Virtual Verduria

Obenzayet • Curan Ubi%cayak

Introduction History and influencesSources
Phonology ConsonantsVowelsStressNešianOrthography
Morphology NounsAdjectivesPronounsVerbsNumbersDerivational
Syntax Sentence orderPronounsNP orderNegativesQuestionsInterrogativesCopulaPossessionConjunctionsDativePrepositionsTenseInfinitivesSubordinationComparativesCausativesPassive Place Time
Semantic fields Places/LanguagesNamesGods
Samples The boy and the calfI know a boy

Lexicon Other Naviu


The Naviu languages include most of the Southern nomads who dominate the Barbarian Plain, and who have periodically invaded both Eretald and Xengiman.

Modern members of the family include Küronet, Eluyet, Makši, Mixain, Seia, and Obenzayet. The nation of Bešbalic commemorates the name of the Bešbalicu, a Naviu tribe which once lived in that region; but the Bešbalicu language is extinct. Gelyet, the language of the historically most important Naviu, is attested only scantily, due to the tribulations of the Dark Years. Of course, the Gelyet themselves were one of those tribulations.

The best attested Naviu language is Obenzayet, the language of the small country of Obenzaya. It has been written since about 3400, and is the chief Naviu contributor to reconstructions of proto-Eastern— a very important contribution, since Obenzayet is a conservative language which has retained many proto-Eastern features not found in any other Eastern language. This document focuses on the classical Obenzayet language, as spoken by the nomads.

A map of Obenzaya and nearby lands, labeled in Obenzayet.
(This map, though not the labels, dates to 1981.)
Chronological note: This document is written with 3550 as the current date. This allows us to use the best grammars of what would later be called Classical Obenzayet, the form of the language important in proto-Eastern studies. Later varieties of Obenzayet lose many of the features that interest Easternists.
—M.R., December 2020

History and influences

The Naviu were a component of the ancient Easterners, and in the great expansion of the Eastern peoples from Bolon beginning around ZE -350, the Naviu expanded into the Barbarian Plain, displacing the Somoyi-Meťelyi. For more than two thousand years they lived as nomads on the Plain, or in small villages along the great rivers that cross the arid Plain bringing the waters fo the Diqun Bormai to Eretald: the Eärdur, the Selnara, the Meuna, the Madíš, and the Hasun. Neither the Naviu nor their Eastern ancestors knew urbanization, writing, or agriculture at more than the garden level; it is not surprising, then, that the most ancient Naviu vocabulary has no words relating to these technologies. Even the names of crops which can be traced back to Eastern are mostly lost in Naviu; kaɣra < *xogre, ‘barley’ in most of the Eastern languages, generalized to ‘grain’ in Naviu.

In classical times words relating to trading (e.g. kurag ‘buy’, lakag ‘trade’, lata ‘coin’, makšana ‘town’, zaraz ‘bread’) were borrowed from Caďinor. There is also a tier of words from Cuêzi (e.g. banaz ‘way’, baḡuɫ ‘quarter’, hluṯiz ‘evil’, itrïn ‘heart’, kailiraz ‘ballad’, kumayaz ‘peace’, mavuḏaz ‘iron’, nümuɫ ‘god’, rutiz ‘good’, uraz ‘bear’, zintaz ‘city’).

Words relating to the nomadic environment were borrowed from Meťelyi (vuk ‘primary horse’, ɣraba ‘wadi’, zvaiɫ ‘calf’, narmag ‘give suck (of mares)’, bägaz ‘horsetail’, ‘a hallucinogen’, vitraz ‘water source’, bisbalag ‘share loot’) or from Coruo (müɫa ‘saddle’, aisag ‘drink one’s horse’s blood’, sahi ‘mange’, nütavag ‘camp’, bagiɫ ‘vision’).

What were Dark Years in Eretald were good times for the Naviu, one tribe of which, the Gelyet, created the greatest empire in the history of Ereláe. Naturally, the Naviu languages picked up or created a good deal of vocabulary relating to the military or to administration during these years.

The Obenzayet themselves occupy a small southern section of Eretald, between Kačanza, Bešbalic, and Deštai, as they have for about six hundred years. During this time, while never wholly giving up herding, they have taken more and more to living in cities and to agriculture, and the vocabulary for these pursuits has been borrowed almost entirely from (southern varieties of) Verdurian— for instance, rikultag ‘harvest’, rilag ‘sow’, riznai ‘barn’, ivruɫ ‘book’, atsanz ‘school’, hivuɫ ‘mayor’, hizunz ‘policeman’, daluz ‘king’.

The nomads have retained their own ancient religion, but those who have settled down have mostly adopted Caďinorian religions. The most important families adopted the most prestigious of these, Caďinorian polytheism, and religious terminology along with it: azuns ‘priest’, himnai ‘temple’, klatana ‘seminary’, nakuyaz ‘adulthood ceremony’, Ikšarä ‘the afterworld’; there are also loan-translations like diɫa maharkäʔ ‘place of darkness, Hell’, vraskaiz ‘ancestral spirit’, natïnama ‘birth-meal’.

The common people have been more likely to adopt Eleďát, the majority religion in the Eärdur valley, and as a result have borrowed words such as azistun ‘church’, zurimaz ‘mass’, zavag ‘sin’, Ailadanz ‘Eleď’.

A tier of words from Elkarîl reflects the fact that, for thousands of years, the elcari have wandered the Plain trading metals and tools for horse products and steppe plants. Thus baliḏ silver, ḵitsiḏ gold, ludaŋ steel, makiḏ diamond, rimiḏ emerald, sarz sword, tsur glass, gits helmet, kiluŋ mercury, mikšak kohl, mikriḏ obsidian. That the roving elcari offered services besides metallurgy is attested by the word tiluḏag ‘heal’.


The first published sources on Obenzayet are wordlists provided by interested traders and diplomats, and the list of glosses— Colaprec Celmetecië Ubenkayan (The Helper for Translators Into Obenzayet)— compiled by Eleďe missionaries in the 3380s. Obenzayans started to write documents, mostly administrative or religious in nature, from about 3400.

The first scholarly treatment is Osör Ružeon’s Sarise (Eastern), 3442, which contained a grammatical sketch of the language— really a morphological sketch, as its syntax section was less than a page. Estanesa Sarileya’s Dekaši Perëi Řonei (Discovery of the First Language), 3473, offers corrections (e.g. the recognition of velarization) and a longer wordlist. Previous Almeological information was based on these sources.

Though Ružeon was the first to realize the importance of Obenzayet for Eastern studies, it was Sarileya who sent students to Obenzaya to gather information. One was the folklorist Gayo Osörey, who published Racontî Obenzaye (Tales of Obenzaya) in 3463. Another was the Barakhinei scholar Fisnava of Nhêsnor. His excellent grammar was not finished till 3493.

This scholarly attention interested the king of Obenzaya, Ataviz IV. He sent one of his sons, Vaŋkritiz, to study at the University of Verduria and to write a definitive grammar and dictionary. His masterful Aluatas i Obenzayet (Grammar of Obenzayet) was completed in 3532, building on the northern scholars’ work but adding a native’s indispensible input. His Obenzayet translation, Alutaz Ḵuranaʔ Ubiŋkayaʔ, was the first full book printed in Vižaya.

The University’s Aluatas Šriftanáei Obenzaye (University Obenzayan Grammar) was published in 3544 by Ferénica Smire and her Obenzayan informant Pansäla Arabäʔ. Though it is not as thorough as Vaŋkritiz, it is more informed about other Eastern (and Western) languages, and also covers dialectal variation.



The consonantal inventory of Obenzayet is as follows:
labial alveolar velar glottal
stops p b t d k g ʔ
velarized pˠ bˠ tˠ dˠ kˠ gˠ
fricatives s h
v z ɣ
nasals m n ŋ
liquids l r ɫ
semivowels y
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the system is the complete set of velarized stops. If you’re not sure how to produce the velarized sounds, start with velarized ɫ, which is very much like the English dark l in full, only with the tongue even farther back in the mouth (if you can say ɫ and then o without moving the tongue, it’s in about the right place). Then, keeping the tongue in position for ɫ, pronounce the other velarized consonants.

There should be a very sharp distinction between p and , k and , etc. In the case of the velars, this is emphasized by a fronted articulation; in some Naviu languages /k/ has become palatalized to /c/ or /č/.

Though English dark l as in full approximates ɫ, note that this sound can begin a syllable, as in muɫa.

In my transliteration I don't use the IPA symbols pˠ bˠ or p̴ b̴ etc., but the simpler p̄ ṯ ḵ ḇ ḏ ḡ. This matches the orthography. I’m using the Unicode characters, but underlining is also fine.

The Obenzayet s is not dental, but somewhat retracted, and without the sharp hissing sound of the English or Verdurian s. Adjacent to a velar or velarized consonant it becomes [ʃ]; thus /ksuṯ/ = [kʃutˠ].

When borrowing words, Caďinor/Verdurian k /q/ sounds to the Obenzayans like their : lenka ‘remedy’ > liŋḵa. They also hear Elkarîl implosives as velarized: belidd ‘silver’ > baliḏ. The clusters rd or ld are likely to be heard as : Verdúria > Vaḏira, Eretald > Ritaḏ, Elk. tlyôrd ‘heal’ > tiluḏag.


The vowel system is particularly simple, and includes a length distinction.
i ī u ū
a ā
The long vowels ā ī ū are transliterated ä ï ü, following the orthography.

The short vowels have a tendency to be laxed in closed syllables; thus the self-designation Ubiŋkauiʔ sounded to the (Coruo-speaking) Curiyans like Obengyawet, which after some sound changes appeared in Verdurian as Obenzayet.

The proto-Naviu three-vowel system derives from a five-vowel system in proto-Eastern; the low vowels in the protolanguage have all merged with a. Some Naviu languages have innovated new vowels (e.g. Eluyet) or borrowed them from neighboring languages (e.g. Seia), but Obenzayet has preserved the purity of the proto-Naviu vowels.

Though proto-Eastern *o *e became a, in historical times Obenzayans borrowed other languages’ o e as u i, e.g. Verdurian plero ‘pleasure’ > pliruɫ.


The stress rules: As shown, try to make syllables end in a vowel.


From the viewpoint of both the remaining nomads, and Eretaldan scholars of Proto-Eastern, the language of the agriculturalists and the townspeople of the capital, Viɣä (Vižaya), is corrupt and boringly Verdurianized. Many of the residents of the Neši valley speak only Verdurian, and bilinguals often speak atrocious Obenzayet.

Phonologically, Nešian is notable for certain simplifications:

The major difference, however, is lexical. Obenzayet has always been open to borrowings, but Nešian has borrowed scores of Verdurian words for which there was a perfectly good native equivalent (e.g. ḵist ‘type’ for käḵuɫ), or even a close cognate (e.g. lyubag ‘love’ for lüvag).

Vaŋkritiz, the author of the standard grammar, though he lived in Vižaya, attempted to record the pure language of the nomads, as did the folklorist Osörey. The University grammar is the best source on Nešian.


Obenzayet (the only written Naviu language) is written using the Caďinorian alphabet. The standard orthography (as established by Vaŋkritiz) is as follows:
labial alveolar velar glottal
stops p b t d c g k
velarized p b t d c g
fricatives s h
v z
nasals m n %
liquids l r ¬
semivowels y
The vowels a i u are, naturally, a i u. The long vowels are written ä ï ü (ä ï ü). This conflicts with the orthography of Cuêzi (à ì ù), but using ¨ for length matches Verdurian ä, and in general gives the script a more Verdurian appearance.

When Obenzayet was first written, no distinction was made between standard and velarized consonants, since Verdurian does not make the distinction. This proved unsatisfactory to the Obenzayans. The underline was used as a placeholder for a better option, but when none achieved consensus, it was officially adopted.

Early writers used Flaidish q (ʔ) for ŋ, but it was easily confused for ¬. Vaŋkritiz introduced % from linguistic practice.

The use of k (Verdurian k /q/) for the glottal stop ʔ is a fairly clever use of the available orthographic resources. (This has caused some confusion in the study of Eluyet, native Eluyek— does this represent /ʔ/ or /k/? The scholarly consensus is that Eluyet did retain a velar stop, though it had changed to a glottal stop by the 3500s.)

The use of for ɣ makes phonological sense— it probably once shared a place of articulation with h h.

¬ ɫ is taken from Ismaîn.

s is written ß (š) when fricativized (that is, in proximity to a velar or velarized consonant). Verdurian loanwords with š are also written with ß— thus atßanz atsanz ‘school’. Monolingual speakers pronounce these as [s], but bilinguals may use [š] to show off their knowledge.

w appears as an allophone in some forms, e.g. zintakaui [zin-ta-ka-wi]. But it never appear in roots and of course has no letter. It does appear in the interjection uau ‘turn left!’ [waw].

When endings conflict in voicing or velarization, they assimilate to the previous consonant: e.g. rud- + ka = [rudga] ‘with a dog’, siz- + -kaiz = [sizgaiz] ‘vampire’, kšuṯ- + -ta = [kʃuṯṯa] ‘deceived’. But a morphonemic spelling is preferred: rudka, sizkaiz, kšuṯta.

Exceptions: numbers— sata + dakš = satakš ‘60’— and the suffix -tiz.



Nouns are declined by case, number, and gender. There are three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter) and five cases (nominative, genitive, accusative, instrumental, and locative).

Alone among the Eastern languages, Naviu preserves the proto-Eastern stem vowels (SV) as a feature of both declension and conjugation— which makes Naviu morphology rather simpler than most of the other inflected Eastern languages. All forms have the model

Root + SV + case ending
The case ending does vary somewhat by number and gender, so it is given in the first column of each table below.

Some apparent irregularities are due to spelling conventions:

Also note some phonetic changes that aren’t marked in the spelling: In the following tables, irregularities are highlighted in blue.
SV → a - a u i
s. nom -z, s sin-ä ḵün-z ait-az man-uz buḡ-iz
s. gen -aʔ sin-äʔ ḵün-aʔ ait-äʔ man-uaʔ buḡ-iaʔ
s. acc - sin-a ḵün- ait-a man-u buḡ-i
s. ins -ga sin-aka ḵüŋ-ka ait-aga man-uga buḡ-iga
s. loc -aɫ sin-r ḵün-aɫ ait-äɫ man-uaɫ buḡ-iaɫ
SV → i i ai ui ui
pl. nom -ʔ sin-iʔ ḵün-iʔ ait-aiʔ man-uiʔ buḡ-uiʔ
pl. gen -ä sin-iä ḵün-iä ait-ayä man-uyä buḡ-uyä
pl. acc - sin-i ḵün-i ait-ai- man-ui buḡ-ui
pl. ins -ga sin-iga ḵün-iga ait-aiga man-uiga buḡ-uiga
pl. loc -aɫ sin-iaɫ ḵün-iaɫ ait-ayaɫ man-uyaɫ buḡ-yaɫ
SV → u i a
s. nom kšar-uɫ ma-iɫ yäl-aɫ
s. gen -aʔ kšar-uaʔ ma-yaʔ yäl-äʔ
s. acc kšar-uŋ ma-iŋ yäl-aŋ
s. ins -ga kšar-uga ma-iga yäl-aga
s. loc -aɫ kšar-uaɫ ma-yaɫ yäl-äɫ
SV → ui ui ai
pl. nom kšar-uiɫ ma-uiɫ yäl-aiɫ
pl. gen -ä kšar-uyä ma-uyä yäl-ayä
pl. acc kšar-uiŋ ma-uiŋ yäl-aiŋ
pl. ins -ga kšar-uiga ma-uiga yäl-aiga
pl. loc -aɫ kšar-uyaɫ ma-uyaɫ yäl-ayaɫ
SV → a i
s. nom - gälar-a makša-i
s. gen -aʔ gälar-äʔ makša-yaʔ
s. acc -a gälar-ä makša-ya
s. ins -ru gälar-aru makša-iru
s. loc gälar-aɫ makša-iɫ
SV → ai ya
pl. nom -ʔ gälar-aiʔ makša-yaʔ
pl. gen -ä gälar-ayä makša-yä
pl. acc -ŋ gälar-aiŋ makša-yaŋ
pl. ins -ru gälar-airu makša-yaru
pl. loc gälar-aiɫ makša-yaɫ


Adjectives come in three declensions, whose citation forms (m.s.nom) end in a consonant, a, or iz.

They all follow nominal declensions. The table below gives the SV and the sample noun above to consult.

singular plural
m n f m n f
I - kün-z u kšar-uɫ a gälar-a i ḵün-iʔ u kšar-uɫ ai gälar-aiʔ
II a ait-az a yäl-aɫ a gälar-a ai ait-aiʔ ai yäl-aiɫ ai gälar-aiʔ
III i buḡ-iz i ma-iɫ i makša-i ui buḡ-uiʔ ui ma-uiɫ ya makša-yaʔ
The II declension is found only in derived forms: participles (lüvta ‘loved’, lüvka ‘loving’) and comparatives (däna ‘flatter’, huda ‘fuller’). The expected masculine s.nom -az appears as -a instead.

Note suppletive mälatiz ‘better’, which is declension III; ‘best’ is mälata.

The superlative is formed with the suffix -ata; thus dänata ‘flattest’, hudata ‘fullest’.

The comparative -a derives from earlier *ä < *ar < *or. The superlative likely comes from *atsaz or *atsiz— cf. Caďinor -astes; the declension changed to match the comparatives.


1s 2s 3s 1p 2p 3p
nom saɫa laʔ taɫ tähu mauʔ kaiɫ
gen saɫai laɫai taɫai tahä muyä kayä
acc aḏu laɫa taɫa taiŋ muiŋ kaiŋ
ins saɫḵu laga taɫḵa taika muika kaika
clitic ḏu- la- ta- tai- mui- kai-
adj ariz lariz tariz tähiz muriz kariz
who s pl
nom ʔaiɫ ʔuyu
gen ʔayä ʔuyä
acc ʔaiŋ ʔuiŋ
ins ʔaika ʔuika
loc ʔayaɫ ʔuyaɫ
Subject pronouns, being redundant with the verbal endings, can be omitted except for emphasis. All these pronouns are stressed on the first vowel.

Clitics can be used to mark the object of a verb or preposition, or for possession on a noun. I set them off with a hyphen in transliteration (ḏu-tibaɫ ‘my horse’), but in the Obenzayet alphabet there is no separation (dutiba¬).

The genitive is rarely used (but see “Possession”). It’s preferred to use either the clitics or the possessive adjectives.

Other pronouns

The demonstratives are ats ‘this’ and tats ‘this’. They are regular Declension I adjectives, but can be used as substantives.

Rïs ‘here’, tadz ‘there’, ʔaidiɫa ‘where’, ridz ‘now’, tidz ‘then’, ʔaidz ‘when’ are invariable. ʔaiz ‘which (one)’ and ʔaimukšiz ‘how many’ are regular adjectives.

The quantifiers are hiz ‘none’, anṯiz ‘some’, mukšiz ‘many’, kšaʔiz ‘every’, all regular adjectives. Combined forms can be made with uŋka ‘person’, diɫa ‘place’, dänz ‘day’, or a more specific word. But there are words hüdz ‘never’, kšadz ‘always’.


The definite paradigm uses the same root + SV + ending formula as nouns, but here the SV varies by tense (present/future vs past) rather than number. The prototypical endings are these, with A standing for the stem vowel:
Pres Past
s pl s pl
1 A Amu A Ämu
2 Az Ahi Az Ähi
3 Aʔ Äṯu Ai Äṯu
There are two possible SVs, a and u, which reverse in the past tense. In addition, the past endings have these differences: Here are the definite paradigms:
arilag lälaŋ bakšia ɣɫäɣä
a a u u
1s aril-aɫa läl-aɫi bakš-aɫu ɣläɣ-aɫu
2s aril-aɫaz läl-aɫiz bakš-aɫuz ɣläɣ-aɫuz
3s aril-iʔ läl-aʔ bakš-iʔ ɣläɣ-aʔ
1p aril-amu läl-amu bakš-umu ɣläɣ-umu
2p aril-ahi läl-ahi bakš-uhi ɣläɣ-uhi
3p aril-äṯu läl-äṯu bakš-ïṯu ɣläɣ-üṯu
u u a a
1s aril-iɫu läl-iɫu bakš-iɫa ɣläɣ-iɫa
2s aril-iɫuz läl-iɫuz bakš-iɫaz ɣläɣ-iɫaz
3s aril-ui läl-ai bakš-ai ɣläɣ-ai
1p aril-ümu läl-ümu bakš-ämu ɣläɣ-ämu
2p aril-ühi läl-ühi bakš-ähi ɣläɣ-ähi
3p aril-üṯu läl-üṯu bakš-äṯu ɣläɣ-äṯu
The definite past is perfective and realis, contrasting with the imperfective and the past conditional.

The definite present is used for present ongoing states and actions, without aspect distinctions. There are no present imperfective or conditional forms.

When innovating or borrowing verbs, Obenzayet tends to use the -ag conjugation (cf. Verdurian which prefers -an or -en). Thus kšuṯ ‘lying’ > kšuṯag ‘lie’, V. crivan ‘write’ > krivag.

More past tenses

The past conditional (used in if statements and several other irrealis constructions) adds the suffix -ar after the verb root, followed by the ordinary past tense endings. It derives from the proto-Eastern past anterior.

I will show just two verbs to show the pattern.

1s aril-ar-iɫu läl-ar-iɫu
2s aril-ar-iɫuz läl-ar-iɫuz
3s aril-ar-ui läl-ar-ai
1p aril-ar-ümu läl-ar-ümu
2p aril-ar-ühi läl-ar-ühi
3p aril-ar-üṯu läl-ar-üṯu
The past imperfect goes back to proto-Eastern, and has distinct endings, the same for all verbs. It’s used for ongoing, habitual, or uncompleted events.
1s aril-iä läl-iä
2s aril-araz läl-araz
3s aril-aya läl-aya
1p aril-ama läl-ama
2p aril-ahia läl-ahia
3p aril-ïṯa läl-ïṯa

Non-past irrealis

The subjunctive is formed with the suffix -iz plus the regular present endings:
1s aril-iz-aɫa läl-iz-aɫi
2s aril-iz-aɫaz läl-iz-aɫiz
3s aril-iz-iʔ läl-iz-aʔ
1p aril-iz-amu läl-iz-amu
2p aril-iz-ahi läl-iz-ahi
3p aril-iz-äṯu läl-iz-äṯu
The potential is formed with the suffix -and plus the regular present endings:
1s aril-and-aɫa läl-and-aɫi
2s aril-and-aɫaz läl-and-aɫiz
3s aril-and-iʔ läl-and-aʔ
1p aril-and-amu läl-and-amu
2p aril-and-ahi läl-and-ahi
3p aril-and-äṯu läl-and-äṯu
Usage will be discussed below, but in general the subjunctive is used for possible states, the potential for ability and intention.


The imperative is formed from the verb root + the stem vowel. The plural form uses i instead.
Present arilag lälaŋ bakšia ɣɫäɣä
a a u u
2s aril-a läl-a bakš-u ɣläɣ-u
2p aril-i läl-i bakš-i ɣläɣ-i
There are no 1st or 3rd person forms.

sahä ‘to be’

The verb sahä ‘be’ is irregular in the present definite:
1s saɫi
2s saɫiz
3s sahiz
1p sämu
2p sahai
3p säṯu
All other forms are regular, following the -ä conjugation, like ɣɫäɣä.


x 10x xth 1/x x-fold unit
1 änu dakš bäɫiz
2 ṯuna ṯundakš vradiz laŋ ṯunḏuɫ
3 dïŋ dindakš dïmä tiḡ dinduɫ
4 bäʔua bätakš tadiniz baḡuɫ bäʔtuɫ
5 päṯu pätakš päṯiz päṯuɫ
6 sata satakš satiz satuɫ
7 kaipas kaipakš kaipiz
8 yagi yagakš yagiz yagduɫ
9 navri nädakš navriz
10 dakš sigäḏu dakšiz dakštuɫ
100 sigäḏu miɫ sigäḏiz
1000 miɫ
Numbers are concatenated with ŋa, largest numbers first:
dakš ŋa ṯuna 20 + 2 22
yagakš ŋa päṯu 80 + 5 85
sigäḏu ŋa kaipakš ŋa bäʔua 100 + 70 + 4 174
However, the number of hundreds or thousands is given after the word sigäḏu or miɫ:
miɫ dïŋ ŋa sigäḏu kaipas ŋa yagakš ŋa navri
1000 3 and 100 7 and 80 and 9
Numbers are invariable, and follow the noun: manuiʔ ṯuna ‘two hands’. However, there is an alternative construction number <genitive>, which places emphasis on the number: ṯuna zintayä ‘two of the cities’.

There are names only for fractions of 2/3/4. Beyond this you’d say e.g. kïrka päṯi ‘the fifth part’.

A group of x people, or something made of x parts, is named with -duɫ, which assimilates in voicing and velarization to the preceding consonant. These words can also be used as adjectives meaning x-fold.

Derivational Morphology

person, doer -kaiz      Ubiŋkaiz Obenzayan
vrazi before > vraskaiz ancestor
abstract state -adz ʔiliz brave > ʔiladz bravery
instance of action -z bukaŋ hit > bukz a blow, a hit
feminine giɫaz boy > giɫa girl
sularuɫ monk > sulara nun
diminutive -k- mayala woman > mayalka maiden
ninz nut > ninkaz testicle
N > A -tiz räs righteousness > rästiz righteous
material -riz ädi wood > ädriz wooden
passive participle -ta nuarag curl up > nuarta curled up
active participle -ka lüvag love > lüvka loving
negative hu- dafta clothed > hudafta naked
Verbalizer -tag liɣiz tall > liktag stand
Causative -m(a) näŋ be born > namaŋ give birth
läzaŋ go > läzmaŋ lead


Sentence order

The unmarked sentence order is VSO:
≈¬a≈ai hirak duvuc.
Ɣɫaɣai hiraʔ ḏu-vuḵ.
kill-past.3s enemy-nom
The enemy killed my primary horse.
tailäzak vadircai aluta Ubi%cai.
Tailäzaʔ Vaḏirkai aluta Ubiŋkai.
seek-3s Verdurian-f.s.nom grammar-s.acc Obenzayan-m.s.acc
The Verdurian woman is asking for a grammar of Obenzayet.
Any argument can be fronted, which indicates topicalization or emphasis. Optionally, its original location may be marked with a pronoun.
Hirak, ≈¬a≈ai ta¬ duvuc.
Hiraʔ, ɣɫaɣai (taɫ) ḏu-vuḵ.
enemy-nom kill-past.3s (he/she)
The enemy, he killed my primary horse.
Or: it was the enemy who killed my primary horse.
Duvuc, ≈¬a≈ai hirak tai%.
Ḏu-vuḵ, ɣɫaɣai hiraʔ (taiŋ). / kill-past.3s enemy-nom
My primary horse, the enemy killed it.
A fronted argument should be one already present in the context, not something new.

An adjective modifying the verb may precede it (probably so that it is not taken as an argument).

Pronominal arguments

The 1st and 2nd person pronouns should be used only for emphasis: to say “I love you”, la-lüvaɫa suffices. La-lüvaɫa saɫa would be “I love you” or “It’s I who love you”.

The clitic forms of the pronouns are preferred to the accusative, and are also used for datives when an accusative argument is explicitly given. You can say lüvaɫa laɫa for emphasis (“I love you”, “It’s you I love”).

The clitic precedes any verbal modifiers, such as adverbs:

Duti≈iz curnui.
Ḏu-ṯiɣiz ḵurnui.
me-quiet speak-3s.past
He spoke to me softly.
There is no reflexive pronoun, but if you want to emphasize that a third person object is not reflexive, you can use tats ‘that’ instead of a pronoun:
Diyaya tïba¬ tatak.
Diyaya tïbaɫ tataʔ.
ride-impf.3s horse-acc that-m.s.gen
He rode his (someone else’s) horse.
To mark an action that is surprisingly directed against oneself, the object can be changed to huvradiz ‘same’. (That is, you shouldn’t use this construction for completely unsurprising actions, like washing oneself.)
Cßuti mä≈c huvradya.
Kšuṯiʔ mäɣi huvradya.
lie-3s witch same-f.s.acc
The witch is deceiving herself.

NP order

Nouns precede adjectives, genitives, numbers, demonstratives, and relative clauses (in that order):
mayalka laɫi a beautiful girl
mayalka ganaʔ a girl of the tribe
mayalka ata this girl
mayalkaiʔ dïŋ three girls
mayalkaiʔ dïŋ ata these three girls
mayalka namka giɫa a girl who gives birth to a boy
Adjectives can be used as substantives: liɣiz ‘a tall person’, Ubinkaiz ‘an Obenzayan’.

There are no articles. However, sometimes previous reference is emphasized by fronting, as a form of topicalization.


A sentence is negated by inserting the particle after the verb.
Gacßi¬a hü tïba¬ lari.
Gakšiɫa tïbaɫ lari.
steal-1s.past not horse your-s.m.acc
I didn’t steal your horse.
You can negate an argument with hiz ‘none’. You don’t also add — except in Nešian.
Gacßi¬a tïba¬ hi.
Gakšiɫa tïbaɫ hi.
steal-1s.past horse none- s.m.acc
I stole no horse.
Like any adjective, hiz can be used as a substantive: Gakšiɫa hi ‘I stole nothing’.


To form a yes-no question, the particle sahü is placed at the end of the sentence.
Gacßi¬a tïba¬ lari sahü?
Gakšiɫa tïbaɫ lari sahü?
steal-1s.past horse-acc your-s.m.acc Q
Did I steal your horse?
If you agree, you say tats (‘that’); if you disagree, (‘no’).

You can’t combine and sahü— that is, there are no negative questions. However, you can suggest that the state of affairs didn’t happen by using the conditional (past) or subjunctive (present):

Gacßarai u%ca latïba¬ sahü?
Gakšarai uŋka la-tïbaɫ sahü?
steal-cond-3s person 2s-horse-acc Q
Did someone steal your horse? (implication: probably not)


Interrogatives are usually fronted.
Kai¬ tugui aiz tïba¬?
ʔaiɫ tugui aiz tibaɫ?
who fall-3s.past from horse-s.acc
Who fell off their horse?

Kaiban ca¬ütu cßüdaik aryak sahi%?
ʔaiban kaɫüṯu kšüdaiʔ aryaʔ sahiŋ?
why acquire-3p.past pig-pl mange-acc
Why do my pigs always get mange?

Läzmak ≈raba gälara¬, ata kaidi¬a ≈raba?
Läzmaʔ ɣraba gälaraɫ, ata ʔaidiɫa ɣraba?
lead-3s wadi river-loc / but where wadi
The wadi leads to the river; but where is the wadi?

With ʔaiz ‘which’ or ʔaimukšiz ‘how many’, which modify an NP, the NP is fronted with it:
Kaimucßui buci katanda¬iz käbä¬?
ʔaimukšui buki ʔaṯandaɫiz ʔäḇäɫ?
how.many blow-pl.acc bear-potent-2s head-loc
How many punches to the head can you endure?

Copular constructions

Sahä ‘be’ acts like any other verb, except that both its arguments are nominative.
tu mayalcaik Cu¬zäk zratyak.
Säṯu mayalkaiʔ Ḵuɫzäʔ zraṯyaʔ.
be-3p girl-pl Kulža-gen
The girls in Kulža are ugly.

Sahiz cßüda cßälca.
Sahiz kšüda kšälka.
be-3s pig-nom animal-nom
A pig is an animal.

Existentials, however, use the verb liktag ‘stand’:
Lictik piccaiz lamicßumüla¬.
Liktiʔ pikkaiz la-mikšumüɫaɫ.
stand-3s scorpion you.s-saddlebag-loc
There is a scorpion in your saddlebag.


There is no verb ‘have’. Rather, possession is indicated using the locative and the copula.
tu pa¬saik ta%a dalua¬.
Säṯu paɫsaiʔ taŋa daluaɫ.
be-3p flea-pl and king-loc
The king too has fleas. (proverb)
Lit., the fleas are also at the king.

Pronouns do not have a locative form, so the genitive is used. However, it must directly follow the verb.
Sahiz la¬ai u%ga im vikßi¬ panak?
Sahiz laɫai uŋga im vikšiɫ panaʔ
be-3s you.s-gen nail or hair man-gen
Do you have a toenail or hair from the man?
Within an NP, the genitive is used for possession: vuḵ säzäʔ ‘my sister’s primary horse’. With pronouns, it’s preferred to use either the possessive adjectives (vuḵ ariz ‘my primary horse’) or the clitics (ḏu-vuḵ).


The conjunctions used for non-sentence constituents are ŋa ‘and’ and im ‘or’: saḏa ŋa daluz ‘queen and king’; kupriz ŋa rästiz ‘wise and righteous’, saɫa im laʔ ‘you or I’.

Conjoining sentences, you can use taŋa ‘and’ (not ŋa), im ‘or’, ata ‘but’, banats ‘because’, ḵurnka ‘therefore’, aʔban ‘despite’:

Rugütu vrascauik tähuik zintacaui, ata rugütu tai% ridz.
Rugüṯu vraskauiʔ tähuiʔ zintakaui, ata rugüṯu taiŋ ridz.
rule-past.3p ancestor-pl our-m.p.nom townsman-pl.acc / but rule-3p we-acc now
Our ancestors ruled the city dwellers, but now they rule us.

Dukaranma¬az, banats nuyari¬uz lävraha%ca dumayalä.
Ḏu-karanmaɫaz, banats nuyariɫuz la-avrahaŋka ḏu-mayalä.
1s-shame-2s / because sleep-cond-2s not 2s-refuse-inf-ins 1s-wife-acc
You shame me, for you refused to sleep with my wife.

Dative constructions

Obenzayet has lost the proto-Eastern dative. It therefore simply uses the accusative for both direct and indirect object:
Dai mä≈i mayalcä li%cä lüväk.
Dai mäɣi mayalkä liŋḵä lüväʔ.
give-past.3s witch girl-acc remedy-acc love-gen
The witch gave the girl a love charm.
If a clitic appears on the verb, it should be the indirect object:
Dudai mä≈i li%cä lüväk.
Ḏu-dai mäɣi liŋḵä lüväʔ.
1s-give-past.3s witch remedy-acc love-gen
The witch gave me a love charm.
For verbs of speaking, the person addressed is in the accusative, but the thing said is in the instrumental.
Päta¬i cai¬iraga mayalcä, ata dulüvil hü.
Pätaɫi kailiraga mayalkä, ata ḏu-lüviʔ hü.
sing-past.1s romance-ins girl-acc / but 1s-love-3s not
I sang a ballad to the girl, but she does not love me.
As we’ll see, language names are in the instrumental, which means you can have a double instrumental: pätaɫi kailiraga kazinaka ‘I sang a ballad in Caďinor’.

For verbs of naming, the namee is in the accusative, the name is nominative.

Nünumu at gru≈a, ≈ra≈ätu änu kaibanaga Vadira¬.
Nünumu at gruɣa; ɣraɣäṯu änu ʔaibanaga Vaḏiraɫ.
name-1p this-acc turnip / eat-3p one reason-ins Verduria-loc
This thing is called a “turnip”; for some reason they eat it in Verduria.


Obenzayet does not have a rich store of prepositions:
aiz from, out of
aɫadz among
daräɫ behind, in back of
haʔ in, inside
ḵuba under
naba over, above, on
vrazi before, in front of
karaɫ beside, next to
sadz away from; without
Prepositions take the accusative. Thus aiz zinta ‘from the city’, aʔ dalu ‘against the king’, ḵuba madä ‘under the table’, karaɫ ḏu-makš ‘beside my master’, sadz yäkšuiŋ ‘without feathers’.

It’s possible to use pronouns as the object— aʔ aḏu ‘against me’, vrazi taiŋ ‘before us’— but more common to use the clitics: ḏu-aʔ, tai-vrazi.

Don’t use a prepositional phrase when the locative will do: zintäɫ ‘in the city’, bärumaiɫ ‘in the mountains’, gälaraɫ ‘by/in the river’, ḏu-dadiɫ ‘on my finger’, kamaɫ ‘at home’. The locative can be thought of as “the type of location obviously appropriate in this context.” Thus a fish swims gälaraɫ ‘in the river’, but a city stands gälaraɫ ‘by the river’.

Also recall that the instrumental takes the place of ‘with’: saraga ‘with a sword’.

There’s no way to indicate that a prepositional phrase indicates movement, except by the choice of verb. Compare läzaŋ haʔ zinta ‘go into the city’, nütavag haʔ zinta ‘stay in the city’. But e.g. zladä naba madä is ambiguous between ‘jump onto the table’ and ‘jump (up and down) on the table’. For that matter, Obenzayet does not distinguish between ‘above (not touching)’ and ‘on’.

Location in time is marked with the locative: aitäɫ ‘during the summer’, näkšuaɫ ‘at night’. Duration is marked with the instrumental: aitaga ‘the summer long’, näkšuga ‘all night’.

The future is ahead of us, so vrazi aita is ‘before/until summer’, daräɫ aita is ‘after/since summer’.

Choice of tense

The definite and imperfective tenses all refer to real actions (at least, to the speaker’s knowledge). There is a somewhat bewildering set of options for unreal actions, and these differ in the past and present.

In the past only, the imperfect is used for ongoing actions, especially in contrast with a completed event:

Pïdiä cuc, kaidz curnui nümi.
Pïdiä ḵuk, ʔaidz ḵurnui nümi.
drink-imperf.1s ḵukz / when speak-past.3s goddess
I was drinking ḵukz when the goddess spoke.
The imperfect can be used on its own as a frequentative (“I was always drinking”) or simply to indicate an extended process (pïdiä näkšuga “I drank all night”).

The past conditional is used for non-real actions or states in the past. The prototypical use is in conditional constructions. The if condition is always in the past conditional; so is the consequence if it follows from the condition:

Zra≈ara¬uz hudaftä, la≈¬a≈arai panz tariz.
Zraɣaraɫuz hudaftä, la-ɣɫaɣarai panz tariz.
touch-cond-2s nude-s.f.acc / 2s-kill-cond-3s husband 3s-m.s.nom
If you had touched the naked woman, her husband would have killed you.
If the consequence is in the definite instead— it’s a real action— we could translate “X didn’t happen, and so Y happened”:
Pïdarik cuc buca%aca, haläzai räcßu%.
Pïdariʔ ḵuk bukaŋaka, haläzai räkšuŋ.
drink-cond-3s ḵukz beat.inf-ins / enter-past.3s monster-s.acc
He drank the ḵukz without striking, so he has become a monster.
There is no word ‘if’, and this tense is not limited to conditionals. It can be seen as exploring an alternative reality. This is often done out of regret, so these often have the sense “If only X…”
Akara¬u u¬acai!
Aʔaraɫu uɫaḵai!
hear-cond-1s elder-s.acc
If only I had listened to the elder!
There is no present conditional. Instead, a present or future condition is stated using the subjunctive:
Zra≈iza¬iz hudaftä, la≈¬a≈izak panz tariz.
Zraɣizaɫiz hudaftä, la-ɣɫaɣizaʔ panz tariz.
touch-subj-2s nude-s.f.acc / 2s-kill-subj-3s husband 3s-m.s.nom
If you touch the naked woman, her husband will kill you.
The subjunctive alone can express a wish (or fear), or act as an exhortation; it’s also used for uncertain future events. Kšutiziʔ ‘die-subj-3s’ could mean, in context, “He’s a dead man”, “He may be dying”, “Let him die,” or “He will die.” Of course these could be clarified by using auxiliaries; see below.

Another use is to make a proposal:

Ristadizamu pani?
Ristadizamu pani?
barter-subj-1p man-pl.acc
What if we exchanged husbands?
The potential is used as a statement of capability or intention. E.g. sumirandaɫu means “I can read” or “I will read (it)”. It’s tenseless, so it could also mean “I could read” or “I intended to read it.”

Note the combination of potential and subjunctive here:

Cäpanda¬u nümu% lari%, tiludizik rud ari.
Käpandaɫu nümuŋ lariŋ, tiluḏiziʔ rud ari.
revere-potential-1s god-s.acc 2s-s.n.acc / heal-subj-3s dog-s.acc 1s-s.m.acc
I will revere your god if he heals my dog.
There is no future tense; instead there’s a range of choices, depending on the actor and how certain the event is. Compare:
Sumiraɫu. [definite] I’ll read (with certainty), I’m reading now.
Sumirizaɫu. [subjunctive] I hope to read, I think I’ll read.
Sumirandaɫu. [potential] I intend to read, I will make sure to read.
In narratives, it’s common to use the present tense, not the past.


The first use of an infinitive is as a verbal noun: e.g. nuyag ‘to make love’ is also the word for ‘sex’. As such it is declined as a regular noun: pliruiɫ nuyagaʔ ‘the pleasures of sex’.
Cuyilik daluz vri≈a% %a nuyag.
Kuyiliʔ daluz vriɣaŋ ŋa nuyag.
enjoy-3s king fight-inf-acc and sex-inf-acc
The king enjoys fighting and screwing.
It’s used in invariable form as a complement to certain nouns and verbs: e.g. nïradz nuyag ‘a desire to make love’, banas yaɣaŋ gürä ‘the way to hunt a lion’.

In the instrumental, it can be used as an adjective or adverbial:

Diyïta ahulagca panik aiz bärumai%.
Diyïṯa ahulagka paniʔ aiz bärumaiŋ.
ride-impf.3p scream-inf-ins warrior-pl from mountain-pl.acc
The warriors rode screaming out of the mountains.
To express something like “I want X”, Obenzayet throws out all linguistic decency, and makes X the main clause, in the subjunctive, with “I want” expressed using a personal infinitive.
Lädizik dunïra%ca anäraz duilad.
Lädiziʔ ḏu-nïraŋka anäraz ḏu-ilad.
honor-subj-3s 1s-want-inf-ins headman 1s-bravery-acc
I want the headman to recognize my bravery.
Literally, “The headman should recognize my bravery, I-thinkingly.”

We can see the same mechanism in a previous example: the highlighted word could be rendered “with your refusal” or “you-refusingly”.
Dukaranma¬az, banats nuyari¬uz lävraha%ca dumayalä.
Ḏu-karanmaɫaz, banats nuyariɫuz la-avrahaŋka ḏu-mayalä.
1s-shame-2s / because sleep-cond-2s not 2s-refuse-inf-ins 1s-wife-acc
You shame me, for you refused to sleep with my wife.
You can nest infinitives:
Sumiranda¬uz dunïra%ca lalana%ca, ata duzra≈a¬i hü.
Sumirandaɫuz ḏu-nïraŋka la-lanaŋka, ata ḏu-zraɣaɫi hü.
study-can-2s 1s-want-inf-ins 2s-think-inf-ins / but 1s-touch-1s not
You think I don’t want you to study, but I don’t care.
The verb order is the opposite of ours. That is, you decipher these starting at the right: an infinitive applies to the verb to its left.


To form a relative clause, you use the participles:
Sumiraʔ panz ivruɫi.
read-3s man book-pl.acc
The man reads books.
→ panz sumirka ivruɫi
man read-act.part-m book-pl.acc
the man who reads books.

→ ivruɫiʔ sumirtaiɫ panz
book-pl.nom man
the books that the man read

These could also be translated “the man reading books”, “the books read by the man”. The participle of course does not indicate number, tense, or aspect.
Hudgimik panz sumirca ivru¬c bana diyä tïba¬.
Hudḡimiʔ panz sumirka ivruɫi bana diyä tïbaɫ.
forget-3s man read-act.part book-pl.acc way-acc ride-inf horse-acc
A man who reads books forgets how to ride a horse.
You could extend this, but it becomes difficult to parse beyond two participles:
panz sumirca ivru¬i crivtai% madaluz
panz sumirka ivruɫi krivtaiŋ madaluz
man read-act.part-m book-pl.acc prince
the man who reads books written by the prince
Note that each participle agrees with the preceding noun (its head): ‘reading’ with ‘man’, ‘written’ with ‘books’.


Comparatives use the special -a form of an adjective. The comparison class is in the accusative.
Sahiz sularu¬ zrata ta¬gürä.
Sahiz sularuɫ zraṯa taɫḡürä.
be-3s monk uglier-m.s.nom dragon-cc
The monk is uglier than a dragon.

Luta¬u cuncai cupra.
Lutaɫu ḵunkai kupra.
need-1s counselor-acc smarter-m.s.acc
I need a smarter counselor.

For pronominal comparisons, you can use the pronouns (zraṯa laɫa ‘uglier than you’) or the clitics (la-zraṯa).

Superlatives have the comparison class in the genitive:

Sahiz sada mutata mayalayä, banats sahiz tamadz cßutiz.
Sahiz saḏa mutata mayalayä, banats sahiz ta-madz kšutiz.
be-3s queen saddest-f.s.nom woman-pl.gen / because be-3s 3s-son dead-m.s.nom
The queen is the saddest of women, for her son is dead.


Some verbs can be morphologically turned into causatives: näŋ be born > namaŋ give birth. The result is a normal transitive verb.

You can also create a syntactic causative, by demoting the agent to an instrumental. Thus:

≈¬a≈ai masticaiz mat.
Ɣɫaɣai mastikaiz mat.
kill-past.3s farmer-nom sheep-acc
The farmer killed a sheep.
→ Ɣɫaɣai diyka mastikaiga mat.
kill-past.3s nomad farmer-ins sheep-acc
The nomad made a farmer kill a sheep.

Passive construction

There is no morphological passive. You can of course leave out the agent:
≈¬a≈ai mat.
Ɣɫaɣai mat.
kill-past.3s sheep-acc
The sheep was killed.
To focus on the sheep, making it the subject, you can use the passive participle:
Sahai mats ≈¬a≈ta.
Sahai mats ɣɫaɣta.
be-past.3s sheep-nom kill-past.part-m.s.nom
The sheep was killed.
You can even insert the original agent back, using an instrumental:
Sahai mats ≈¬a≈ta masticaiga.
Sahai mats ɣɫaɣta mastikaiga.
be-past.3s sheep-nom kill-past.part-m.s.nom farmer-ins
The sheep was killed by the farmer.
This construction shouldn’t be over-used; it’s most appropriate when (e.g.) you’ve been talking about the sheep.

Place clauses

(See “Prepositions” for the basic behavior of locatives and prepositional phrases.)

Indications of place— adverbs, locatives, prepositional phrases, clauses— usually appear at the end of the sentence, but before any time clauses.

Ca¬anda¬az hya aisä zintä¬.
Kaɫandaɫaz hya aisä zintäɫ.
find-potent-2s none-f.s.acc horse.blood-acc city-loc
You will find no horse’s blood in the big city.

Nä¬ütu nümui¬ naba nacuyag dumadak?
Näɫüṯu nümuiɫ naba nakuyag ḏu-madaʔ.
rain-past.3p god-pl above adulthood.ceremony-acc 1s-son-gen
The gods rained on my son’s adulthood ceremony.

However, the place can be fronted if it’s a topic, setting the scene for what follows.
Ludya¬, diyandak u%ca cßadz.
Ludyaɫ, diyandaʔ uŋka kšadz.
plain-p.loc / ride-potent-3s person forever
In the Barbarian Plain, a person can ride forever.
A place clause can be introduced by ʔaidiɫa ‘where’:
Curnandamu viträ¬ kaidi¬a curnïta taipïzik.
Ḵurnandamu viträɫ ʔaidiɫa ḵurnïṯa tai-pïziʔ.
speak-potent-1p well-loc where speak-imperf.3p 1p-father-pl
We will talk at the well where our fathers talked.

Time clauses

(See “Prepositions” for the basic behavior of time locatives, instrumentals, and prepositional phrases.)

Time expressions usually end the sentence.

Vri≈andamu hü, banats nütavamu ridz.
Vriɣandamu hü, banats nütavamu ridz.
fight-potent-1p no / because rest-1p now
We cannot fight, because we are resting now.
A time clause is introduced with ʔaidz ‘when’:
Nä¬a säna¬ kaidz ≈¬a≈ai anäraz tamad.
Näɫa sänaɫ ʔaidz ɣɫaɣai anäraz ta-mad.
born-1s year-loc when kill-past.3s headman 3s-son-acc
I was born in the year when the headman killed his son.

Semantic fields

Place and language names

Major place names will have an associated adjective. Often this is formed with -kaiz, e.g. Vaḏirkaiz ‘Verdurian’, Ubiŋkaiz ‘Obenzayan’. However, sometimes it has another formation, e.g. Ḵuɫza ‘Kulža’ > Ḵuɫzariz, Bäruḵünz ‘Barakhún’ > Bäruḵs.

This adjective can be used as a substantive for the inhabitants. It should be used in the approprite gender: e.g. Vaḏirkaiz ‘Verdurian man’, Vaḏirkai ‘Verdurian woman’.

Names of nomadic tribes are generally plurals: ʔiluiʔ ‘the brave’ = Eluyet, Gälyaʔ ‘the roots’ = Gelyet, Makšiʔ ‘the masters’ = Makši, Ḡüraiʔ ‘the lions’ = Küret.

In former times the Obenzayans called themselves Ubiŋiʔ ‘the thunders’. But when the kingdom was organized, it was desired to name it in more civilized fashion, thus Ubiŋaz— compare Kazinaz ‘Caďinas’. This in turn produced the adjective Ubiŋkaiz, plural Ubiŋkauiʔ. The Curiyans heard this as Obengyawet— or possibly took this from another Naviu tribe which retained the proto-Eastern plural -et. A couple of Curiyan sound changes produced Obenzayet, which was borrowed into Verdurian.

You speak ḵuranka Ubiŋkaiga ‘using the Obenzayan language’, or like Vaŋkritiz write a grammar ḵuranaʔ Ubiŋkayaʔ ‘of the Obenzayan language’. The word ḵuran ‘language’ can be left out:

Crivanda¬a Ubi%caiga %a Vadircaiga.
Krivandaɫa Ubiŋkaiga ŋa Vaḏirkaiga.
write-potent-1s Obenzayan-m.s.ins and Verdurian-m.s.ins
I can write in Obenzayet or Verdurian.
The prominence of Vaḏira is recent; the language was in older times called Kazinä ‘Cadinor’. But that was when it was in everyone’s interest to minimize the difference between classical Caďinor and the vernacular.


There are several sources of names.

First, ordinary nouns and adjectives. Examples:

Äḏüa powerful Aɫaz earth Arabaz tree Bäɫiz first Bärta feared
Bäruma mountain Buḡiz big Gäviz pure Ḡüra lion Häɣiz skillful
Itrïn heart Kupriz smart Kumayaz peace Lädz honor Lais wolf
Mälata best Makiḏ diamond Malya bee Mata ewe Mavuḏaz iron
Näɫä rain Näkšuɫ night Naʔi moon Niɫä beauty Nïrta desired
Piṯiz little Rästiz honest Rutiz good Sanadz dream Säran east
Sarz sword Sïɣa berry Taɫa fire Taɫḡüra dragon Ṯuli breeze
Ubiŋ thunder Uraz bear Urduz bird Urunz eagle Vriɣka fighting
Zaka straw Zläda light Yarta flower ʔiliz brave ʔuivuɫ owl
Most of these could be given to either sex, but the gender (if it’s not neuter) would be adjusted to match the person. You’d naturally keep the stem vowel if possible; thus Arabaz (m) > Araba, ʔiliz (m) > ʔili, Yarta (f) > Yartaz. A masculine noun ending in a consonant went to -i: Sarz > Sari, Ubiŋ > Ubiŋi.

The old Eastern pattern of two-root names is no longer productive in Obenzayet, but many names have been preserved: Barsats‘long arm’, Pansäl ‘strong man’, Niɫanaʔi ‘moon beauty’, Vikšimar ‘black hair’, etc.

Second, names of gods, culture heroes, headmen, and emperors, not necessarily Naviu. Popular names include god names (see below), Ḵidaɫ ‘Kehadau’, Ariviɫa ‘Ervëa’, Ataviz ‘Attafei’, the empress Malya, the Gelyet chiefs ʔuäraz (Hiaraz) and Laŋuraz, and Maḡiz ‘Meugi’ (the Curiyan conqueror of Caďinas).

Finally, names adapted from Cuêzi, Caďinor, and Verdurian, indifferently from Eleďe/Arašei and pagan sources. These often exist in multiple forms, depending on the time borrowed and how well the name-giver knew the languages involved. E.g. Caď. Cuomolondos could be borrowed as Kumulundz, Kumuludz, Kumlun, Kwumiluḏ, etc. The Verdurian form Comblon might be adapted closely as Kumblun or Kublun, but Nešians might show off their Verdurian by using the Verdurian vowels.

The nomads take only one name, supplemented by patronymics: Itrïn Arabäʔ, Itrïn son of Arabäʔ. In the Neši valley people are beginning to use surnames, usually derived from place names or even street names; or they simply continue a patronymic verbatim— e.g. an Arabäʔ need not be the son of an Arabaz, only a descendent.

Matronymics are not unknown, especially for women: Naʔi Yartäʔ, Naʔi daughter of Yarta.

Titles follow the name: Ataviz daluz ‘King Ataviz’.


The major gods of traditional Naviu religion: It’s common for these gods to be worshiped in Eretald, especially in the south; their Verdurian names are Adana, Uruns, Makšai, Arata, Hyalag, Ciual, Büns, and Rantaua.

Sample text: The boy and the calf

The text from the Proto-Eastern grammar is actually an Obenzayan story, Giɫaz ŋa zvaiɫ, collected by the Verdurian folklorist Gayo Osörey in the 3450s. Not all nomads are as severe as this father; many see no contradiction between treating an animal as a pet and as dinner.
Rï≈ak gi¬az kaidz namak büna pïzäk zvai%.
Rïɣaʔ giɫaz ʔaidz namaʔ büna pïzäʔ zvaiŋ.
watch-3s boy when give.birth-3s cow 3s-father-gen calf-acc
A boy watches as his father's cow gives birth to a calf.

Näk zvai¬, ta%a nurak mïzä dit lävi.
Näʔ zvaiɫ, taŋa nuraʔ mïzä dit lävi.
born-3s calf / and suckle-impf-3s mother baby-acc new-m.s.acc
The calf is born, and the mother gives suck to the new baby.

Mistik gi¬az. ≈racßik zvai¬, ta%a ta-huraʔ %a talüvik gi¬az.
Mistiʔ giɫaz. Ɣrakšiʔ zvaiɫ, taŋa ta-huraʔ ŋa ta-lüviʔ giɫaz.
smiles-3s boy / grow-3s calf / and 3s-play-3s and 3s-love-3s boy
The boy smiles. The calf grows, and the boy plays with it, and loves it.

Tamärik la¬i¬.
Ta-märiʔ laɫiɫ.
be-3s 3s-consider-inf-ins beautiful-n.s.nom
He considers it beautiful.

Ganik ta-pïzä du%adca. Curnik, <Dusa¬iz karanz!
Ganiʔ ta-pïzä ḏuŋadka. Ḵurniʔ, “Ḏu-saɫiz karanz!
burn-3s 3s-father anger-ins / say-3s / 1s-be-2s shame
His father burns in anger. He says, “You are a shame to me!

Arilandik zvai¬ atu¬ tücca änu sänca. ≈ra≈andak tat taya¬adz sahü?
Arilandiʔ zvaiɫ atuɫ tükka änu sänka. Ɣraɣandaʔ tat tay-aɫadz sahü?
live-potent-3s calf this-n.s.nom only one year-ins / eat-potent-2s this-acc 1p-among Q
This calf will live just one year! Will you be able to eat it with us?
Here the potential is used to refer to future events. The calf is able to live only one year because it will be killed; the question about eating, like the English, questions ability in order to question intent.
Hädak häts kicšiz vrazi gan.>
Hädaʔ häts ʔikšiz vrazi gan.”
stink-3s spirit weak-m.s.nom before clan-acc
A weak spirit stinks before the clan.”

Haläzätu hü misaik pïzäk käbä¬ gi¬äk.
Haläzäṯu hü misaiʔ pïzäʔ ʔäḇäɫ giɫäʔ.
enter-3p not word-pl 3s-father-gen head-loc boy-gen
The words of the father do not penetrate the boy's head.

Läzak sänz, ta%a zra%candak gargya zvayaʔ.
Läzaʔ sänz, taŋa zraŋkandaʔ gargya zvayaʔ.
go-3s year / and cut-potent-3s father throat-acc calf-gen
A year goes by, and the father goes to cut the calf's throat.
The potential is literally “The father intends to go…”; its use emphasizes that the action is not completed.
Curnik gi¬az: <Aizlädi¬u zvai%!
Ḵurniʔ giɫaz: “Aizlädiɫu zvaiŋ!
speak-3s boy / hide-past.1s calf-acc /
The boy speaks: “I hid the calf!

Taɫanda¬iz dulana%ca ta≈rag, ta%a aizlädi¬u tiɣi¬.>
Taɫandaɫiz ḏu-lanaŋka ta-ɣrag, taŋa aizlädiɫu ṯiɣiɫ.
pour-potent-2s 1s-think-inf-ins 3s-blood-acc / and hide-past.1s quiet-loc
I thought that you were coming to pour its blood, and I hid it in a quiet place.”
Note the parenthetical “I think” expressed as a personal infinitive. “Quiet place” is simply “quiet” in the locative, but in the feminine, as it’s still considered to modify diɫa ‘place’.
Cazik pïzä, < Gi¬az, läza %a ya≈a.
Kaziʔ pïzä, “Giɫaz, läza ŋa yaɣa.
order-3s father / son / go-imper and hunt-imper
The father orders him: “Son, go out and hunt.

Tailäza ura im hakäd, ta%a zra≈a cama¬.
Tailäza ura im haʔäd, taŋa zraɣa kamaɫ.
seek-imper bear-acc or deer-acc and bring-imper hearth-loc
Look for a bear or a deer and bring it home.

Sahizak tats idta Ädänä taitïnama.<
Sahizaʔ tats idta Ädänä tai-tïnama.”
be-subj-3s that give-pass.part-m.s.dat Ädänä 1p-meal
What Ädänä gives will be our meal.”
“What Ädänä gives” is literally “that given Ädänä.”
Yaɣak gi¬az, ta%a sägik hakäd.
Yaɣaʔ giɫaz, taŋa sägiʔ haʔäd.
hunt-3s boy / and seize-3s deer-acc
The boy hunts, and seizes a deer.

Lictik cumayaz itrïna¬ gi¬äk, banats lüvui hü haʔäd.
Liktiʔ kumayaz itrïnaɫ giɫäʔ, banats lüvui hü haʔäd.
stand-3s peace heart-loc boy-gen / because love-past.3s not deer-acc
There is peace in the boy's heart, because he did not love the deer.

Sahiz lüvä u%cäk camaɫ tari¬.
Sahiz lüvä uŋkäʔ kamaɫ tariɫ.
be-3s love person-gen hearth-gen 3s-f.s.gen
A person's love is in their hearth.
This line, and the “weak spirit” line, are Obenzayet proverbs, and the story can be said to be built to explain them.

Sample text 2: I know a boy

This text is provided by Pansäla Arabäʔ; it’s the lyrics of a popular song, Nakuika ḡimaɫa. Naviu songs were traditionally sung to an accompaniment of drums and nuarta, a stringed instrument made from an armadillo shell, resembling the charango. It’s written in short rhymed couplets of six syllables each; Naviu poetry is not based on alliteration.

The theme is typical: lovers riding off carelessly into the steppe to enjoy themselves. The word for the boy, nakuika, makes it clear that they are unmarried. The nomads were not very scrupulous about chastity, and such escapades were certainly possible in a culture where young women not only rode horses as well as the men, but defended their settlements alone when the men were off hunting or raiding. Except in noble lineages, young people could generally choose their own partners. There is a hint of paternal disapproval, but it does not seem to be very serious; the father’s complaint is likely to be about idleness, not immorality.

Nacuica gim¬a
Nakuika ḡimaɫa know-1s
I know a boy

vicßuyä satayä
vikšuyä satayä.
hair-pl.gen long-pl.gen
With long hair

Diyumu sa¬a ta¬
Diyumu saɫa taɫ
ride-1p I he
We ride together

Kuarti¬ tainära¬
ʔuartiɫ tai-näraɫ
barren-n.s.loc 1p-place-loc
To our lonely spot

tu kuak nintyak
Säṯu ʔuaiʔ nintyaʔ
be-3p eye-pl
His eyes are brown

Padi tuga¬a hak
Padi tugaɫa haʔ
deep-f fall-1s in
I fall deep inside them

Sahiz lu%ta hä≈i
Sahiz luŋta häɣi
be-3s bow skillful-f
His bow is skillful

Lüva¬a mutagi
Lüvaɫa muṯagi
love-1s kiss-pl.acc
I love his kisses

Nuyama näkßuga
Nuyama näkšuga night-ins
We made love at night

hak uyai% gurayä
haʔ uyaiŋ gurayä
in howl-pl.acc lion-pl.gen
While lions roared

Ya≈aya tapïzä
Yaɣaya ta-pïzä
hunt-impf.3s 3s-father
His father sought us

ca¬andik hü ta¬a
kaɫandiʔ hü taɫa
find-potent-3s not we.acc
But could not find us


Velarized consonants are indexed after non-velarized (e.g. after t). ɣ ʔ come at the end.

If no noun form is provided, use the infinitive (e.g. ahulag = ‘a scream’).

Genders are provided for nouns. ne = epicene; the citation form is masculine but the word can also be declined as feminine.

[*] indicates a word derived from proto-Eastern.
[V] indicates a word borrowed from Verdurian.

727 words

Ädänä nm a god [*]
ädi nf wood [*]
ädriz a wooden
äḏüa a powerful [*]
äḏüadz nm power
ahulag v yell, scream
aidi nf lake [*]
aiga nf thorn [*]
aigriz a thorny; sharp
Ailadanz nm Eleď [Cuêzi Eìledan]
aisa nf horse blood
aisag v cut a horse’s neck and drink the blood, for sustenance [Coruo aisâ ‘pierce’]
aitaz nm summer [*]
aittiz a summery
aiz pp from, out of
aizlädag v hide [‘out of the light’]
alas nn nose [*]
alüra nf wrist [*]
alutaz nm grammar [V aluatas]
aɫadz pp among [related to ‘middle’]
aɫaḏz nm center, middle
aɫaɫ a middle, central [*]
aɫaz nm earth, world; Almea [*]
aɫkaiz ne human [‘earther’]
än a chief, primary, major [*]
anäraz nm headman, chief [*]
änkaiz ne boss [‘first’]
anṯiz a some [‘one-two’]
änu # one [*]
aŋkalkaiz ne herdsman
aŋkaɫ nn herd [*]
äpas nm wealth [*]
äpatiz a wealthy, rich
arabaz nm tree [*]
arats nm storm; the storm god [Meťelyi]
arilag v live [*]
ariz a my [*]
Asan nm Ešan, a city and state on Lake Bérunor
ata cj but, however [poss. aʔ taŋa ‘against and’]
Ataviz nm Attafei; name of several Obenzayan kings [Caď., from Tžuro]
ats pr this one
atsanz nm school [V ečom]
avä nm grandfather [*]
avaɫ a blue [*]
avara nf grandmother [*]
avrahaŋ v refuse, abstain [‘against act’]
avräna nf oats [*]
azistun nm church [V aiďeton]
pp against [*]
aʔban cj despite
aʔia v hear, listen [*]
aʔriz a audible
aɣihaŋ v stab [*]
bahadz nm lowness
bahiz a low [*]
bakšia v change pasturage; trek, travel (to stay) [*]
bägaz nm horsetail; bow (for a fiddle); string (for an archer’s bow) [Meťelyi]
bagiɫ nn vision, hallucination [Coruo, cf. Cuêzi bēge ‘favor’]
bagimag v hallucinate, have a vision
baliḏ nm silver [Elkarîl belidd]
balidriz a silvery, of silver
banats cj because [‘this way’]
banaz nm way, path; manner [Cuêzi banas]
bansats a distant, far [‘long way’]
baraʔ nm arm [*]
bäradz nm fear
bärag v fear [*]
bärka a fearful, timid
baḡuɫ nn quarter, one fourth [Cuêzi bargau]
Bäruks a Barakhinei
Bäruḵünz nm Barakhún [Bara(khun) + ‘land’]
bäruma nf mountain [*]
bärubriz a mountainous
bätakš # forty
bäts nm cock, rooster [*]
bäʔua # four [*]
bäɫiz a first [*]
bäɣia v throw [*]
bäʔtuɫ nn quartet, group of four; four-fold
Biluɫ n Beloa, capital of Bešbalic
bisbalag v share, distribute (esp. spoils) [Somoyi]
bisbalduɫ nn company, band; (pl.) the Bešbalicu [‘sharers’]
bisbalta nf share, portion [‘shared’]
bukaŋ v strike, hit, beat [imitative]
bukši nf mouth [*]
bukz nm blow, punch
büna nf cow [*]
bünz nm bull [*]
buḡiz a big [*]
bütra v betray
bütrakaiz ne betrayer
dadi nf finger [*]
dadriz a daily
dadz nm giving
dädz nm flatness
dafta a covered; clothed
dakš # ten [*]
dakšiz a tenth
dakštuɫ nn group of ten; ten-fold
daluriz a kingly, royal
daluz nm king [V dalu]
daɫ a hard [*]
daŋ v give (participles idta, idka) [*]
dän a flat [*]
dänz nm day [*]
daräɫ pp behind, in back of [‘back’ loc.]
daraz nm back [*]
dartiz a anterior, in back
davag v cover; wear
digama nf flesh [*]
digantiz a physical, fleshly; mortal
dïkadz nm humility
dïka a humble
dïkmag v humble (someone), abase
dïmä a third [*]
dindakš # thirty
dinduɫ nn trio, trinity; three-fold
dïŋ # three [*]
dits nm baby, infant [*]
diɫa na place [*]
dïs nm a ride; journey; a measure of about 50 miles (root di-)
Dïstai nf Deštai
diyä v ride
diyka ne rider, nomad [‘riding’]
duna nf magical energy [Caď. duneia ‘energy’]
dünz nm house [*]
duŋka ne magician, wizard
ḏuŋadz nm anger, wrath
ḏuŋiz a angry
ḏunmag v anger, annoy
gäkšiɫ nn weight [*]
gakšia v steal, rob [*]
gakšika ne robber, thief
gälara nf river [*]
gäli nf stick, stem; (pl.) the Gelyet [*]
gäna nf beak [*]
ganag v burn [*]
ganz nm tribe, clan [*]
gargi nf throat [*]
gävadz nm purity
gäviz a pure [*]
gäʔ nm lizard [*]
giɫa nf girl (before puberty)
giɫadz nm childhood
giɫaz nm boy (before puberty) [*]
gits nm helmet [Elkarîl gît ‘armor’]
gruɣa na turnip [V gruřa]
ḡäts nm metal [*]
ḡätriz a metallic
ḡimag v know
ḡuduz nm rat [*]
ḡüra nf lion; (pl.) Küret tribe [*]
hädä v stink [*]
hadaŋ v travel (with intention of returning) [*]
hädriz a stinky, noisome
hägia v leave; abandon [*]
haläzadz nm entrance; portal
haläzaŋ v enter, go in; become [‘in-go’]
haliɫ nn leaf [*]
häradz nm loudness
häraziz a green [*]
häriz a loud [*]
häts nm spirit, soul [*]
hättiz a spritiual
haʔ pp in, inside
haʔädz nm deer [*]
haɣi nf plant [*]
häɣiz a skillful [*]
haɣriz a vegetal, herbal, made of plants
haɣuz nm shrine [*]
hiraʔ nm enemy [*]
hirtiz a inimical, vicious, villainous
hivuɫ nn mayor [V řivo]
hiz a no (as modifier), none, not any
hizunz nm policeman, town guardsman [Verdurian hežom ‘guard’]
hluṯiz a evil [Cuêzi exlûrte]
hudafta a bare, naked
hudadz nm fullness
hudiz a full [*]
pt no, not
hüdz pr never
hudḡimag v forget [‘never know’]
hüḵa nf color [*]
hükriz a colorful
huraŋ v play [*]
hurs nm game
huvradiz a same; self [‘not other’]
idta nf gift
iḵä nm elcar [Elkarîl]
Ikšarä nm the afterworld, paradise [Caď. Iscaria]
im cj or
itrïn nm heart [Cuêzi itīran]
ivrukaiz a bookish, nerdy
ivruɫ nn book; (pl.) literature, culture [Verdurian ivro]
Izräka nf the Eärdur [Cuêzi Isreica]
kailiraz nm romance, ballad [Cuêzi coêliras ‘devotion’]
kaiɫ pr they [*]
kaipas # seven [*]
kaipakš # seventy
kaipiz a seventh
kaitag v shelter, take refuge
käḵuɫ nn kind, type [*]
kalinz n castle, fort; name of a city [Caď. calenos]
kälia v gather [*]
Kälniɫä n the Selnara river [‘gather beauty’— folk etymology from Meťelyi]
kaɫag v get, acquire; find [*]
kaɫḵaɫ nn heel (of foot or hand) [*]
kaɫta nf a find, a discovery; loot
kama nf hearth, home [*]
kanduɫ nn family [‘home group’]
kantiz a domestic, homely
käpia v revere, worship [*]
käpinz nm reverence; funeral games
karanz nm shame [*]
karanka a shameful, dishonorable
karanmag v shame, dishonor
karaɫ pp beside, next to
karaz nm side [*]
Kataza na Kačanza
kats nm bone [*]
kaya na shelter [*]
kazia v order, command [*]
kariz a their
Kazinä a Caďinorian
Kazinaz nm the Caďinorian empire [Caď. Caďinas]
kaɣra na grain [*]
kidaɫ nn liver [*]
kihia v slip [*]
kiluŋ nm mercury [Elkarîl khîlông]
kiɫal nn sky; also the name of a god [*]
kiɫaltiz a celestial
kïra nf body [*]
kïrka nf piece, part, fraction [‘small body’]
Kirzuɫ nn the Kerzu, a river in Curiya and Deštai
kïsag v wash, clean
kritadz n happiness
kritiz a happy, glad [Caď. cretes]
krivag v write [V crivan]
krivz nm text, letter
kriza na mare
kšadz pr forever, always
kšälaŋ v breathe [*]
kšälka nf animal [‘breather’]
kšänaŋ v come [*]
kšaŋga nf fowl [*]
kšaradz nm difficulty
kšaruɫ a difficult [*]
kšas nm roof [*]
kšats nm oasis [*]
kšaya nf neck [*]
kšaʔiz a every, all [*]
kšaɣi nf vagina [*]
kšüda nf pig [*]
kšutia v die
kšutikaiz ne dead man, corpse
kšutiz a dead [*]
kšuṯ a deceitful, lying [*]
kšuṯag v lie, deceive
kumaitiz a peaceful, harmonious
kumayaz nm peace, harmony [Cuêzi corumayas]
kupriz a wise, smart, intelligent [Cuêzi cueporo]
Kurza a Curiyan, Coruo, Karazi [from a Karazi language]
kurag v buy [Caď. currec ‘hold/grasp’]
kuyilag v like, enjoy [Cuêzi coêli]
ḵi intj turn right!
Ḵinan nm Kina, capital of Kačanza
ḵitsiḏ nm gold [Elkarîl qichidd]
ḵitsidriz a golden
ḵuba pp under [*]
ḵuḏa nf elbow [*]
ḵukz nm a hallucinogenic drink [Meťelyi]
Ḵuɫza nf Kulža, capital of Curiya
Ḵuɫzariz a Kulžan
ḵundiz a wonderful, marvelous
ḵunkaiz ne advisor, counsellor
ḵunsia v advise, counselm
ḵunz nm wonder, marvel [*]
ḵünz nm land [*]
ḵuran nm language, speech [*]
ḵuraŋ v argue [*]
ḵurnag v speak, say, talk [from ‘language’]
ḵurnka cj therefore, thus [‘(that) said’]
ḵurnta nf semtence, utterance, dictum; proverb [‘something said’]
ḵus nm egg (root ku-) [*]
läbriz a milky; cloudy
lädia v honor, recognize, acknowledge
lädz nm honor; acknowledgment [*]
lais nm wolf [*]
lakšia v rise, lift [*]
lälaŋ v see [*]
läma nf milk; cloud, mist; name of Lake Bérunor [*]
lanaŋ v think [*]
länz nm apple [*]
laŋ nm half
lariz a your (s.) [*]
lärriz a visible
lättiz a honorable
lävani nf tongue [*]
lävadz nm newness, novelty
lävkadz n spring (season) [‘sprout time’]
lävkiz n sprout, seeding
läviz a new [*]
läzmaŋ v lead (to), reach [‘make go’]
läzaŋ v go [*]
laʔ pr you (sg.) [*]
laɫadz nm beauty
laɫiz a beautiful [*]
lakag v sell, trade, acquire by trading [Caď. lescen]
lakka ne vendor, trader
lata nf coin [Caď. leta]
liktag v stand; exist, there is/are [‘be tall’]
liŋḵa nf medicine, remedy; charm, potion [Caď. lenka]
liŋḵaiz ne healer, potion-maker
liɣadz nm height
liɣiz a high, tall [*]
Ludadz nm Loya, a city in Obenzaya [‘pasturage’]
ludi nf pasture; plain; (in pl.) the Barbarian Plain [*]
ludaŋ nm steel [Elkarîl lundông]
lufta a beloved; boyfriend, girlfriend
luŋa nf bend [*]
luŋmag v bend
luŋta nf curved; bow
lutia v run out, be missing; lack, need
lutta a missing, lacking
lüvä nm love [*]
lüvag v love [*]
Luznai nf Lusunáe, a city in Deštai
mädag v work
mäḏuɫ nn work [*]
mada nf table [Caď. medeta]
madaluz nm prince [‘king’s son’]
madriz a manual, by hand; laborious
madz nm son [*]
magaɫ nn paste [*]
mahar a black [*]
maharkiz a dark [diminutive of mahar]
Maharna n the Meuna river
maiɫ nn water [*]
makiḏ nm diamond [Elkarîl maqhidd]
makšai nf lady, mistress; also the name of a goddess [*]
makš nm lord, master; (pl) a tribe, the Makši [*]
Makuz nm an Amakui tribesman [Amakui]
mäladz nm softness
mälata a best
mälatiz a better [*]
mäliz a soft [*]
malya nf bee [*]
Manütavi nf an Obenzayan city [‘water camp’]
manuz nm hand [*]
märia v consider [*]
mariz a watery; liquid
märus nm brain [*]
masti nf field, farm [V mesti]
mastikaiz ne farmer
mata nf ewe
mats nm sheep, ram [*]
mauʔ pr you (pl) [*]
mavuḏaz nm iron [Cuêzi mavordas]
mavudriz a made of iron
mayala nf woman, wife [Gelyet mayala ‘woman’ < mayaliz ‘soft’]
mayalka nf maiden, (marriageable) girl, young woman
mayaltiz a feminine, female
mäzaraz a lord, noble [*]
mäɣi nf witch
mikriḏ nm obsidian [Elkarîl mîqhridd]
mikšak nm kohl, antimony [Elkarîl miqchek]
mikšuɫ nn bag, sack [Caď. miscu]
mikšumüɫa f saddlebag
miɫ # thousand [V mil]
mirastaz nm market [Caďinor merast]
misaz nm word [*]
mistag v smile
mïzä nf mother [*]
muha nf insect [*]
müḵag v hurt, harm, wound
müɫa nf saddle [Coruo]
mukšiz a many [*]
müra nf awe, numinousness [*]
muriz a your (pl.)
mürtiz a awesome, numinous
mutadz nm sadness
mutiz a sad
muṯag n kiss [imitative]
naba pp over, above, on [*]
nabak nm armor [‘over-thing’]
nabakta a armored; soldier
nabaɫ n nephew [*]
nädakš # ninety
naga nf daughter [*]
naka ne newborn [‘being born’]
näkšuɫ nn night [*]
nakuika nm young man (esp. before marriage), youth
nakuyag v become mature; undergo the adulthood ceremony [V nacuyát]
näɫadz n autumn, fall [‘rain time’, as the rains are more common then]
näɫä nm rain [*]
näɫaŋ v rain
namaŋ v give birth
näŋ v be born (root na-) [*]
nära nf place, location [*]
narmag v give suck (of horses) [Meťelyi]
natïnama nf birth celebration [‘birth-meal’, loan-translation of V nesčena]
navri # nine [*]
navriz a ninth
näz nm wedding [*]
naɣa nf foot [*]
naʔi nf moon [*]
naʔkai nf nymph, a femael celestial said to live on the moons
nïkša nf snow [*]
nikšadz nm winter [‘snow time’]
Nikši nf the Neši, the main river of Obenzaya [Caď. Nescis]
nïkši nf smoke [*]
nïkšia v snow
nïkšmag v smoke
niɫä nm loveliness [*]
niɫtiz a lovely, pretty
nintiz a nutty; brown
ninkaz nm testicle [‘little nut’]
ninz nm nut [*]
nïradz nm want, desire
nïraŋ v want, desire
niruɫ nn machine, device [V niru]
nuarag v curl up, roll up
nuarta a, nf curled up; armadillo; lyre, fiddle
nüḵag v stop, finish
numa nf breast
nümi n goddess (when her sex is emphasized)
nümuɫ nn god [Cuêzi nūmiu]
nümuz n male god (when his sex is emphasized)
nünia v name, call (someone)
nuntiz a godly, divine
nünz nm name [*]
nurä v give suck [*]
nurka nf wet-nurse (who is not the mother)
nütavi nf camp
nütavag v camp, stay; rest [Coruo nòteve]
nuyag v have sex, make love
nuika ne whore, prostitute; concubine [‘making love’]
nuitiz a sexual, erotic, bawdy
ŋa cj and (for non-sentence constituents) [taŋa]
padadz nm depth
padiz a deep [*]
palag v press [*]
palniruɫ nn printing press [‘press-machine’]
palta nf felt; clothing [‘pressed’]
paɫaz nm floor; foundation [*]
paɫtiz a basic, foundational
paɫsa nf flea [*]
panz nm man; husband; horseman, warrior [*]
pantiz a masculine, manly, male
pätakš # fifty
pätaŋ v sing, recite poems [*]
pätz nm song, poem
päṯiz a fifth
päṯu # five [*]
päṯuɫ nn quintet, group of five; five-fold
pïdia v drink [*]
pïdz nm drink, beverage
pikaz v sting, pierce [imitative]
pikkaiz nm scorpion [imitative]
Pilauɫ nn Peleu, a small nation north of Obenzaya
piṯadz nm smallness
piṯaɫ nn left hand; north [‘small (hand)’]
piṯiz a little, small [*]
pïzadz nm fatherhood, paternity
pïzä nm father [*]
pliruɫ nn pleasure [Ver. plero]
p̄adä nm stone, rock
p̄adariz a rocky, stony; name of a river
p̄atkä nm pebble, gravel
p̄unaŋ v distribute; celebrate [*]
ragz nm horn (of animal); (colloq.) penis [*]
rakat nm cart, wagon
räkšiz a horrible, grotesque, monstrous
räkšuɫ nn monster, a horror
ramaŋ v count [*]
rams nm count; number
raŋadz nm holiness
ränadz nm width
rän a wide [*]
raŋ a holy, sacred [*]
raŋki nf penis [*rakni ‘thigh’]
Raŋtaɫa nf goddess of the dead [‘sacred fire’]
räs nm righteousness, honesty, good dealings [*]
rästiz a righteous, honest
rava nf spine [*]
ridz pr now [from rïs]
rikultag v harvest [V recoltë]
rilag v sow [V relir]
rilz nm plow
rimiḏ nm emerald [Elkarîl rîmiddên]
rïs pr here
risaz nm seed [*]
ristadag v barter, exchange, switch [‘here to there’]
Ritaḏ nm Eretald, the ‘civilized countries’ [V Eretald]
rits nm kidney [*]
riʔadz nm clearness, clarity
riʔiz a clear [*]
rïɣaŋ v look, watch, observe [*]
rïɣtiz a evident, obvious
riznai nf barn [V riznáe]
rudz nm dog
rugag v rule, govern [*]
rukka ne governor
rüɣi nf abdomen, belly
rutadz nm goodness
rutiz a good [Cuêzi rûte]
rütriz a icy
rüts nm ice [*]
ruyag v spin, twirl
ruɣadiz a red [*]
sadz pp away from; without [related to ‘long’]
saḏa nf queen, princess [Caď. sadua]
sädiz a yearly, annual
sägia v seize [*]
sahadz nm state, situation
sahä v be [*]
sahi nf mange [Coruo sesi ‘spots’]
sahriz a mangy, spotty
sahü pt is it? (question-forming particle) [sahiz hü ‘is not’]
säladz nm strength
säl a strong [*]
salirag v roll [*]
sanadz nm dream
sanaŋ v dream [*]
sanz nm soil, ground [*]
sänz nm year [*]
daräl ṯundakš säniʔ twenty years ago
saŋka nf pine [*]
säran nm east [*]
sarz nm sword [Elkarîl char]
sata # six [*]
satadz nm length
satakš # sixty
satiz a sixth
sats a long
satuɫ nn sextet, group of six; six-fold
säza nf sister [*]
saɫa pr I [*]
sigäḏiz a hundredth
sigäḏu # hundred [*]
sinä nm mother-in-law [*]
sizadz nm thirst
sizkaiz n vampire; humanoid monster that dessicates humans
siziz a thirsty [*]
sïɫai nf lake [*]
sïɣa nf berry [*]
suladz nm youth
suliz a young [*]
sularuɫ nn monk [V suloro]
sumirä v study, read [Caď. sumerir]
süradz nm lateness
süriz a late [*]
tadiniz a fourth [*]
taduz nm palm (of hand) [*]
tadz pr there (that place)
tähiz a our
tähu pr we [*]
taila nf rib [*]
tailäzaŋ v chase, pursue; seek [‘tail-go’]
tailäzta nf prey, target
Täkir nm Taicer, capital of Deštai
taḵa nf spot, mark [*]
taḵmag v mark, brand
takšadz nm sufficiency, satiety
takšaŋ a enough, sufficient [*]
taɫ pr he, she, it [*]
taɫa nf fire [*]
taɫaŋ v pour [*]
taɫḡüra nf dragon [‘fire-lion’]
taɫtiz a fiery
taɫz nm cup, mug [from ‘pour’]
taŋa cj moreover, and, also [*]
taŋkiz s narrow [*]
tapas nm mole (animal) [*]
tärä v move [*]
tariz a his, her, its
tats nm point [*]
tats pr that, that one; (answer to a question) yes [*]
täɣa nf trunk, chest [*]
tïbaɫ nn horse [*]
tidz pr then, at that time
tiḡ nm one third [Elkarîl thîx]
tiluḏag v heal, cure [Elkarîl tlyôrd]
tiluďka ne healer, physician
tïnama nf meal, food [*]
tïvria v feel [*]
tsur nm glaze; glass [Elkarîl chur]
tsurriz a glassy, glazed
tugag v fall, drop [imitative]
tükka adv merely, only [‘mere’ + ins.]
tükz a mere; miserable, inconsequential
ṯä nm door [*]
tädriz a woolen
ṯänz nm wool [*]
ṯiɣiz a quiet [*]
ṯuladz nm smoothness
ṯul a smooth [*]
ṯuli nf breeze [*]
ṯuna # two [*]
ṯundakš # twenty
ṯunduɫ nn pair, duo, couple; two-fold
uau intj turn left!
ubiŋ nm thunder [Meťelyi]
Ubiŋkaiz a Obenzayan, Obenzayet
Ubiŋaz nm Obenzaya
ukšaŋ v look for, search [*]
uladz nm brightness
uliz a bright, shiny [*]
uɫadz nm age
uɫal a old [*]
Sahiz taɫai ṯundakš säniʔ He is twenty years old
uɫaḵaiz ne elder, senior
uŋga nf fingernail, toenail [*]
uŋka nf person, individual [*]
uräŋki nf spider [*]
uraz nm bear [Cuêzi urezos]
urduz nm bird [*]
urunz nm eagle [*]
uya n howl, roar
uyä v howl, roar [imitative]
Vaḏira nf Verduria [V]
Vaḏirkaiz a Verdurian
vaŋs nm hawk, falcon [Somoyi]
Viɣä nm Vižaya, the capital of Obenzaya [V, related to viša ‘cherry’]
vikšiɫ nn hair
vikšika nf beard [‘little hair’]
vikširiz a hairy
vlagaŋ v sheathe, insert
vitraz nm well, spring (of water) [Meťelyi]
vlahiz a yellow [*]
vraḏaz nm fraternity, brotherhood, community
vradiḡimag v recall, remember [‘know again’]
vradiḡinta nf anecdote, tale [‘recalled’]
vradiz a second; another, other, later, again [*]
vraḏuɫ nn brother, fellow tribesman [*]
vrahaŋ v walk; act, behave [*]
vrahs nm walk; act, action
vranaŋ v take [*]
vranaɫ nn grass [*]
vrantiz a grassy
vraskaiz ne ancestor; especially, an ancestral spirit to be worshipped and placated [‘before-person’]
vrazi pp before, in front of [*]
vraʔadz nm coldness
vraʔiz a cold [*]
vrihadz nm shortness
vrihiz a short [*]
vriɣaŋ v fight [*]
vuḵ nm primary horse [Western vog ‘horse’]
yagakš # eighty
yagduɫ nn octet, group of eight; eight-fold
yagi # eight [*]
yagiz a eighth
yäkšuɫ nn feather [*]
yälaɫ nn knee [*]
yarta nf flower; (colloq.) vulva [*]
yaɣaŋ v hunt [*]
yaɣka ne hunter
zaka nf straw
zaraz nm bread [Caďinor zeros ‘flatcake’]
zarmag v bake [‘make bread’]
zarnka ne baker
zavag v owe; sin [V devir]
zavka ne sinner; debtor
zinä nm forest [Cuêzi azienar]
Zinapadiz nm the forest of Kalimantan
zintakaiz ne city-dweller, city
Zintaläviz nm a city in Obenzaya [‘new town’]
zintaz nm city, town [Cuêzi sindas]
zladä v jump [*]
zläda nf light [*]
zlädriz a lit, alight
zraŋkaŋ v cut [*]
zraṯiz a ugly
zraɣaŋ v touch; bring [derives from two merged pE roots]
ḏu-zraɣaɫi hü I don’t care
zraɣta nf load, cargo
Zurai nf Zorai, a fort and settlement in southern Obenzaya
zurimaz nm mass (eccl.) [V zurem]
zvaiɫ nn calf [Western sbaîu]
ʔäḇaz nm head [*]
ʔädi nf pot, pan [*]
ʔädki nf small pot, pan
ʔadz nm buttocks [*]
ʔaiban pr how, why [‘which way’]
ʔaibanaz nm reason, cause [‘why’]
ʔaidiɫa pr where [‘what place’]
ʔaidz pr when
ʔaiɫ pr who [*]
ʔaimukšiz pr how many [‘which many’]
ʔaiz pr which
ʔakšaŋ v finish, end [*]
ʔap̄as nm fruit [*]
ʔaruɫ nn right hand; south [*]
ʔaṯaŋ v bear, tolerate, endure [*]
ʔavraɫ nn goat [*]
ʔibaŋ v boil; cook [*]
ʔibkaiz ne cook
ʔikšadz nm weakness
ʔikšiz a weak [*]
ʔilama nf hill [*]
ʔiladz nm bravery
ʔiliz a brave, valiant
ʔïradz nm slavery
ʔïra nf slave [*]
ʔua nf eye [*]
ʔuakšï v remove, take away [*]
ʔuakšta nf garbage, detritus
ʔuaŋka nf hip [*]
ʔuänz nm ball [*]
ʔuaraz nm hard soil unsuitable for grass [*]
ʔuartiz a barren, bare; isolated
ʔuaʔ nm tail [*]
ʔudz nm hole [*]
ʔuivuɫ nn owl [*]
ɣraba nf wadi, dry gully that flows with water in the rainy season [Meťelyi]
ɣraban nm west [from ‘dusk’]
Ɣrabanä nm the Rhânor mountains [‘west-gen’]
ɣrabuɫ nn twilight; dusk, sunset [*]
ɣrakšä nm growth
ɣrakšia v grow [*]
ɣrag nm blood
ɣraɣaŋ v eat [*]
ɣraɣmag v feed [‘make eat’]
ɣɫayag v shine [*]
ɣɫaɣä v kill, murder [*]
ɣɫaɣka ne killer, or something shining; name of a goddess
ɣɫuraz nm leg [*]
ɣüna nf cloth, fabric, textile [Cuêxi xeunnâ]
ɣünmag v weave
ɣuradz nm health
ɣuriz n healthy

Other Naviu languages

word language gloss Obenzayet form
Eluyek Eluyet Eluyet ʔiliz ‘brave’
Makšik Eluyet Makši Makšiʔ ‘masters’
bečes Eluyet pepec vision [Coruo, cf. Cuêzi bēge ‘favor’] bagiɫ
griyes Eluyet dark-colored horse kriza ‘mare’
Gelyet Gelyet root, base gälyaʔ ‘stems’
graʔag Gelyet eat, munch gargi ‘throat’
Hiuraz Gelyet bear-eye ʔuäraz
Läŋuraz Gelyet half-bear laŋuraz
vagžia Gelyet trek bakšia
napag Gelyet gauntlet nabak ‘armor’
Bešbalicu Bešbalicu band (lit., those who share) bisbalduɫ ‘band’
fägia Bešbalicu burn in triumph hägia ‘abandon’
Küret Küret lions ḡüraiʔ
Malia Küret bee malya
haxuz Seia idol, holy thing haɣuz ‘shrine’
Seia Seia Eastern säran
dargura early Naviu dragon (source of Caď. dracor) taɫḡüra