Xengi, X. Pronel [‘Puro land’]
ra in, inside
ra:bo cloth, fabric
rada seed
ra:i none, not any
ral shrine, oracle
Ra:n the name of the main river of Rajjay
raśak fox
Raśakma the Fox God; the planet Vereon
rau door
raźa vagina
raźazi whore [‘vagina woman’]
re:du frown
reja storm
reju storm
reku trap, catch
ril egg; testicle
rilsirgu eunuch [‘without testes’]
rimu weave
riŋu rot, spoil; ferment
riŋtuka rye beer [‘rot-rye’]
riŋtuka:i tavern, inn
-ro- imperative suffix
roda brother
rok out, outside
ru: Ënomai, the sun
ruk sharp
rukŋa:i claw
rukŋa:iji crab
rukwen weapon
ruŋa:i capital, kingdom, city-state. All these were pretty much equivalent in early Wede:i times; later on the ‘kingdom’ was still identified with the seat of administration. [‘place of ruling’]
ruŋu govern
ruŋgu governor
ruti rush, hurry
ruwen loom [rim- ‘weave’ + ‘machine’]
ruźi checked, spotted, speckled
ruźina:i pheasant [‘spotted bird’]
Sabi the Sainor people [from a Sainor language]
sakana fish
sai middle
Saiśi ancient kingdom on Lake Van; Axunašin Sayiši [‘middle lake’]
saŋ south
sa:un law, regulation
sa:unak law code, canon
seki night
sela:i warlord, general
si room
sim word (spoken or written), character, glyph
soŋka bear (animal)
Soŋkana:n the Bear God; the planet Imiri
soŋmiŋ jade [‘Bear God substance’]
soźu lose
su: new
Su:dau Wede:i state on the Xengi [‘New city’]
suku stab, pierce
sukwen dagger
sukwenma spear
sukwenka swordfish
Suma:un son of Toma:un, expanded Jeori empire [‘new leopard’]
suri circle
suriji band, circular adornment
śabuk fast, quick
śabukka swallow (bird) [‘fast-animal’]
Śabukma Naunai, the smallest and fastest moon [‘fast’ + augment.]
śabukmiŋ quicksilver
śaka finger
śagu drink
śal beautiful, handsome
śai prop, support
śa:u guilt, shame
śa:usir shameless, sinful
śauk rule
śaukra be ruled, be subject to
śaukragu subject
śaukgu ruler, lord
śebaru write
śebarul scroll, book
śela shelter, protection; harbor, port
śelu shelter, protect
śen above
śenuŋ ‘upper’
śendi:n granddaughter [‘upper daughter’]
śenjuŋ grandson [‘upper son’]
śenka roof [‘above thing’]
śeya soft, blunt
śi lake
śigu work
śim long; name of the Xengi river
Śima:i oldest Wede:i city-state, on the middle Xengi [‘Xengi place’]
śin cow
Śinji a Wede:i state along the Xengi; Axunašin Šinji [‘cow ford’]
śiŋa loincloth
śir three
śiya small, little
śoba:n oatmeal [‘boiled oats’]
śojo chin; pride
śok bundle
śoku wrap, bundle
śokuma robe
śona:i kitchen [‘place for cooking’]
śonu boil; cook
śoŋu hit, strike
śu: tree
śubu spit
śuk stone, rock
śukzau crystal [‘rock-sand’]
ta:i to the right of
ta:ia right side
taku stop
tan fertile
taŋ thirty-six (100 in Wede:i base six number system)
Taŋgun Wede:i trading confederacy, united with Jeinizun to form Jei Union [‘men of the Taŋ, the Thirty-Six’]
Taŋŋeli the Tanel peninsula [‘fertile land’]
tareŋ blood
ta:uno why
tause four
te: arm; branch (of river)
te:du mind, brain
tenu elect, choose
tel male, masculine, manly; weft (on loom)
telgu boy or man; a male
Tewor an ancient city-state in the Xengi delta [‘west (river) branch’]
ti after, following
tik old
tin day
tinbu yesterday
tinno two-hour period [‘of the day’]
bo tinno
tinti tomorrow
tiraji face
tiyona squid
ti:zi cry, weep
to knife
to: cunning, clever
toa sword
tok blue
Tokna:n one of the gods; also the name of Lake Van [‘blue god’]
to:l each, every
Toma:un founder of Jeori empire (c. 750) [‘Clever leopard’]
tu: crossroads
tu:bu smooth
tuka rye
tula:u decide [‘come to the crossroads‘]
tur stick (n)
turma branch
-un plural morpheme
wada stool, chair (backed chairs were rare)
wa:i boat
wa:igu sailor
wa:ima ship
Wa:ior city on the Čiqai [‘town of boats’]
waŋu sit
wata year
watasu: spring [‘new year’]
wau bark (of a dog)
wawa baby
we: great, mighty
we:a might, greatness
wedaŋ alert, vigilant
We:sela:i general, last of Jeori emperors [‘mighty warlord’]
wen luck
Wede:i name of the Wede:i peoples [‘mighty people’]
we:śi make, build; found, establish
wete birch
Wila:r name of a goddess, and a planet (Išira) named after her
woŋi feel disgust or horror
woŋsauŋ disgusting, horrible
wor west
yai jewel
yaŋ nest
yatu give orders
yauji beetle
Yaujina:n the Beetle God; the planet Vlerë
ye river
yebi: gold [‘river-bright’]
yebi:li rich [‘having gold’]
yedu think
Yenine first true Wede:i state, in the Xengi delta; later formed empire over Xengi valley [‘river hill’]
Yewor city on upper Xengi (Axunašin Jiur) [‘west river’]
yoźi peel
yok two
yokak pair, couple
yokriŋ vinegar [‘double ferment’]
yokto scissors, clippers (two blades attached together with a curving element) [‘double-knife’]
yona language
Wede:i yona the Wede:i language
yonagu interpreter, translator [‘language person’]
yonu speak, say
yoŋ peas
yoru dance
yuma head
yur bad, unpleasant
zai lightning
zak spoon
zaran sour, bitter
zau sand
zauuŋ sandy; blonde
za:uni family
zawak beach [‘sand’ + collective]
ze:nsaji parable [‘teaching thing’]
ze:nu know
ze:nsa teach
zimi woman
zimisir unmarried (man)
zel turtle
zitu cross
zituka sash
zoko altar
zotu belong, pertain (to)
zotusa apply (to)
zu meat
zu:ru get, take
zu:rtau ‘want-take’, i.e. desire, want; love (sexually)
źaik yellow
Źaikye the Čiqay river [‘yellow water’ (from its color)]
źaiji bee
źaijiyaŋ hive; wax
źal flat, level; plain
źalka table
źa:u plow (n)
źe: wheel
źeba hawk, falcon
źeku fall
źeksa drop
źegu lust after, envy
źegusir content, free of (illicit) desires
źenu go
źensau lead, send (people), drive (animals)
źensagu leader [‘lead-person’]
źe:reŋ name of a previous cosmological cycle (X. Čerengri)
źe:ti laugh
źi:u grow
źi:a:i garden [‘growing place’]
źili stir
źinźi:u thrive, shoot up
źomu oppose, resist
źongu rival, opponent
źosa hut, shack
źue broom
źuko nose
źunu suck, suckle
źunsa give suck, nurse
źunwen breast
źuŋ bug, insect

Cuolese [To Index]

This section is not intended as a full description of Cuolese, but only as a résumé of how the modern language developed from Wede:i. This will be somewhat misleading, in that the language has been heavily influenced by Xurnáš, as well as by the Lenani languages of the Jippirasti nomads who occupied the region for nearly eight centuries.

Phonology [To Index]

Cuolese phonology

The consonant system has not greatly changed: the alveolar-palatals śź have fronted a bit to šž; a new affricate c has developed, realized as [ts] in Doju, as [č] in Pronel.

The vowels have changed more dramatically, developing into a pitch-accent system. Very likely the long vowels were already pronounced with a raised pitch. The length was lost, but the high pitch remained; thus Wede:i a: → Cuolese á, etc. (High tone is represented with an acute accent.) The long diphthongs were evidently pronounced high on the onglide (the main vowel), back to medium on the offglide; this became a falling tone: a:i à etc.

Very few Wede:i words had two long syllables; where these did occur, one has shortened so that there is never more than one tone per word.

Moreover, vowels before n nasalized and absorbed the consonant: an ã etc. If the vowel was long, it may be both nasalized and high tone: a:n á~.

Finally, front rounded vowels ü ö developed from several sources: short au, as well as back vowels after y or before r and l. The nasalized vowels can be rounded as well: .

Sound changes from Wede:i [To Index]

R stands for r or l
1. au → ö
a:u → ò
pauka → pög
sa:u → sò
2. ei → i:, ai → e:
e:i → è; a:i → à
Jeiwor → Jíwör; Źaikye → Žéc
wa:igu → wàju; Wede:i → Weè
3. yu → ü, yo → ö yuma → üm; yonu → önu
4. [+stop] → [+affric] / (V,#)_(i,u) kugoli → Cuoli; tik → ciw; digu → juju
5. [+stop +voice] → ø / V_V Wede:i → Weè; kugoli → Cuoli; no:biźi → nóiži
6. [+stop, +fric] → [+voice] / V_(V,w) ŋosu → gozu; papa → pab; raśak → ražaw
7. [+back] → [+round -long] /_R ŋor → gör, tur → cür; to:l → töl
8. i → u / [+sib]_C sim → sum → sũ; zimi → zumi
9. a → o / _ng baŋ → boŋ
10. e → i / _Ri ŋeli → ŋili
11. k → w / _# yonok → önow
12. p → py / _i
ky → c / _i
pina → pyin
Źaikye → Žéc
13. [+short] → ø / VC_CV yoneniŋ → yonniŋ → ṏniŋ; paźiwa → pažwa; Śelawor → Śelwör → Šewör
14. o → ou / C(C)_# bo → bou
15. (n,m) → ~ / _#, _C jalan → jalã; Šimka:u → Šũkò
16. (a,e) → ø / VC_# pauka → pöga → pög; gu:me → gúm
17. R → ø / _C kalzi → kazi; neruwen → nerwen → newẽ
18. [+long] → [+high] no: → nó
19. ŋ → g / #_(a,e,o,u,ö)
ŋ → m /_[+labial]
ŋ → n / _[+dental]
ŋol → göl; ŋaza → gaz
yoniŋwe → önimwe; soŋmiŋ → sommiŋ
yoniŋtu → önintu; Boruŋdau → Börundö
20. ö → o / u_ kugoli → Cuöli → Cuoli
21. [+alv-pal] → [-palatal] źeku → žeku; śuk → šuw

Morphology [To Index]

The verbal morphology is largely intact, but has become a good deal more fusional. For instance, here are the basic forms of the verb önu 'speak'; note that there is no longer a single recognizable past tense morpheme. Note also that the verb root ön-, if it occurs before a consonant, nasalizes to .
Present Past
öniŋ I speak ṏciŋ I spoke
önil you speak ṏcil you spoke
ön he speaks önow he spoke

The subject-object forms in the present tense also show a good deal of fusion.

1st person subject 2nd person subject
ṏniŋ I speak to myself öninu you speak to me
öniŋku I speak to you (s) ṏnil you speak to yourself
ṏŋi I speak to him ṏli you speak to him
ṏŋu I speak to her ṏlu you speak to her
önintu I speak to us önitu you speak to us
önimwe I speak to you (pl) öniwe you speak to yourselves
3rd person subject
ṏno he speaks to me
ṏku he speaks to you (s)
önẽ he speaks to himself
ṏjö he speaks to someone else
ṏtu he speaks to us
ṏwe he speaks to you (pl)

Nominal endings, perhaps because they are usually used alone, are more recognizable. Plurals always involve nasalization, but if the root ends in a consonant there is an added vowel, which is synchronically unpredictable though it is almost always that of the Wede:i etymon (for the examples, do:n, gu:me, dau, zimi).

horse man city woman
s. nom. dón gúm zumi
s. acc. dónu gṹwu döwu zũwu
s. dat. dṍni gṹni döni zũni
pl. dónũ gúmẽ dṏ zumĩ

Jeori [To Index]

Jeori is the Wede:i language of Jeor, properly speaking the region west of the Ideis (W. Jei) river. It's useful to distinguish two stages:

Phonology [To Index]

The sounds of New Jeori are as follows:
Jeori consonants
The consonantal system is unremarkable; it has simply developed new fricatives v, x and new affricates c = [ts] and an unvoiced č. The vowel system is more complex, and it's worth looking at how it developed from late Wede:i.
Jeori vowels

Where the characteristic development of long vowels in Cuolese was to high pitch, in Jeori it was to tenseness. Roughly speaking the long vowels have become tense vowels i e o u a in Jeori, and remained where they were-- a however backing to [a].

The short vowels must have all been laxed in late Wede:i-- moved toward the center of the vowel space. In Old Jeori, the high short vowels i u merged to a high central vowel î = [i], while the mid short vowels e o merged to schwa ə. At the same time, short a became fronted [æ].

Some of the short vowels have further shifted in New Jeori. æ raised a bit to become ê = [e]; î fronted to become more or less [I] as in 'bit'. A new back vowel û = [ʋ] as in 'put' arose from certain diphthongs as well as from interconsonantal /w/.

As a further complication, ə and î are elided-- typically, if they occur in the second syllable of the word. This has created new consonant clusters, which have been simplified by (backward) assimilation.

yonokenil → yanəkənîl → yankənîl → yandûnyîl
De:ijubori → Deyjîb
ər → Dejbər
ŋu:made:i → Nyum
ədey → Nyumdey → Yumbe

Sound changes from Wede:i [To Index]

These can be divided into two sets; the first covers the evolution of Old Jeori. Many of these rules can be taken as phonetic rather than phonemic changes-- e.g. the reduction of short vowels, or the wholesale changes that applied to several initials.

B represents any back vowel, including a; X represents any consonant except a nasal.

1. i → y / B_ wa:ino → vaynə, Wede:i → vədey
2. yg → j
yl → ly
wa:igu → vajî
ba:ilu → balyî
3. wk → kw / _V
k → p / _w
lauku:ru → lakwu:ru → læpwurî
rukwen → rîpwən
4. a(:)w → o: sa:un → zon, dau → do, Śelawor → Śæloər
5. n → ŋ / _[+velar] na:ŋu → naŋgî
6. z → dz, ź → dź / #_
s → z / #_
w → v / #_
zimi → dzîmî, źeku → dźəgî
sim → zîm
wen → vən
7. t → č / _u yoniltu → yanîlčî
8. V → ø / VCVC_# yonili → yanîl; dowogu → dawəg
9. a → ə / VC(C)_ ŋu:ma → nyumə; Nakani: → Nækən
10. e → æ / #C_
o → a: / #C_
men → mæn
losu → lasî
11. a → æ
(e,o) → ə
(u,i) → î
gala:i → gælay
gu:me → gumə, dowo → dawə
kudu → kîdî, niz → nîz
12. : → ø na:n → nan, no: → no
13. î → ə / îC(C)_X Buruźi → Bîrîś → Bîrəś
14. ŋ → ny / #_, V_B ŋu:ma → nyumə, ruŋa:i → rînyay
The following changes take us to New Jeori, almost up to modern times.

F represents a front vowel or y. E represents a mid front vowel (e î ê).

1. æ → ê bæŋ → bwêŋ
2. ə → û / əC(C)_
ə → ø / _CV
yanəkənîl → yanəkûnîl → yankûnîl → yandûnyîl
3. î → ø / VC_C(î,ə) Deyjîbər → Dejbər; yanîlîn → yanlin
4. [+stop -voice] → [+fric] / _[+stop], _# mæknə → mwêxŋə, yanək → yanəx
5. ny → y nyonə → yonə
6. ly → ź nyalyo → yaźo
7. d → r / V_V radə → rarə
8. dź → j
dz → c
dźəŋgî → jəŋgyî
dzonî → conyî
9. (m,b) → w / V_F, F_V nobîź → nowîź; vaymə → vawə
10. ø → w / (m,b,p)_F mæk → mêk → mwêx, bi → bwih, pînə → pwinə
11. k → gy / V_E, E_V
ø → y / (k,g,n)_E
bîkə → bwîgyə, rækî → rêgyî
ketə → kyetə, nîz → nyîz, maŋgî → maŋgyî
12. y → ø / (a,e)_ mayn → man, deyjî → dejî
13. əw → o
əy → ê
guməw → gumo
nînəy → ninê
14. îw → û
îy → i
pæźîw → pwêźû
tîyən → tiən → tin
15. (i,e,ê) → [+raised] / _n mæn → mwên → mwen, dzenî → cînyî, tîn → tin
16. ə → ø / V_C Nyumoər → Yumor
17. s → h, g → x / V_ə tosə → tohə, kægə → kyêxə
18. [+stop, +fric] → [+voice] / [+voice]_ dzensəjî → cînzjî, pæməkîn → pwêmkyin → pwêmgyin → pwêmbyin
19. [+stop, +fric] → [-voice] / [-voice]_ yanəkzə → yanəksû
20. č → kx / ŋ_ yanîŋčî → yanyîŋkxî
21. [+stop] → [+velar] / [+velar]_ Barîŋdo → Barîŋgo
22. [+stop] → [+dental] / [+dental]_ yanəkîn → yankyin → yandin
23. [+stop] → [+labial] / [+labial]_r → w / [+labial]_ Zæbîŋəl → Zêbŋəl → Zêbməl
Jæybərîŋ → Jebrîŋ → Jebwîŋ
24. ln → d
l assimilates to following č, z, w
yanîlnə → yanyîdə
yanîlwə → yanîwwə
25. w → û / C_C zîpwən → zîpwn → zîpûn
26. ê → y / (a,o)_ taæ → taê → tay, voæ → voê → voy
27. ø → h / #C(C)(a,e,i)_#
ø → w / #C(C)(o,u)_#
ta → tah, te → teh, bi → bwih
to → tow, tu → tuw
28. y → ø / (n,d)_i donîn → donyîn → donyin → donin
yanəkîn → yandyin → yandin

Morphology [To Index]

The verbal morphology can be traced back to Wede:i, but has become a good deal more fusional. Here are the basic forms of yanyî 'speak', pwaî 'hear', śigyî 'work'. There are patterns-- for instance, the personal endings can be identified as -îŋ, -îl, -î/əx, -ŋin, -lin, -in, but even these tend to fuse with the verb root, and the past tense essentially has to be learned as a modification of the verb root, though it derives regularly from Wede:i -ok-.

The chief cause of the fusion of the past morpheme is vowel syncope-- which generally reduced the -ok to -k and left it adjacent to the root-- plus backward assimilation. So n + k → nd, m + k → mb, g + k → gg.

Classical Wede:i did not have plural subject forms: yoniŋ meant both 'I speak' and 'we speak'. Old Jeori innovated forms using the normal pluralizer (Wede:i -un, Old Jeori -în): yaniŋ 'I speak', yaniŋîn 'we speak'.

Present Past
yanyîŋ I speak yandyîŋ I spoke
yanyîl you s speak yandyîl you s spoke
yanyî he speaks yanəx he spoke
yannin we speak yandyîŋin we spoke
yanlin you pl speak yandyîlin you pl spoke
yanin they speak yandin they spoke
pwaîŋ I hear pwêmbyîŋ I heard
pwaîl you s hear pwêmbyîl you s heard
pwaî he hears pwax he heard
pwêmmin we hear pwêmbyîŋin we heard
pwêmlin you pl hear pwêmbyîlin you pl heard
pwain they hear pwêmbyin they heard
śigyîŋ I work śiggyîŋ I worked
śîxəl you s work śiggyîl you s worked
śigyî he works śixəx he worked
śigŋin we work śîggyîŋin we worked
śiglin you pl work śîggyîŋil you pl worked
śigyin they work śîggyin they worked

There are quite a few other verb forms, but there has been a tendency to replace them with independent adverbs or auxiliaries. The incorporated object affixes became increasingly literary; in speech separate object pronouns were developed.

Nominal endings are only somewhat the worse for wear; the accusative ending is almost always -ə, the dative -nyî-- though this is sometimes due to reanalysis. The plural ending is typically -n after vowels, -in after consonants, with the case endings added normally after it.

horse man city woman
s. nom. don gumə dow cûî
s. acc. donə gumo dowə cûo
s. dat. donnyî gummyî donyî cûin
pl. nom. donin gumən don cûîn
pl. acc. doninə gumənə donə cûînə
pl. dat. doninnyî gumənnyî donnyî cûînnyî

Sample sentences [To Index]

Here are a few sample sentences in all four languages. The first two are selected to emphasize the continuity of the Wede:i family; the last two are designed to show off some of the differences in the languages as they are today.
Wede:i Paźiwa lil śal zimiwo zu:rtau.
king this beautiful woman-ACC want-have
Old Jeori Pæźîw lîl śæl dzîməw dzurto.
New Jeori Pwêźû lîl śśêl cûo curto.
Cuolese Pažwa lil šal zũwu zütö.
English The king loves this beautiful woman.
Wede:i Muna:ido na:nunni na:nyoniŋok.
temple-LOC god-PL-DAT god-speak-I-PAST
Old Jeori Mînaydə nanînnî nanyənəkîŋ.
New Jeori Mwinarə naninnyî nanyandyîŋ.
Cuolese Munào nánũni nánṏciŋ.
English I prayed in the temple to the gods.
Wede:i Ge:ŋgunno śaukgumo paijilźu?
beard-man-GEN rule-man-ACC fear-QUES
Old Jeori Geŋgînîŋ nibewo pæyjîlźî?
New Jeori Asungri runircyî pwejo źucînyîl?
Axunemi ruler-DAT fear-ACC QUES-know-YOU
Cuolese Lil ezjuzũ giecu zen woŋil?
that Ezičimi lord-ACC NEG-QUES fear-YOU
English Do you fear the lord of the Easterners?
Wede:i Riŋtuka:ido la:uliilokkiu, kalziku śa:usir.
tavern-LOC meet-YOU-PAST-IF-HER wife-YOUR shame-WITHOUT
Old Jeori Kælzîkəw rîŋčəkaydə lolîəkîlkî, lîlzî śosîr.
wife-YOUR-ACC tavern-LOC meet-PAST-YOU-IF she shame-WITHOUT
New Jeori Kyîź kyîr laŋzo pwîddozîd ceyûgyîl, vew śosîrə dîzî.
if your wife-ACC tavern-LOC meet-PAST-YOU, she shameless-ACC have
Cuolese Šẽbrio jiracuwu lòliocilü, šōzur lienü.
tavern-LOC wife-YOUR-ACC meet-PAST-YOU-IRR shameless be-IRR
English If you met your wife in the tavern, she is shameless.

Things to note in example 3:

Things to note in example 4:

Wede:i/Jeori/Cuolese Comparative Lexicon [To Index]

This lexicon is intended to show the development of words from ancient Wede:i; it should not be used, even indirectly, as a dictionary of the modern languages. Very often meanings have shifted, and many of these words have not survived as independent lexical items.

Wede:i Old Jeori New Jeori Cuolese Wede:i meaning
bo ba bah bou one
yok yak yax öw two
śir śîr śir šur three
tause tosə tohə töz four
pina pînə pwinə pyin five
baŋ bæŋ bwêŋ boŋ six
(Ax. šeis) śæys śes šís seven
(Ax. yugi) yîgî yîgyî üji eight
(Ax. nebi) næbî nyaî nei nine
(Ax. deis) dæys des dís ten
a:inu aynî anyî ànu help
bai bæy bweh tower
ba:ilu balyî baźî bālu remove
ba:n ban ban bã́ oats
ba:un bon bon bò~ storm
begoŋ bægəŋ bwêxəŋ beoŋ the moon Iliažë
ben bæn bwen bẽ under
bendata bændətæ bwenddê bẽdad grandmother
benpapa bænpəpæ bwempwê bẽpab grandfather
bi: bi bwih white, bright
bi:ka bikə bwikə bíg silver
birbi: bîrbi bwîrbwi bibí the moon Iliacáš
biźi bîźî bwîźî biži grass
bogu bagî bagyî boju person
boka bagî bagyî bog thing
bori barî barî böri island
buka bîkə bwîgyə bug deer
bukuro bîkər bwîgîr bucüru owl
da:iu dayî daî dàu value
data dætə dêtə dad father
dau do dow city
dauka dæpwə dêpwə dög whale
da:wi doî doî dáwi boy
de:i dey deh people
digu dîgî dîgyî juju hide
di:n din din dí~ daughter
do: do dow wind
dolu dalî dalî dölu hang
do:n don don dṍ horse
dowo dawə dawə dowu no
dowogu dawəg dawg dowju nobody
du:r dur dur dür mortar
duzul dîzəl dîzəl juzül slave
eze:r əzer zer ezér thousand
gai gæy gyeh log
gala:i gælay gyêla galà enclosure
galu gælî gyêlî galu close
gauji gojî gojî göji fruit
ge:ŋ geŋ gyeŋ géŋ beard
goju gajî gajî goju steal
go:rtu gorčî gorčî götu ocean
gouŋ gawŋ gawn gouŋ far
gu:me gumə gumə gúm man
guśa gîśə gyîśə juž respect
guśu gîśî gyîśî južu honor
i:l il il íl eye
iteru îtər îtər idru shine
ituri îčər îčər icüri read
ja:iu jayî jaî jàu tell
jalan jælən jêlən jalã wave
jan jæn jen jẽ arrow
jaŋu jæŋî jêŋî joŋu breathe
jauka jæpwə jêpwə jög wolf
jen jæn jen forest
jok jak jax jow other
joŋ jaŋ jaŋ joŋ black
jo:na jonə jonə jón cat
ju ju east
juku jîkî jîgyî jucu sneeze
juŋ jîŋ jîŋ juŋ son
kago kægə kyêxə kao basket
ka:imu kaymî kawî kàmu buy
kal kæl kyêl kal good
kalzi kælzî kyêzzî kazi wife
kamu kæmî kyaî kamu guard
kariji kærîj kyêrîj kaji neck
ka:u ko kow mouth
keŋ kæŋ kyêŋ keŋ foot
ke:ta ketə kyetə kéd hundred
ki kyî ci tooth
kimu kîmî kyûî cimu bite
koku kakî kagyî kocu die
komo kamə kamə komu house
komogu kaməg kaməg kõju servant
kudu kîdî kyîrî cuju break
kugo kîgə kyîxə cuo cap
kur kîr kyîr cür ram
ku:ru kurî kurî cüru give
la:i lay lah glory
la:ŋu laŋî laŋî láŋu marry
la:u lo low type of seashell
lauji lojî lojî löji money
la:uk lok lox lòw because
lauku:ru kæpwurî lêpwurî lögüru pay
la:uliu lolîî lolî lòliu find, meet
legau lægo lêgo leö pear
leźu læźî lêźî ležu trust
leźugu læźîg lêźîg ležju official
lil lîl lîl lil this
lila:u lîlo lîlo lilò approach
liluŋ lîlîŋ lîlîŋ liluŋ near
liu lîî liu see
loŋ laŋ laŋ loŋ buckle
losu lasî lasî lozu moose
lu: lu luw water
lumu lîmî lûî lumu wash
lun lîn lin north
lu:źensagu luźənsəgî luźənzûgyî lúžẽsaju engineer
mai mæy mweh wheat
ma:in mayn man mà~ star
mak mæk mwêx maw cousin
ma:ku makî magyî mácu defeat
ma:n man man má~ great
ma:ngu maŋgî maŋgyî má~gu nobleman
ma:nzi manzî manzî má~zi noblewoman
ma:r mar mar már female
ma:rzi marzî marzî mázi woman
mau mo mow fill
ma:un mon mon mò~ leopard
melen mælən mwêlən melẽ heart
men mæn wen mẽ pine cone
miriŋ mîrîŋ mwîrîŋ miriŋ snake
moga magə maxə moa ear
mogau mago mago moö peach
mo:mo momə momə mómu young
mo:ngu moŋgî moŋgyî mṍgu young man
mo:nzi monzî monzî mṍzi young woman
muku mîkî mwîgyî mucu bull
na:i nay nah bird
na:n nan nan ná~ god
na:ŋgu naŋgî naŋgyî náŋgu priest
na:nśauk nanśok nanźox ná~šöw rite
nanuŋ nænîŋ nyenyîŋ nanuŋ divine
na:u no now ox
na:wen noən non náwẽ axe
neru nærî nyêrî neru lie down
neruwen nærîwən nyêrûn newẽ bed
ni: ni nih field
ni:gu nigî nigyî níju peasant
niji nîjî nyîjî niji animal
nine nînə ninə nin hill
niŋmala:i niŋməlay nyînla nimmalà market
niŋmali nîŋməlî nyînlî nimmali trade
nitu nîčî nyîčî nicu walk
nituk nîčək nyîčəx nicuw in order to
niz nîz nyîz niz palace
no: no now red
no:biźi nobîź nowîź nóiži redcane
na:ila:u nyalyo yaźo ŋàlò invite
n:ai nyay yah ŋà hand
ŋauji nyojî yojî göji tongue
ŋauna nyonə yonə ŋòn street
ŋaza nyæzə yêzə gaz clay
ŋegea nyægəæ yêxê gea rising
ŋeka nyækə yêgyə geg flower
ŋeli nyælî yêlî ŋili land
ŋera:i nyæray yêra gerà household
ŋeru nyærî yêrî geru live
ŋeu nyəw yah geu rise
ŋinji nyînjî yinjî ŋĩji song
ŋinu nyînî yînyî ŋinu sing
ŋol nyal yal göl fire
ŋor nyar yar gör big
ŋosu nyasî yasî gozu flog
ŋozi nyazî yazî gozi same
ŋu:ma nyumə yumə ŋúm mountain
ŋun nyîn yin grape
paira pæyrə pwerə pér basin
paźiwa pæźîw pwêźû pažwa king
piŋgau pîŋgo pwîŋgo pyiŋgö apple
paiju pæyjî pwejî péju fear
palin pælîn pwêlin palĩ again
pamu pæmî pwaî pamu hear
pana pænə pwenə pan rooster
papa pæpə pwêpə pab mother
pauka pæpwə pwêpwə pög mole
pik pîk pwîx pyiw green
pir pîr pwîr pyir lyre
pirma pîrmə pwîrmə pyima harp
po: po pow hair
ponu panî panyî ponu jump
pu:k puk pux púw crime
rada rædə rêrə raa seed
ral ræl rêl ral shrine
raśak ræsək rêźəx ražaw fox
rau ro row door
reja ræjə rêjə rej storm
reku rækî rêgyî recu trap
ril rîl rîl ril egg
rimu rîmî rûî rimu weave
roda radə rarə roa brother
ru: ru ruw sun
ruk rîk rîx ruw sharp
rukwen rîpwən rîpûn rugwẽ weapon
ruŋa:i rînyay ria ruŋà capital
ruŋu rîŋî rîŋî ruŋu govern
ruti rîtî rîtî ruci rush
sai zæy zeh middle
sakana zækən zêgîn sagna fish
saŋ zæŋ zêŋ song south
sa:un zon zon sò~ law
seki zækî zêgyî seci night
sela:i zælay zêla selà general
si si room
sim zîm zîm word
soŋka zaŋkə zaŋkə soŋka bear
soŋmiŋ zaŋmîŋ zaŋwîŋ sommiŋ jade
soźu zaźî zaźî sožu lose
su: zu zuw new
suku zîkî zîgyî sucu stab
sukwen zîpwən zîpûn sugwẽ dagger
śabuk śæbîk śaîx šauw fast
śa:u śo śow šò guilt
ša:uk śok śox šòw rule
śebaru śæbər śar šearu write
śebarul śæbərîl śêbwîl šearül book
śela śælə śêlə šel shelter
śelu śælî śêlî šelu shelter (v)
śen śæn śen šẽ above
śendi:n śændin śendin šẽdí~ granddaughter
śenjuŋ śænjîŋ śænjîŋ šẽjuŋ grandson
śi śî šî ši lake
śigu śîgî śîgyî šuju work
śin śîn śin šũ cow
śoba:n śaban śaban šoá~ oatmeal
śojo śajə śajə šoju chin; pride
śok śak śax šuw bundle
ta:i tay tah right (side)
taku tækî têgyî tacu stop
taŋ tæŋ têŋ toŋ thirty-six
tan tæn ten fertile
tareŋ tærəŋ têrəŋ tareŋ blood
ta:uno tonə tonə tònu why
te: te teh arm
tel tæl têl tel male
telgu tælgi têlgyî tegu male person
tenu tænî tenyî tenu choose
tik tîk tîx ciw old
tin tîn tin day
tiyona tîyən tin ciön squid
ti:zi tizî tizî tízi cry
to: to tow clever
to ta tah tou knife
toa taæ tay toa sword
tok tak tax tow blue
to:l tol tol töl each
tu: tu tuw crossroads
tula:u čîlo čîlo cülò decide
tur čîr čîr cür stick
wada vædə vêrə waa chair
wa:i vay vah boat
wa:igu vajî vajî wàju sailor
wa:ima vaymə vawə wàm ship
wata vætə vêtə wad year
wau vo vow bark
wawa voæ voy waw baby
we: ve veh great
wen vən vən wẽ luck
wete vətə vdû wed birch
wila:r vîlar vîlar wilár goddess æ planet
woŋi vəŋî vmî woŋi disgust
wor vər vər wör west
yai yæy yeh jewel
yaŋ yæŋ yêŋ yoŋ nest
yatu yæčî yêčî yacu order
yauji yojî yojî yöji beetle
ye ye river
yebi: yæbi yai yeí gold
yebi:li yæbil yail yeíli rich
yedu yædî yêrî yeju think
yonu yanî yanyî önu speak
yoru yarî yarî öru dance
yuma yîmə yûə üm head
zai dzæy ceh lightning
zak dzæk cêx zaw spoon
zaran dzærən cêrən zarã sour
zau dzo cow sand
za:uni dzonî conyî zòni family
zawak dzoæk coyx zawaw beach
zel dzəl cəl zel turtle
ze:nsaji dzensəjî cînjî zé~saji parable
ze:nu dzenî cînyî zénu know
zimi dzîmî cûî zumi woman
zoko dzəkə ckû zogu altar
zotu dzəčî cûčî zocu belong
zu dzî zu meat
zu:ru dzurî curî züru get, take
źaik dźæyk jex žéw yellow
źal dźæl jêl žal flat
źa:u dźo jow žò plow
źe: dźe jeh žé wheel
źeba dźəbə jbû žea hawk
źegu dźəgî jûgyî žeju lust
źeku dźəkî jûgyî žecu fall
źensagu dźənsəgî jənzûgyî žẽsaju leader
źenu dśənî jûnyî ženu go
źi:a:i dźiay jia žía garden
źi:u dźiî jiî žíu grow
źomu dźəmî jmwi žomu oppose
źongu dźəŋî jəŋgyî žõgu enemy
źosa dźəsə jîzû žoz hut
źue dźîə žue broom
źunu dźînî jinyî žunu suckle
źunwen dźînwən jinûn žũwẽ breast

Virtual Verduria