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An Old Sumr reference grammar

Marcas Brian MacStiofin Mhaiti Domhnaill


3 June 2016

Contents
1 Introduction

2 Phonology & Orthography


2.1 Phonemic inventory . .
2.1.1 Vowels . . . . .
2.1.2 Consonants . .
2.1.3 Orthography .
2.2 Pitch accent . . . . . .

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3 Nouns
3.1 Suffix hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Noun gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Noun case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.1 Common nouns . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.2 -Geo nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.3 -B nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.4 -O nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.4 Definiteness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.5 Noun formation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.6 Noun enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.7 Similies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.8 The conjunction and with nouns . . . . .
3.9 Comparative and Superlative constructions
3.9.1 Comparative . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.9.2 Superlative . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.10 Locative nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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4 Pronouns & determiners


4.1 Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2 Determiners . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2.1 Interrogative pronouns .
4.2.2 Demonstrative pronouns
4.2.3 Existential pronouns . .

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5 Adjectives & Adverbs


5.1 Adjective agreement . . . . . . . . . . .
5.1.1 Agreeing with buzzard nouns .
5.1.2 Agreeing with deer nouns . . .
5.1.3 Agreeing with animate nouns .
5.1.4 Agreeing with inanimate nouns
5.1.5 Adjective formation . . . . . .
5.2 Adverb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Contents
6 Verbs
6.1 Suffix hierarchy . . . . . . .
6.2 Conjunction and with verbs
6.2.1 Common verbs . . .
6.2.2 -Eas verbs . . . . . .
6.2.3 -Two verbs . . . . .
6.3 Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . .
6.4 Passive . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.5 Evidentiality . . . . . . . . .
6.6 Negation . . . . . . . . . . .
6.7 Imperative . . . . . . . . . .
6.8 Verb formation . . . . . . . .

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7 Mlmr: Avoidance Speech

31

8 Origin of Irregular Nouns and Adjectives

33

1 Introduction
In the modern year of this world 1300AM, on the snowy mountainous continent called Malomanan
(meaning land of deer) there are 11 languages spoken amongst the people with a diversity of sound
and form. These languages can be sorted into the following branches:
In the Moichic branch is Moicha and Foriab
In the Lelic branch is Lelic
In the Lemric branch is Lemre
In the A-Sumric branch is Shfre and Somi
In the West M-Sumric branch is Pwr and Terch
In the East M-Sumric branch is Eamyr
In the Nmmezsic branch is made and Iriaid.
All of these languages descend from a common ancestor, Old Sumr. Back in the good old days
when that was spoken in Malomanan the Sumric peoples were one people who named themselves
the Sumn with one tongue. They lived by hunting wild deer and followed the herds along their
migrations giving them a nomadic lifestyle. As such Old Sumr is abound with words deriving from
the roots sum travel and loman deer. The constant moving around meant no regional varieties
could develop. But that changed when a giant wolf spirit called lam Yron evil wolf came and
gorged on the deer population, it ate so much that there was hardly any left for the Sumn to hunt,
causing a famine. But all was saved when another spirit called Mwtar Ra buzzard of language
came and fought lam Yron. After 12 epic battles the evil wolf was defeated. But the deer
population took a long time to recover, in fact it never did recover to its previous numbers. This
caused many Sumn to leave the nomadic life and settle in small villages. The first to do this settled
on a nearby island called Mlelwe lamnan and lived by fishing, they were known as the Lamn
(settled people). Over time the speech grew apart from those on the mainland becoming Lemre
(settled language) but the Antagan Empire invaded that island and imposed their own language
in the natives causing the extinction of Lemre, the Island was renamed by the empire to Lem Pars
(Lem Island in the Tynes tongue.) Lemre has since been revived due to nationalist sentiment
against the Antagan Empire which outlawed the language. it was recorded by Antagan scholars
before its death, the record they created founded the base of Lemres revival many generations
later During this time the mainland language also changed into Middle Sumri.
A century or so later more Sumn left the nomad life and settled on the Southeastern coast.
They developed a very basic form of agriculture (as much as the harsh land would allow) but also
fished the seas and hunted in the nearby forests, over time these settlements grew into small towns
and began trading when the Antagan Empire discovered them, causing the settlements to grow
further, attracting even more trading from other nations. The language of these people became
Moicha. However the most southern of these settlements found themselves in a vast temperate
grassland with fertile soil and large stone deposits which the people, who now call themselves
the Forana (people of the plain) used to build stone houses with, the more powerful leaders built
large stone towers for defensive purposes and as status symbols. Although horses were introduced
to Malomanan from the Henda continent, the Forana imported them and became fine horsemen

1 Introduction
themselves and lead raids against the Moicha on horseback. There is great tension and bloodshed
between the Moicha and Forana due to the Moichas growing greed of land and insistence that
the Forana are no more than rebellious Moicha on horseback. This tension caused the Forana to
raid the Moicha border, these raids would then escalate into Malomanans first full scale war. The
language of the Forana is related to Moicha and is called Foriab.
Sometime after that more of the Sumn abandoned the nomad life and settled on a small group
of islands to the south west, over time the speech grew apart from Middle Sumri and became
Malelweri (island language) but as the population on the islands grew they people expanded their
settlements around the South West coast. By this time the languages changed once more to become
Maifri. Some of these people continued further up the western coast into a more mountainous and
forested area called Pwrlw, their language became Pwr. Those who remained on the South West
coast and islands now speak Terch in the Terchl territory, a sister language to Pwr. Some of
the people that never moved to the islands moved northwards into the Mna mountains where
they encountered a species of giant eagle that had want of human flesh. Instead of fleeing the nw
inhabitants of the Mna mountains fought fire with fire and raided the nests of the giant eagles
and raised the hatchlings in human captivity. By doing this they bred tame giant eagles that would
protect humans from their wild cousins but they could also be rode on like a horse of the sky. After
some time the population grew higher than the mountains could support so a large number of
people saddles their eagles and embarked on a great migration eastward in the skies. They fled so
far east until they met the wide ocean beyond them and an empty land beneath them. They settled
on the far eastern island Vm which had never known human or eagle before. Their language
changed by leaps and bounds over time to become Eamyr.
During the seventh battle between lam Yron and Mwtar Ra, which took place in the centre
of the continent by the eastern mountain range, Mwtar Ra being the language spirit screeched a
booming call in the divine tongue to the skies to herald an epic rain storm. The heavy rain caused
the surrounding land to become a quagmire of wet and quick mud which trapped lam Yron
and allowed Mwtar Ra to attack from the air (for it had the form of a buzzard, hence its name
mwtar ra which means buzzard) though through trickery the wolf spirit escaped, leaving a
great depression in the ground where it had been stuck which quickly filled with water to become
a great lake. The battle itself and the now marshy land had trapped a band of Sumn and separated
them from the rest of nomads. These people learned to take advantage of the marshy habitat by
living off the new life the marshy wetlands would bring. They became the Lericnat , a quaint and
isolated people and in time their speech became Lelic.
Now back to the remaining nomads, now speaking Late Middle Sumri. The deer populations
still not back to their past numbers was putting more pressure on the remaining nomads. So yet
again a great number of them left the nomad life, they left Malomanan altogether. They set out on
boats and headed south, praying that the winds would blow them somewhere plentiful. And those
prayers were answered. They came upon a tropical archipelago bustling with natural resources.
The islands were already inhabited by natives who spoke an isolating tongue called Gl Ng, they
called the islands Trez Gal meaning three warriors referring to the 3 main islands. But no conflict
happened. None. Everyone was welcomed with open arms and it wasnt long before the two people
interbred in race and language, the Sumric tongue was the dominant language but it took on the
voiced sounds of Gl Ng and became Zvri, after more time and more mingling with natives
the language simplified greatly, dropping all cases and much of the tenses and became Shfre.
In the Shfre language Trez Gl became Trgal. There the people became great seafarers and
sailors known around the world for their nautical prowess. Back home to Malomanan, the very
few nomads left now speak Somi, which in itself changes greatly in terms of sounds but simplified
by dropping all cases, though this process started way back in Late Middle Sumri.

2 Phonology & Orthography


2.1 Phonemic inventory
2.1.1 Vowels
i

a, a

2.1.2 Consonants
Labial

Plosive

Nasal

Fricative

Labiodental

Alveolar

t
n
f

Palatal

Velar

h
j

L.approximant

Trill

Approximant

Glottal

Homosyllabic consonant clusters are relatively rare in Old Sumr, having only three which are rn,
rm and lm, but even these have a short schwa inserted between the two consonants:
ern [rn ]/big
-rm [er m] hearsay suffix
ralm [ral m]/long
hetero-syllabic consonants on the other hand are perfectly legal and do often occur.

2.1.3 Orthography
The Latin orthography of Old Sumr is the one used in modern transcriptions on the language and
was devised by modern scholars. The orthography is very shallow with a 1:1 phonemic representation. Diacritics that mark phonemic vowels are the circumflex and diaeresis to differentiate <,
, , > /a, , e, o/ from <a, u, e, o> /a, u, , /. The acute accent is used to mark high pitch on a
syllable with the underdot <, , , > being high pitch allographs of <, , , >.

2 Phonology & Orthography


The writing system of contemporary Old Sumr was an abiguda named Rsra or cloth language. It was written with the fingers on cloth with ink made of crushed berries, the blood of
hunted game or any liquid that would last. The cloths served as messages as the Sumn, were
nomadic and whenever they left a campsite they tied a cloth to a tree for the next nomads to arrive
in that area to read which would say if the water was safe to drink, what animals there was to
hunt and any possible dangers nearby. As such most of the contemporary writing in Old Sumr
is just short messages. When the Sumn were divided into many separate tribes after the wolf
spirit Olam Yaron attacked the land the lifestyle changed (except for the Somoi who keep the
old lifestyle). Many of the Sumn settled into villages and had no need for the Rsora script as
they didnt need to leave messages anymore and so the script fell out of use. Centuries later historians and enthusiasts, such as the Pwrina shepherd Wgofswo and the Forana linguist glfer,
would study what evidence remains of it. But by this time another writing system had come into
use due to contact with the rest of the world so Rsoras use in modern times is restricted mostly
to native art. Although some of the Lemne tried to bring back the script for the revived Lemre
language as part of a cultural revival, but its success was quite limited. The following table shows
the graphemes and their IPA:

Letter

IPA

b
c
d
e

f
g
h
i
l
m
n

ow
p
r
s
t
u

v
w
y

a
a
b
k
d

e
f
g
h
i
l
m
n

o
o
p
r
s
t
u

v
w
j

2.2 Pitch accent

2.2 Pitch accent


Old Sumr has a phonemic pitch accent, (known as swr or crooked speech, where a word has a
high pitch on the penultimate syllable with a low pitch on the preceding syllable. The pitch pattern
is a shifting is a shifting one as certain conditions can cause the pitch to fall on different syllables
than the root word. An example of this in nouns is definiteness which causes the high pitch to
fall on the final syllable and the low pitch on the penultimate syllable. Another condition is compounding as this increases the number of syllables for the pitch to fall on:
lstas [lstas] fruit lasts [lsts] the fruit
lstas + -var suffix denoting a typical location of lustsvar [lstsvar] fruit tree
lustsvar [lstsvar] fruit tree lastasvr [lastsvr] the fruit tree
The high pitch is marked with an acute accent with the preceding low pitch being unmarked as
the next syllable having an acute accent is enough to indicate that the previous syllable has a low
pitch. One exception to this is when the syllable with high pitch contains / a, , e, o/ due to the
romanisations being <, , , >. Stacking the acute accent on the pre-existing diacritics would
be unsightly so instead these letters have allographs specifically for when these vowels have high
pitch which are <, , , > respectively for example; disrten [dsr tn] to claim disrtras
[disr tras] you claimedMonosyllabic do not use the acute accent as it is obvious that the high
pitch will fall on the only syllable.
The pitch accent originated in Proto-Sumrics stress. Proto-Sumric placed stress on the initial
syllable of a word except in definite nouns where the stress shifted to the final syllable of the
stem. In Old Sumrs derivation the stress shifted to the penultimate syllable while the definite
stress shifting extended from being restricted to the stem to falling on affixes. Stressed syllables
then became high pitch with the preceding unstressed syllable taking a low pitch. Function words
however lost their stress and so never gained pitch.

3 Nouns
3.1 Suffix hierarchy
Being a highly inflecting language, nouns very often do take on several suffixes so there is a specific order in which these suffixes attach to the noun which is as follows. The brackets denote a
suffix may or may not be included, depending on context:
noun + (case) + (number) + (possessive) + (conjunction)
yron yron wolf
yron + a yarna wolfs
yron + a + ca yaronca and wolfs

3.2 Noun gender


There are four genders which are buzzard, deer, animate and inanimate. The buzzard and deer noun
genders have nothing to do with their namesakes as evidenced by the fact the noun loman deer is
a buzzard noun. The way to tell which gender a noun belongs to is very simple. If the nouns ends in
a vowel then it is in the deer gender, if it ends in a consonant then it is on the buzzard gender. One
exception to this rule are the animate and inanimate nouns. There are a small number of nouns
that belong to the animate/inanimate genders and they always end in derivational suffixes which
tended to preserve the animate/inanimate case endings of Proto-Sumric albeit each suffix does it
in its own irregular way. Even when these suffixes are applied to new words they will go in the
animate/inanimate gender, with the exact gender being assigned semantically based on whether
the noun is alive or not. The suffix -go cover of, surrounding is a prime example of this:
slar eye. deer noun sulargo eyelid. inanimate noun.
bwa hillfoot. deer noun bwago flower that grows by hillfoots. animate noun.
This means that Old Sumr has both purely grammatical genders (buzzard and deer) plus purely
semantic genders (animate and inanimate).

3.3 Noun case


Old Sumr has 16 noun cases which inflect for gender and number. the 16 cases are:
Nominative: marks the subject
Accusative: marks the direct object
Genitive: marks possession

3 Nouns
Dative: marks the indirect object
Superessive: on the surface of something
Subessive: under something
Illative: movement into something
Perlative: movement through or along
Allative: movement to something
Comitative: in company of something, with
Apudessive: beside something
Delative: movement down from the surface, from
Supressive: above something
Paressive: beside something
Prolative: through something, by way of
Inessive: inside something
There are a group of irregular nouns called S-plurals that descend from Proto-Sumric inanimate
nouns. So named due to their tendency for the nominative plural to end in -s. Due to irregularity
of the S-plurals in the nominative, accusative, genitive and dative plurals each form is listed in the
dictionary.

3.3.1 Common nouns


The vast majority of nouns fall into this grouping. Common nouns in Old Sumr refer to nouns
that belong to the buzzard and deer genders.

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative
superessive
subessive
illative
perlative
allative
comitative
apudessive
delative
supressive
paressive
prolative
inessive

buzzard.sg

buzzard.pl

deer.sg

deer.pl

-
-
-a
-
-rol
-un
yb
-sel
-at
-es
eran
-ym
-c
-esn
-bin
-b

-
-m
-an
-m
-rol
-un
-yb
-sel
-at
-es
-eran
-ym
-c
-esn
-bin
-b

-
-
-a
-
-rola
-na
-yb
-sela
-ta
-sa
-rana
-yma
-ca
-sn
-bina
-ba

-
-ma
-ana
-ma
-rol
n
-yb
-sel
-t
-s
-ran
-ym
-c
-sn
-bin
-b

3.4 Definiteness
When a deer noun inflects and the suffix begins in a vowel then the finall vowel of the stem in
deleted: nca + - = c.

3.3.2 -Geo nouns


-Geo nouns are nouns that have been derived from verbs with the suffix -Geo. Nouns formed this
way have their own case paradigm. Since -Geo noun endings only differ from buzzard/deer endings
in the nominative, accusative, genitive and dative cases this table will exclude the locative cases.
-geo nouns can be either animate or inanimate.

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative

animate.sg

animate.pl

inanimate.sg

inanimate.pl

-geo
-ge
-geo
-ge

-ge
-ge
-gea
-ge

-geo
-geoh
-ge
-geod

-geor
-geohr
-geoher
-geods

3.3.3 -B nouns
-B nouns are animate nouns that have been derived from adjectives with suffix -ab.
V= ends in a vowel
C= ends in a consonant
Case

Sg.C

Sg.V

Pl.C

Pl.V

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative

-ab
-b
-ba
-b

-b
-w
-wa
-w

-b
-b
-bah
-beh

-w
-b
-wah
-weh

The alternation of /b/ to /w/ in some of the endings is due to this affix coming from the ProtoSumric ending - //. Old Sumr sound changes turned // into /b/ when after a consonant but
into /w/ when between to vowels.

3.3.4 -O nouns
-O nouns are inanimate nouns derived from adjectives with the suffix -o.
Case

Sg

Pl

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative

-o
-h
-ha
-h

-on
-oh
-oah
-h

3.4 Definiteness
Each of the modern Sumric languages has its own way of marking definiteness (except Lemre) yet
each language derived its own way of marking definiteness independently, such that Lelic e and
Foriab c are completely unrelated. Even more peculiar is that no modern Sumric language derives

3 Nouns
its definiteness from Old Sumr, in fact Old Sumrs way of marking definiteness is incredibly
different from any of its daughters.
Old Sumr marked definiteness by shifting the high pitch to the final syllable of the stem and by
using a seemingly irregular vowel mutation system in which the vowel in the first syllable mutates.
There isnt an easy pattern to which the vowels change but the definite form has to be memorised
along with its indefinite form, although a pattern can be found if you have knowledge of ProtoSumric and the sound changes that occurred between Proto-Sumric and Old Sumr. An example
of the irregularity is that the vowel can mutate into either or e, the vowel u can mutate into
o, , a or . This vowel mutation can be traced backed to Late-Proto-Sumro-Naukl which innovated a way to mark definiteness by shifting stress from the first syllable to the final syllable of
a stem. This same system was used in Proto-Sumric, however the shifting stress affected sound
changes between Proto-Sumro-Naukl and Proto-Sumric as certain vowel changes only happened
when stressed or unstressed. Since the definite and indefinite form had different stress the sound
changes gave them different vowels. For example /a, / became /o/ when stressed (giving the indefinite forms /o/) but when unstressed they became //, also when unstressed //became //(giving
the definite forms // and //). In Proto-Sumric only polysyllabic words were affected by the vowel
mutation as in monosyllabic words the stress remained on the first syllable and therefore evaded
the sound changes above. This alternation became grammatical and spread to any polysyllabic
nouns by analogy even when their vowels werent initially affected by the stress related changes.
The vowel mutation in Early Proto-Sumric had the following pattern (each mutation is designated
as a class which is numbered):
indefinitedefinite
o
u
A very simple and regular system. Until the speakers (unaware of the stress related conditioning
which created this mutation) reanalysed this mutation as lowering vowels and they applied this
reanalysed rule to any vowel in the first syllable of a polysyllabic word by lowering it one height
or by lowering it to the height of the closest pre-existing low vowel. Giving the newer pattern of:
indefinitedefinite
o
u
, a (as /a/ was the only pre-existing vowel lower than + )
ie
y
e,
a
aa (No change: as /a/ cant be lowered further)

10

3.4 Definiteness
This new pattern was larger but still regular and very predictable. It was when Proto-Sumric
diverged into Old Sumr that the irregularity happened. Each of these vowels went through Old
Sumrs sound changes separately which destroyed the simple lowering pattern and due to some of
the changes being conditioned by environment the same unmutated vowel in Old Sumr can have
several mutated forms as the same unmutated vowel was originally several different vowels in Old
Sumr. Old Sumr also changed the rule to include monosyllabic nouns as well as polysyllabic
nouns. Old Sumr innovated a large amount of new compound nouns formed from verbs and
adjectives which were not present in Proto-Sumric and so never went through the same changes
in regards to deifniteness. These new compound nouns take the definite form by mapping the
compound onto a class depending on its first vowel regardless of its etymology. For example the
Old Sumr compound doclaferca milk is a Class 3 noun as its first vowel is // which is the same
as other Class 3 nouns despite doclaferca stemming from the Proto-Sumric *dk to drink which
has // as its first vowel, typically stemming from // would place nouns with // in Class 6 but as
the word doclaferca didnt exist when the Class system was created it was placed by analogy in
Class 3. Thanks to these sound changes a nouns definite class can no longer be predicted by its
sounds but rather each nouns definite class has to be memorised. I will write below each possible
mutation and the changes that caused it:
mutation class

first vowel:

mutates into:

1
1
2
2
3
3
3A
4
5
6

e
u
u
o
o,

u
,
e

o
a when after <l> or <y>
a

prefixes a- or
i
a

i, a,

no change

*if the Proto-Sumric word has an elided s before the vowel.


Examples:
1.ystas yists red evening sky
1. llos lls estuary
2.cur ocr maternal grandfather
2.lstas lasts fruit
3.fora fari grassland
3. mrol, car mrl, cr fox, knife
3A. mwtar, pet amwatr, apt buzzard, sheath
4. ca c forest

11

3 Nouns
5. dna, dnab din, dinb time, tent
6. stal astl hand
Reasons for the class groupings:
Class-1: The new unmutated form of // emerged due to a sound change which turned /o/ into
// when between consonants. The schwa was completely lost in Old Sumr and where is wasnt
dropped it became //.
Class-2: The new mutated form of /a/ emerged due to a sound change which turned // into /a/
when after /j/ (which would later sporadically change into/l/ in some words).
Class-3: The new mutated form of /a:/ was due to a sound change which elided /s/ when between
a vowel and a consonant and if that vowel was /a/ it got lengthened into /a:/. Due to the original
environment being lost it cant be told if a Class-3 noun takes mutates into /a/ or /a:/, rather each
instance must be memorised.
Class-3A: The reason that Class-3A uses prefixes instead of vowel muation stems from the fact
that the prefixes a-/- were once mutated vowels of Class-3 in Proto-Sumric. Proto-Sumric Class 3
nouns that had // as their first vowel took the mutated form of /a/. However Old Sumrs sound
changes got rid of // entirely and turned it into // but mostly deleted it entirely, especially when
word initial. So word initial // was lost yet its mutated form /a/ was unaffected by such sound
changes and survived. But since the mutated /a/ in this condition now had no unmutated form it
was reanalysed as a prefix. The - /a:/ prefix was due to a sound change which elided /s/ when
between a vowel and a consonant and if that vowel was /a/ it got lengthened into /a:/. During Late
Old Sumr when the definite marking system began to collapse, speakers would use the prefix aon any noun when they were unsure how a noun changed form (Which is the source of the Early
Lemre definte prefix a- which was used on all nouns).
Class-4: No exceptions to explain here are as both the unmutated and mutated vowels changed
into another vowel each.
Class-5: Nouns which have /i/ in their first syllable only belong to Class 5 if the /i/ descends
from Proto-Sumric /e/. Nouns which have /o/ in their first syllable only belong to Class 5 if the /o/
descends from Proto-Sumric //.
Class-6: Nouns whose first vowel is // only belong to Class-6 when the vowel in Proto-Sumric
was //.
Class-7: Class-7 nouns do not change at all. Nouns with /a/ as their first vowel and some nouns
with /i/ as their vowel belong to this class. This is due to the Proto-Sumric pattern of lowering
vowels to mutate them, and as /a/ is the lowest vowel it couldnt be lowered any further. Another
change which turned Class-4 mutated /e/ into /i/ made nouns which had /i/ in their first syllable
indistinguishable in their definite and indefinite forms so these nouns were reanalysed as belonging to Class 7.

12

3.5 Noun formation

3.5 Noun formation


Nouns can be formed with the following suffixes
Verb to Noun -ic gerund: mlmen to hunt mlmic huting
Verb to Noun -na human agentive: mlmna hunter
Verb to Noun -al nonhuman agentive: mlmal hunter
Verb/Noun to Noun -ur male diminutive: mlmur male hunter
Verb/Adjective/Noun to Noun -rcna human diminutive: mlmnrcna little human hunter
Verb/Noun to Noun -e female diminutive: mlme female hunter
Verb/Noun to Noun -ca child diminutive: mlmca child hunter
Verb/Noun to Noun -i tool, creature, inanimate diminutive: mlmi hunting tool/hunting
creature
Noun to Noun -bo dead, lifeless: rnr father ernrbo dead father
Noun to Noun -dwir organic, natural, caused by nature: rwa understanding rwdwir
enlightenment reached by meditating in nature
Any word to Abstract Noun -dwo wave of, mist of, bout of: mndna deers mating season
mndndwo lust
Noun to Noun -ga collection of: sow wind swga hurricane.
Noun/Verb/Adjective to Noun -lorna someone that likes X: mlmlrna someone the likes
hunting
Noun/Verb/Adjective to Noun -mulorna someone that dislikes X: mlmumlrnasomeone
that doesnt like hunting
Noun/Adjective/Verb -var: mlmvar hunting ground
Adjective/Verb to Inanimate noun -o: estben to enclose estbo cobweb
Vern to Inanimate noun -ra makes an inanimate patient of a verb: ayra correct idea,
correct answer, fact
Verb to Animate noun -r makes an animate patient of a verb: y to agree yr someone that is correct
Adjective/Verb to Animate noun -ab: lam still lmab trapper
Noun to Locative noun -vo(m) way, direction of: sil sun aslvom upwards

13

3 Nouns

3.6 Noun enforcement


Old Sumr has a way of enforcing the quality or meaning of a noun. Much like how an intensifier
works on adjective, but for nouns. This is done by placing dosa before the noun (from do one +
-sa comitative case ending. i.e with one). In English this can roughly translate as very much a
X:
pyol hero
Altsi mnr pyol Altasi is a hero
Altsi mnr dosa pyol Altasi is undoubtedly/very much a hero
On the other hand it is possible to make an opposite construction to denote something broken
or destroyed. This is done by placing a past tense ending, typically applied to verbs only, on the
noun. The effect can be made more severe by using the far past ending. In this construction the
verb is dropped and the accusative case isnt applied to the direct object. The past tense ending
agrees n gender to the noun it is applied to:
lamn nilfrs the deer ruined the grass (the deer the grass-near past)
lamn nilfrc the deer utterly ruined the grass (the deer the grass-far past)

3.7 Similies
Where in English a simile is formed by using like or as e.g you are noble like a hero or you are
as noble as a hero. Old Sumr handles this by putting the descriptor (in this case it is hero) in the
comitative case:
mnar pyles mor
this literally translates as you are noble with hero
dvar nanssa mnr dv
The crow is as black as the night sky
grar yacsa
you fight like an antlerless male deer (antlerless male deers are held to be weak or less worthy
in Sumric culture)
yams brigrsn asilsa ymss
the fire burned as bright as the sun, (The fire brightly burned with sun)
mlmaral dvarosa emnr erad mab
the spear is as high as a crow
These comitative-similies are treated like adverbs in Old Sumr so they always follow the subject

14

3.8 The conjunction and with nouns

3.8 The conjunction and with nouns


When used with nouns the conjunction for and is the clitic -ac/-c which one is used depends on
the gender of the noun it attaches to. -ac attaches to Buzzard nouns and inanimate case endings
that end in consonants and -c attaches to Deer nouns and animate case endings:
amwatrac and the buzzard
tyac and the bread
-ac/-c will always be the last clitc on a noun phrase so in most instances attach itself to the case
ending before:
amwatarsac and with the buzzard
atysec and with the bread

3.9 Comparative and Superlative constructions


To form comparative and superlative constructions Old Sumr a rather quaint system of marking
the comparative and superlative on the nouns being compared to instead of marking it on the
adjective.

3.9.1 Comparative
The comparative is formed by placing the object being compared to in the paressive case to give a
sense of beside.
subject + be + adjective + object-paressive case
Where in English one would simply add the suffix -er to an adjective or place more before the adjective, Old Sumr uses the sentence structure above to form a comparative sentence. For example:
Dna ron mnr ern Tarca ronsn
don-GEN dog be-3rd-BUZZ big taroc-GEN dog-PAR
Dons dog is big Tarocs dog-beside/Johns dog is big Tarocs dog beside
When using the comparative in a subordinate clause (dog that is bigger) the following sentence
structure is used:
subject + verb + object + to be-demonstrative clitic + adjective + object-paressive case
For example:
dac rn emnrsd ern Tarca ronen
want-1st-SG dog-ACC be-3rd=DEM big taroc-GEN dog-PARI want a dog is-that big Tarocs dog
beside/ I want a dog that is bigger than Tarocs dog

15

3 Nouns

3.9.2 Superlative
A superlative sentence is formed in much the same way as the comparative except that instead
of placing the object being compared to in the paressive case (as there are none in superative
constructions) you take the word nn all and place it in the paressive case.
Dna ron mnr ern nnsn
don-GEN dog be-3rd-BUZZ big all-PAR
Dons dog is big all-beside/Dons dog is biggest
In a subordinate claus the superlative works the same as the comparative also:
dac rn emnrsd ern nnson
want-1st-SG dog-ACC be-3rd-BUZZ=DEM big all-PAR
I want a dog is-that big all-beside/I want a dog that is biggest

3.10 Locative nouns


Old Sumr has no adpositions but rather has locative case (which has been mentioned earlier)
and locative nouns. Locative nouns are an open class set of words and are very flexible in their
formation. Most locative nouns have no set form and are usually formed on the fly according to
current context. This is done by the use of the suffix -vo(m) on any noun. So one speaker may say
mvom sky-way for above while another may say mirmvo head-way or aslvom sun-way with
all being interchangeable, a speaker may invent new ones of his own if he struggles to remember
any existing ones, so long as context shows which locative is being referred to, For example if there
is a tree to the speakers left then he may say ractvom for left but if he turns around then ractvom
would mean right. In daughter languages these terms became more fixed.
some more examples of locative nouns:
m I mvo in my direction, towards me
maynns horizon maynonsvo straight, forward
rsal bird in flight rslvom above, upwards
rusl mocrsil mrmavobna ran
the bird flew above the dog
(the bird flew by way of the dogs head-way)

16

4 Pronouns & determiners


4.1 Pronouns
Personal pronouns in Old Sumr decline by case like any noun would, due to the large amount of
cases and 8 persons there are 128 pronouns.
Singular personal pronouns:

nom
acc
gen
dat
super
sub
ill
per
all
comi
apud
del
supr
par
pro
iness

1st.sg

2nd.sg

3rd.buzz

3rd.deer

m
m
ma/mam
m
marla
mna
mayba
masla
mta
msa
marna
mayma
mca
masna
mabna
maba

tar
tr
tra/tram
tr
trol
tarun
tryb
trsel
trat
tres
tarran
trym
trc
tarsn
trbin
trb

lmr
lemru
lemra/lemra
lemr
lemrol
lemrun
lemryb
lemrsel
lemrat
lemres
lemrran
lemrym
lemrc
lemrsn
lembin
lemrb

lm
lm
lma/lma
lem
lemrla
lemna
lemryba
lemrsla
lemta
lemsa
lemrna
lemyma
lemca
lemrsna
lembna
lemba

Plural personal pronouns:

17

4 Pronouns & determiners

nom
acc
gen
dat
super
sub
ill
per
all
comi
apud
del
supr
par
pro
iness

1st.pl.inc

1st.pl.exc

2nd.pl

3rd.pl

mtr
mtrman
mtran/mtarna
mtrm
mtarl
mtarn
mtarb
mtarsl
mtart
mtars
mtarern
mtarym
mtarc
mtaresn
mtarbn
mtarb

mlm
mlmm
mlman/mlemna
mlmm
mlemrl
mlemn
mlemyb
mlemsl
mlemt
mlems
mlemern
mlemym
mlemc
mlemesn
mlembn
mlemb

tr
trm
tran/tarna
trm
tarl
tarne
taryb
tarsl
tart
tars
tarern
tarym
taryc
taresn
tarbn
tarb

lm
lmm
lman/lemna
lmm
lemrl
lemn
lemyb
lemsl
lemt
lems
lemern
lemym
lemc
lemesn
lembn
lemb

The possessive pronouns have two forms which agree to the gender of the possessed object. The
possessive pronoun on the left is Buzzard gender and the one on the right is Deer gender. When the
possessed noun is animate or inanimate which possessive pronoun gets used depends on whether
the case ending of the noun end in a vowel or not:
ma estalgo my glove compared to mam estalgor my gloves.
Note that in Old Sumr there is no inanimate or genderless pronoun, only the Buzzard or Deer
pronouns can be used for the 3rd person. If the gender of an object if unknown then the Buzzard
pronouns are used as a substitute. Also while noun gender doesnt align with biological gender,
males are referred to by Buzzard pronouns and females by the Deer pronouns. This is because
Buzzards are hunters and Deers are the hunted, which is a reference to courtship between men
and women.

4.2 Determiners
Demonstrative, interrogative and existential pronouns in Old Sumr dont agree with noun case or
number and are distinguished by animacy rather than gender. For example the animate singular
pronoun is sn that which refers to things that are alive but sd that refers to objects that arent
alive.
sn mwtar cr sd ty that buzzard is eating that bread
sd tya c sn mwatr that bread is eating that buzzard
notice how when the nouns inflect for case, the demonstrative pronouns dont

18

4.2 Determiners

4.2.1 Interrogative pronouns


Interrogative
Adjective

can (which)

Animate

c (who)

Inanimate

cad (what)

Location

cor (where)

Time

cin (when)

Reason

cl (why, how)

Examples:
c crs ma ty? who ate my bread? (as the subject and time is unknown, the 3rd person
Buzzard gender near past ending is used to conjugate the verb by default)
cad crs ma ty? what ate my bread?
amwtar crs ma ty cor? where did the buzzard eat my bread? (literally: the buzzard
ate my bread where?). Here where goes at the end due to a rule in Foriab that says Locative
Phrases (or words denoting where an action happened) go at the end of the sentence.
amwtar crs ma ty cin? where did the buzzard eat my bread? (literally: the buzzard
ate my bread when?). Here when goes at the end due to a rule in Foriab that says Time
Phrases, or words denoting when an action happened, go at the end of the sentence.)
cl mwtar crs ma ty? how/why did the buzzard eat my bread? Old Sumr doesnt
distinguish between how or why)

4.2.2 Demonstrative pronouns

Adjective
Animate
Inanimate
Location
Time
Reason

Proximal

Distal

s (this)
s (this)
s (this)
sr (here)
da (now)
scl (because

son (that)
sn (that)
sd (that)
sn (there)
dut (then)
socl (that way, therefore)

se mwtar crs s ty? this buzzard ate this bread


sn mwtar crs sd ty ractun sn. that buzzard ate that bread under the tree there
(literally: that buzzard ate that bread the tree under there). When a sentence has both a
locative phrase and a time phrase, the time phrase goes to the very end of the sentence
following the locative phrase)

19

4 Pronouns & determiners


sn mwtar crs sd ty cu nt carif that buzzard ate that bread 4 days ago cu nt
carif is a time phrase and so is placed at the end of the sentence.
sn mwatr acens sd ty sepens scl those buzzards ate that bread because they were
hungry (literally: that buzzards ate that bread they hungered because). again the pronoun
scl goes at the end of the sentence. Also notice how even though the subject mwatr is
plural the demonstrative pronoun doesnt change.
The demonstrative pronouns can be used at relative pronouns when encliticised onto the verb
phrase to form a subordinate clause. Although none of the interrogative pronouns can be used as
relative pronouns e.g The man who walks, the mountain where he lived, when he walked.
nr ocrssd the man who walks (the man walks-that)
lmrs amubnsn the mountain where it lived (it lived the mountain-there)
ocrsdut when it walked (it walked-then)

4.2.3 Existential pronouns


Assertive

Negative

Universal

Elective

Adjective

ld (some)

mu (no)

wae (every)

gol (any)

Animate

lna (someone)

muna (no one)

waena (everyone)

golna (anyone)

Inanimate

lal (something)

mual (nothing)

waeal (everything)

golal (anything)

Location

lm (somewhere)

mucor (nowhere)

waecor (everywhere)

golcor (anywhere)

Time

ldna (sometime)

mucin (never)

waed (always)

goldna (anytime)

Reason

lcl (somehow)

mucl (noway)

waecl (everyway)

golcl (anyway)

20

5 Adjectives & Adverbs


5.1 Adjective agreement
Old Sumr adjectives must agree to the noun they modify in gender, case and number. They do this
by taking on the exact same case endings as the nouns after they have been made to agree with
gender. There are a set of irregular adjectives called S-plurals that have irregular endings when
agreeing to nominative, accusative, genitive and dative plural deer nouns. Each S-plural has its
irregular endings listed in the dictionary.

5.1.1 Agreeing with buzzard nouns


If an adjective ends in a consonant then no change is needed and can be inflected as is:
ern big rn amwatr the big buzzard
nin green nin amwatr the green buzzard
rc strong rc amwatr the strong buzzard
In the Subessive case:
rnun amwatrun under the big buzzard
nnun amwatrun under the green buzzard
racun amwatrun under the strong buzzard
If an adjective ends in a vowel however then -m is added onto the adjective to make it agree with
a buzzard noun:
la bad lam amwatr the bad buzzard
nca weird ncam amwatr the weird buzzard
mgya angry mgyam amwatr the angry buzzard
In the Subessive case:
olmun amwatrun under the bad buzzard
ncmun amwatrun under the weird buzzard
magymun mwatrun under the angry buzzard

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5 Adjectives & Adverbs

5.1.2 Agreeing with deer nouns


If an adjective ends in a vowel then no change is needed and can be inflected as is:
sala old sala amac the old world
sa holy sa amac the holy world
gosa healthy gosa amac the healthy world
salba amacba in the old world
sba amacba in the holy world
gosba amacba in the healthy world
If an adjective ends in a consonant however then -a is added onto the adjective:
hcar cold hcra amac the cold world
ern big rna amac the big world
brgar bright brigra amac the bright world
In the inessive case:
hcarba amacba in the cold world
ernba amacba in the big world
brigarba amacba in the bright world

5.1.3 Agreeing with animate nouns


Adjectives agree to animate nouns by adding the suffix -os onto the adjective. Adjectives agreeing
to animate and inanimate nouns dont take on regular case ending like the deer and buzzard nouns
do. Rather -os has its own case paradigm shown below, this is true only for the nominative, accusative, genitive and dative cases with the locative cases being the same as as they are on nouns.
When the adjective ends in a vowel the final vowel of the stem is deleted, when the stem ends in
two vowels only the second vowel is deleted.
Case

Singular

Plural

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative

-os
-os
-osa
-os

-os
-osh
-osah
-oseh

hcar cold hcros lmab cold trapper


ern big rnos lmab big trapper
sala old salos lmab old trapper

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5.2 Adverb

5.1.4 Agreeing with inanimate nouns


Adjectives agree with inanimate nouns by adding the suffix -bo or its post-vocalic allomorph -wo.
Like the suffix -os, -bo has its own case paradigm.
V= ends in a vowel
C= ends in a consonant
Case

Sg.C

Sg.V

Pl.C

Pl.V

nominative
accusative
genitive
dative

-bo
-boh
-boha
-boh

-wo
-woh
-woha
-woh

-boh
-boh
-boah
-beh

-woh
-woh
-woah
-weh

ern big rnwo estbo big cobweb


la bad olwo estbo bad cobweb
ter hard trbo estbo hard cobweb

5.1.5 Adjective formation


Verb to Adjective -lon particple adjective: mlmen to hunt mlmlon hunting
Verb to Adjective -ic past participle adjective: mlmic hunted
Verb/Noun to Adjective -sa -ly, like: nuft fool nuftsa foolish
Noun to Adjective -na turns a location into an adjective: mben mountain mubna
mountainous
Noun/Adjective -su approximate/diminutive quality of: sow wind swsu breezy
Verb to Adjective -na able to, has the capacity to: dcen to drink docna drinkable

5.2 Adverb
Old Sumr adverbs are a very open class system where adjective are turned into adverbs by adding
a suffix. Which suffix is used depends on the number ad gender of the subject as the adverb always
agrees with the subject of the verb. Adverbs always follow the subject.

buzzard
deer
animate
inanimate

singular

plural

-sn
-sna
-snos
-snbo

-sn
-sn
-snos
-snboh

Examples:
amwtar crs ty berdsn the buzzard quickly ate the bread

23

5 Adjectives & Adverbs


lrna grrs lwasna the soldier fought well
lamb mlmrs lamn lwasnos the trapper hunted the deer well
astbo nnrs pyasnbo the cobweb split easily
There are a few irregular fixed adverbs which do not bear the adverbial suffix such as rcsa
mightily, tesal immediately though these are few and far between.

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6 Verbs
6.1 Suffix hierarchy
Being a highly inflecting language, a verbs very often do take on several suffixes so there is a specific
order in which these suffixes attach to the verb which is as follows, the brackets denote a suffix
which isnt essential and can be left out, though they often are included depending on context.
verb + tense + (subjunctive) + (negation) + (evidentiality) + (imperative)
Example:
smen smen to travel
smen + arut sumrut will travel
smen + arut + pos sumartpos you may travel
smen + arut + pos + rm sumarutposrm I heard that you may travel
smen + arut + pos + mu + rm sumarutposmrm I heard you might not travel
smen + ye smye travel!

6.2 Conjunction and with verbs


Unlike the nominal conjunction -ac/-c which suffixes onto nouns, the verbal conjunction -ac behaves more like how and does in English in that it goes between the two verbs:
cen ac lnen to eat and drink
cs ty ac lns cl it ate bread and I drank beer

6.2.1 Common verbs


Common verbs are by far the most common (hence the name) and have the infinitive ending -en.
Preset tense
Person

Suffix

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz/anim
3rd.sg.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl.exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-
-ar
-r
-
-ul
-al
-i
-en

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6 Verbs
Simple past tenses
Person

Last night

Yesterday

Near past

Far past

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz/anim
3rd.sg.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl.exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-b
-arab
-rb
-b
-alub
-alab
-ib
-eneb

-m
-aram
-rm
-m
-ulum
-ulem
-im
-enem

-s
-aras
-rs
-s
-uls
-alens
-is
-ens

-c
-arc
-rc
-c
-ulc
-alc
-ic
-enc

Simple Future tenses


Person

Immediate future

Near future

Far future

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.sg.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl.exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-nu
-arnu
-rnu
-ru
-ulna
-alenu
-inu
-enu

-ut
-arut
-rut
-nut
-ulut
-alenut
-inut
-enut

-ye
-arye
-rye
-ye
-ulye
-alee
-iye
-ee

6.2.2 -Eas verbs


-Eas verbs are verbs that have been derived from nouns and adjectives with the derivation suffix
-eas to denote an action that results in the root noun/adjective. In these verbs -eas functions as an
infinitive. -Eas verbs have their own set of conjugations which as are follows:
Present tense -eas

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Person

Suffix

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-e
-easur
-easr
-easro
-easul
-easil
-easi
-easor

6.2 Conjunction and with verbs


Simple past -eas
Person

Last night

Yesterday

Near past

Far past

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-ep
-easunb
-easnb
-easrob
-easub
-easulb
-easip
-easomp

-epam
-easum
-easm
-easram
-easum
-easulm
-easipam
-easompan

-epes
-easurs
-easrs
-easros
-easus
-easuls
easipes
-easompes

-epec
-easunac
-easnac
-easroc
-easuc
-easulc
easipec
-easompec

Simple Future -eas


Person

Immediate future

Near future

Far future

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-epru
-easuru
-easurud
-easroru
-easuru
-easulru
-easipru
-easompru

-epud
-easurud
-easrud
-easrud
-easud
-asulud
-easiwud
-easmpud

-epy
-easury
-easry
-asroy
-easu
-easul
-easipy
-easompy

6.2.3 -Two verbs


-Two verbs are verbs that have been derived from any kind of word with the suffix -two. In these
verbs -two functions as an infinite. -two verbs have their own set of conjugations as shown below:
Present tense -two
Person

Suffix

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-twb
-twur
-twor
-tworo
-twu
-twuya
-twib
-twr

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6 Verbs
Simple past -two
Person

Last night

Yesterday

Near past

Far past

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-twr
-twurb
-tworb
-tworob
-twub
-twuyab
-twip
-twrp

-twobam
-twurm
-tworm
-tworom
-twum
-twuyam
-twibam
-twrpam

-tworpes
-twus
-twors
-tworos
-twus
-twuyas
-twirpes
-twrpes

-twospec
-twurc
-tworc
-tworoc
-twuc
-twuyac
-twipec
-twrpec

Future tense -two


Person

Immediate future

Near future

Far future

1st.sg
2nd.sg
3rd.sg.buzz.anim
3rd.deer.inan
1st.pl.inc
1st.pl/exc
2nd.pl
3rd.pl

-twobru
-twuru
-tworu
-twororu
-twuru
-twuyaru
-twipru
-twpru

-tworbut
-twurut
-tworut
-tworhut
-twuyut
-twuhut
-twiwut
-twrput

-tworby
-twury
-twory
-tworoy
-twuy
-twuyay
-twiry
-twrpy

6.3 Subjunctive
The subjunctive is formed with the enclitic -pos which attaches itself after person agreement:
sumpos were I be travelling
sumspos were I have travelled
sumtpos I may travel/were I to travel

6.4 Passive
The passive is formed with the enclitic -ti which attaches itself after person agreement and after
the subjunctive if it is used:
lasts lustrtti the fruit will be plucked
lasts lustrutpsti were the fuit be plucked

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6.5 Evidentiality

6.5 Evidentiality
Old Sumr marks verbs with evidentially. Which means that it specifies if the speaker knows for
certain what they are saying is true, or that they heard it from heresy, or that it is possible that it
might be true. And that it could have happened/will happen by looking at evidence. This is done
by attaching a clitic on to the verb.
Evidentiality

suffix

Knows for certain, usually by witnessing the event


Heard from heresay
Possible
Deduced from evidence

-tc
-rm
-il
-ici

amwatr acrmtc tra ty the buzzard definitely ate your bread yesterday
amwatr acrmrm tra ty I heard the buzzard ate your bread yesterday
amwatr acrmil tara ty the buzzard possibly ate your bread yesterday
amwatr acrmci tra ty the buzzard ate your bread yesterday (deduced from evidence, such as leftover crumbs)

6.6 Negation
Negation in Old Sumr is achieved by placing the suffix -mu onto a verb:
amwatr acrsmu tra ty the buzzard didnt eat your bread
lamn cwonrsmuci sr the deer didnt graze here

6.7 Imperative
The imperative suffix -ye turns a verb into a demand. When a verb is imperative it can only take on
the suffixes -ye and -mu meaning that it cant inflect for person or tense so in imperative phrases
the subject is always included (whereas English leaves it out), with locative and time phrases being
optional and taking their respective second last and last places of the sentence:
tar cye tra ty! eat your bread!
tar acmye tra ty! dont eat your bread!
tar cye tra ty amwatr acrtpos lm dnuc! eat your bread before the buzzard eats
it! (you eat your bread buzzard may eat it before)

6.8 Verb formation


Verb to Frequentive verb -se: mlmen mlmsen to frequently hunt Any non-verb word
to Verb -two: pc breadth pctwo to cross, to reach over
Noun/Adjective to Verb -sea forms action that results in the noun/adjective: rcs concept,
idea, thought racsa to conceptulise, to picture

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7 Mlmr: Avoidance Speech


Old Sumr, known simply as Sumr to native contemporary speakers has a large set of synonyms,
yet these synonyms are strictly interchangeable due to being part of avoidance speech. The Sumric
people of the Old Sumr period were, and some modern tribes still are, animistic hunter-gatherers
and it was part of their belief that each and every thing in existence has a spirit and is therefore
alive in the same way that people are. The Sumric people also believe that each spirit is connected
to an ever reaching pane of energy known as Tmdwir which translates as the natural herald.
Speech is a form of energy in the eyes of the Sumric people which reveals truths and intentions to
Tmdwir, when a word is spoken Tmdwir will direct the energy and intention of that word to the
spirit which is being spoken about. As such when hunting, mlmr hunt language is spoken so
that hunters can speak about prey without alerting the spirit of the prey. Mlmr is a set of mostly
nouns and a few verbs which are usually descriptions of their referents.
Originally used only during hunting, mlmr spread to be used during night time as that time
after sunset is thought to be when spirits of all beings are most powerful, for example when humans
sleep their spirits wander to other realms and experience visions of odd events (This is what dreams
are thought to be), and the spirits of the sky reveal themselves in a show of sparkling lights and
waving aoras. It is believed that during the day the light of the sun causes ripples throughout
Tmdwir which weakens the connectedness and power of spirits but during the night is when
Tmdwir is most stable and powerful, so mlmr became to be used during the night to prevent
invoking the spirit of an animal or other person.
It considered rude to speak ill of someone behind their back while using their real name as
Tmdwir would reveal such bad words to the referent so when speaking of another person, people
will use a nickname of the person as an extension of mlmr, usually a descriptor such as swift
runner keen eye or lazy hunter, however it is very important that this referent never knows
what their mlmr name is. Due to this each person has several names for each social circle that
they are part of yet they will never know what any of them are. One exception to this is in polite
speech where mlmr may be used to show respect to the referent even when speaking to them in
person however this lwam arum good name used in the persons presence will differ from the
mlmr names used behind their back, which are known as hgsmu not attention-ly.
Here is a list of some Old Sumr words and their mlmr counterparts:
Normal Speech Mlmr
Meaning of Mlmr word
stag
owl
tree
leaf
fur, hair
wolf
to see

loman
dwamnis
rct
rstal
fen
yron
slen

dercesal
frdwir
dercdwir
grr
arbtdwir
mrnis
fren

antlered animal
naturaly sees at night
natures antler
sorrow man
natures coat
grey one
to see. From Proto-Sumric *far to squint

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8 Origin of Irregular Nouns and Adjectives


Old Sumr is a fairly regular language, even the verb mnen to be conjugates regularly. But there
are a small handful of irregular nouns and adjectives which dont decline like normal nouns. This
irregularity is all due to a phonotactic rule in Proto-Sumric, Old Sumrs mother language. The rule
was that voiced fricatives devoice when they are between two consonants and that any other voiced
consonant around either fricative devoices also. The inanimate nominative plural in Proto-Sumric
was - [] and this affected inanimate nouns that ended in a voiced fricative causing the fricative
to devoice. Many of the inanimate nouns that ended in fricatives ended in - [], such as a,
emyb and jro (skin, mountain and colour) produced the cluster [] when plural as a result
of the rule, which was then shortened to just [] as a rule in Proto-Sumric merged two consonant
clusters when both were the same: a, emyb and jro (skins, mountains and colours). These
plurals then went through Old Sumr sound changes which deleted bilabial fricatives when word
final and after a consonant but also these irregular endings evaded another sound change which
rhotacized [] to [r] when after a vowel. Instead in these endings [] became [s]. These changes
together resulted in the s-plurals of Old Sumr: as, mbes, lros skins, mountains, colours
One unusual s-plural is crpes valleys, plural of cen. This differs from the other S-plurals as
its Proto-Sumric ancestor didnt end in [] but rather in [r] and as such went through different
changes. In Proto-Sumric valley was gr [gor] and being inanimate it took the plural - to
become gr. The final cluster wasnt simplified as the preceding cluster was r and therefore
different. Where [] wasnt deleted word finally it became [p] giving us cerps in Old Sumr. But
Old Sumrs phonotactics dont allow [ps] so an [] was inserted between the two consonants to
form cerpes. The singular cen has [n] because sound changes turned [r] into [n] before a consonant
but like how the other S-plural evaded rhotacisation, crpes avoided turning [r] into [n]. In the
Accusative, genitive and dative cases the [p] turns into a [b]: crbs, crbes and crbod. This is
because the S-plurals, not content with evading a few sound changes, also evaded the loss of the
inanimate case endings when Old Sumr lost the animate/inanimate genders. The s-plurals tend
to have the case endings -s (Acc) -es (Gen), -od (Dat) which are remnants of the Proto-Sumric
inanimate plural endings -ew, -, -ot. As can be seen here the plural - went after the case
endings and so never came into contact with the final voiced fricative and thus never devoiced it.

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