Earth and Sky

These brief paragraphs were found among some artifacts of the Elder Folk. They appear to have been written by a woman and may be a fragment from a journal or a letter. 

SONY DSCWe didn’t always live in houses that float above the earth. My grandmother says that her grandmother lived on the ground as a child and she used to tell stories, but they have been lost. I have tried to imagine what it would be like to live on the earth, and it’s hard.

There is a large boulder I can see from my window, and I imagine that it is a house sitting on the ground. It seems so vulnerable. In the springtime, the river expands to cover it. In the dry times of year, animals can walk right up to it. They climb up and sleep in the sun. Would they climb on houses? That would be strange indeed.

When the storms come, our houses in the sky sway and drift, but the boulder and the trees on the ground don’t move. How did houses on the ground stay still? I suppose they would have to have been flat on the bottom, but what made them stay put? Did earth houses have roots like the trees?

Animals and weather notwithstanding, the earth may be a safer place to live in some ways. Falling is certainly less dangerous when you start out closer to the ground. I sometimes think that taking care of children must have been so much easier. No child from our village has Fallen in living memory, but it is still every mother’s and aunt’s and older sister’s greatest worry. Greater than fire, greater than bathwater, greater than illness. We are haunted by the Fall. Sometimes when the straps of the sling dig into my shoulders or the toddler is restless on my hip, I envy the women who lived on the earth, who could set their babies down safely, without fear of the Fall.

Kadunghu Ka—The Writings of Illavallanism

The following are excerpts from the Kadunghu, the writings of the religion of Illavallanism.

From the BOOK OF THE CREATION

The opening line of the Kadunghu Ka written in the Elder Tongue script
The opening line of the Kadunghu Ka written in the Elder Tongue script

U ava-a he eth-a tha obo-avath kitik-va-uthu
mi 
kuduma ka obo-avak vohu,
Illa la bo-kodangal a-Takat-va-Maga ka…

1 When the sky was a blank canvas and the world a formless mass, the Mother began to create the Great Art. 2She stretched out the canvas of sky and brushed onto it the hues of deepest blue. 3She beheld the canvas of sky and declared it beautiful. 4When the canvas had dried, she placed it within the frame of heaven and placed a great light before it so that all might behold its beauty.

Codex_Sinaiticus_open_full

5Then the Mother took the formless mass and began to shape it. 6She pressed and kneaded and sculpted the mass. 7When she looked at the mass she saw that it had become a perfect sphere and she declared it beautiful. 8She placed it before the canvas of sky and delighted to see the way the light of the lamp shone upon it.  9But the shadow of the world blocked out some of the canvas, so she hung tiny lights to illuminate the canvas wherever the shadow of the world should touch it. 10When she beheld the canvas of sky, the lamp, the world, and the lesser lights, she declared it beautiful.

11In her satisfaction, the Mother breathed out a sigh and her breath went into all the world. 12Where her breath went it brought with it life and the grasses, flowers, and trees sprang forth into being. 13The Mother beheld the grasses, flowers, and trees, and shouted for joy, “Beautiful!” 14As the words hit the world, they melted portions of the sphere and waters began to burst forth.  15The Mother peered closer to the world and saw the deep waters and as the breath of her nostrils hit the waters, they began to teem with life. 16She turned her gaze upon a barren plain, where earth and water had come together to make clay.  17As she looked closely at the earth, her breath reached into the clay and it yielded human beings. 18The human beings sat up and when they saw the goddess before them they cried out with one voice: “Mother!” 19The Mother said, “I shall answer to no other name, for my children have claimed me.”

20She began to laugh out of joy and with each laugh, a new creature came forth out of the earth: the elf, the halfling, the giant.  21Each saw her and shouted praise to her, calling her “Queen,” “Lady,” and “Goddess,” but only the human beings called her Mother. 22She brought forth the creatures of the field and forest: the dog, the cat, the bear, the lion, the horse, and all the creatures of the field.  23Her shouts of joy over the sea brought forth the porpoise and shark, the whale, the kraken, and the leviathan.  And with every new creature, she shouted all the louder and more joyfully. 24And when it was at long last over, she cried out, “It is very beautiful.”

SONY DSC
The Mother speaks the word “yarulu,” declaring the creation beautiful.

25The Mother saw that the world had become a crowded place and that the elves, giants, and halflings were jealous of the human beings and made to harm them.  26And so she took the human beings and placed them on a land apart. The Mother said to them, “Here you will be hidden until the time is right.” 17She brought many of the animals to share the hidden land with them and even caused the land to bring forth even more and more wondrous creatures for the use and amazement of humanity. 28And lest her children be frightened by the terrors of the dark, she hung another lamp in the shadow sky, that the night might not be a cause for fear.

29When all things were accomplished, the Mother beheld the entirety of what she had fashioned and pronounced it very, very beautiful.

The Book of THE SUITORS

1 And so it was: in the days when the Mother settled her children in the hidden lands, she saw that they struggled for want of food. 2 She said, “I shall fashion a tiller of the soil to teach my children how to bring forth fruit from the earth, so that they may be satisfied and worry no more.” 3 Taking some clay and mixing it with the finest soil, she fashioned a guide for the people.

4 She named him Duga, saying, “I give you a spade [dugu] to till the soil for my people. 5 Duga was dark of complexion and handsome, with a strong back and arms as thick as tree trunks. 6 He beheld the Mother and was enthralled by her beauty. 7 “I will do as you ask,” he said. “Only permit me your hand when I have returned from my labors.” 8 The Mother said, “I have no need of a consort or husband. But go: feed my people.”

9 And Duga went to the country of humanity, and there instructed them in tilling the soil, harvesting crops, nourishing the soil, and giving the land rest one year in seven. 10 And the people had food and were exceedingly grateful to Duga and the Mother. 11 They offered gifts to Duga and, moved by his love for the Mother, petitioned her that she might grant him favor.

[MORE EXCERPTS TO COME]

Illavallanism

Illavallanism is one of the five great religions of the Sunrise Lands and may be one of the oldest, perhaps even dating back to the civilizations of the Hidden Lands.

Beliefs

Illavallanism maintains belief in one central goddess known as Illa he Kuduma “Mother of the World” or Illa va Alla “Good Mother”, among other names. In many lands, she is known by the name Illavalla, a contraction of Illa va Alla. Illa is the creator of the universe and mother of all living things.

The icon of the religion of Illavallanism: four circles orbit a star, representing the four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma
The four suitors orbit the sun of Illa he Kuduma

In the beginning, Illa engaged in the Takat va Maga, the Great Art in which she painted the canvas of the sky and molded as sculpture the world itself.  Beholding the magnificence of what she had wrought, she exhaled a sigh of satisfaction and her breath entered the world, bringing life to the creation.

Delighted with what she saw, Illa peered closer to the creation and as she did so, the breath from her nostrils continued to give life to the objects she beheld.  At one point, she looked over an empty place of nothing but earth (kadam) and her life giving breath brought forth human beings (kadmawehu).  The first humans gazed upon the Goddess and cried out “Mother!”  It is said that Illa forsook her name and claimed only the title of mother as that was the name given to her by her beloved children.  The Lost Name of Illa is said to possess the highest sacredness and were anyone to learn it and utter it, they would be able to wield tremendous power.

Illa is pursued at all times by Four Suitors, who vie for her attention and seek her hand in marriage. Illa is said not to be interested in marrying any of them, but from time to time shows one or the other of them favor, an act which has consequences for the world.

  • Duga. This suitor is a farmer and tiller of the soil.  When Illa shows favor to Duga, crops flourish, flocks increase, and business is plentiful.
  • Thura. This suitor is a sailor on the cosmic sea. When Illa shows favor to Thura, winds and weather are favorable, as well as winds of fortune and chance.
  • Suzha. This suitor is a knight. When Illa shows favor to Suzha, justice is performed and nations are strong against their rivals.
  • Rala. This suitor is a healer. When Illa shows favor to Rala, people are healed of their afflictions and conflicts are settled.

Illavallans believe that if they are faithful during this life, when Illavalla remakes the world into a new masterpiece, she will recreate them to live forever with her and the suitor she has chosen.

The primary source for Illavallan beliefs is Kadunghu Ka “The Writings,” the sacred scripture of Illavallanism.

Practice

Illavallans observe a five-day calendar, in which four days are assigned to the suitors to make their case and one day for Illa to make her judgments. Every fifth day is a holy day upon which the faithful will make petitions to Illa in favor of one of the suitors, depending on particular need.  The fifth day is not necessarily a day of rest as this often depends on whether the surrounding culture embraces the five day week.

Throughout the week, Illavallans may make offerings to each suitor to try to strengthen his cause with Illa so that individual concerns may be addressed.  For example, an Illavallan may make offerings to Duga during the week in order to make Duga more appealing to Illa and then on the fifth day make prayers to Illa to hear Duga’s case and incline her heart toward him so that the Illavallan’s crops might flourish.

Values

Illavallans see the world as a work of art and as human beings as works of art brought to life. Therefore they tend to value human dignity and stewardship of natural resources.

The sole deity of Illavallanism, Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the Earth she formed in her hands.
Illavalla, orbited by the four suitors. This is a traditional depiction of the goddess as an artist, with the paint of creation on her fingers and the world she formed in her hands.

The Calendar

The calendar is clearly of ancient origin.  It is a calendar of twelve months alternating between 29 and 30 days each followed by an intercalary month, usually nine days long. The calendar was originally a lunar calendar but has been adapted through the intercalary month to conform to the solar year.

Because of the intercalary month, the lunar cycle slips out of synch with the solar cycle.  However, the years on which the 1st Day of Ralialul (New Year’s Day) and the first day of a lunar month occur on the same day (about once every 19 years) are known as “Moon Years” and are considered especially sacred and/or lucky in many cultures.  In Greatvale, the New Year’s Day of a Moon Year is known as “Monanhælletung” meaning “Moon’s Greeting” and is a great feast day, as is the final day of the 12th Month, which is known as “Monanforthweg” or “Moon’s Departure”.

The fact that all the month names are in the Elder Tongue hints at its truly ancient origins.  In some realms, a local variation on the month names exists alongside the traditional names.

Month Name Meaning Greatvale Name No. of Days Approx. Gregorian
1 Ralialul Rain month Regenmath 29 March
2 Abulilul Lengthening Lenctenmath 30 April
3 Kinidulul Flowers month Blostmath 29 May
4 Ganadulul Trees month Treowmath 30 June
5 Shadjalul Sun month Sunnemath 29 July
6 Zozhalul Heat month Hæthemath 30 August
7 Etendelul Harvest month Hærfestmath 29 September
8 Oktotulul Leaves month Leafmath 30 October
9 Abumilul Shortening Cyrtenmath 29 November
10 Dunnolul Dark month Deorcmath 30 December
11 Lawalalul Snow month Snawmath 29 January
12 Othalul Wind month Windmath 30 February
Meralul Between month Midmath 9-12 [1]

[1] The length of the Meralul is calculated every year and is usually nine days long, but may be longer if the calendar has slipped out of alignment with the sun.

The Elder Folk

The Elder Folk were one of the primordial civilizations of the Hidden Lands. It is unclear whether the Elder Folk were once civilization or many.  The existence and near ubiquity of the Elder Tongue suggests that the Elder Folk who colonized the Sunrise and Sunset Lands were of one cultural stock.  However, the existence of some cultures and languages whose linguistic heritage is markedly different (e.g., Greatvale, Kastan’ose, Norrist) argues for a much more diverse ancestral group than is commonly supposed.

The Elder Folk civilization first appeared around 7000 PC and developed what they referred to as “the sciences”—written language, mathematics, architecture, bronze working, and agriculture; in short, all the technologies of civilization.  Although the Edler Folk invented writing, they left behind no written records of their history and much of what is known (or believed) about them is the stuff of legend.

They were reported to have been masters not only of the “sciences”, they were masters of the “arts”—more commonly known as magic.  The few stories that have survived from the two-thousand year period the Elder Folk were on the Hidden Lands present a complex and bizarre portrait of a people grounded in the ordinary and using the tools of the extraordinary.  It is said that they built simple cities of brick and stone that floated in the air, tethered by rope ladders to the ground.

Beginning in the the mid-sixth millennium PC, the Elder Folk began to explore the world and founded a number of colonies on both the Sunrise and Sunset Lands.  In a window that lasted about 500 years, waves of emigres left the Hidden Lands for these colonies on the shores of the Middling Sea.  Toward the end of this period, all contact with the Hidden Lands was cut off, including the location of the Hidden Lands themselves, an event usually assumed to be the result of magic.  There is a fair amount of debate as to whether the explorers and emigres were aware of some impending disaster or whether it caught them unawares. In any event, the lack of an enduring written record of the period has meant that any knowledge of the Elder Folk’s time in the Hidden Lands has been communicated only through legend.

Fire Flies and Sorrow Eels

Spotted throughout The Hidden Lands are water sources inhabited by two animals involved in a symbiotic relationship, one fire-based, the other water-based. Both feed on a victim’s spirit if they come too close to an inhabited lake or river. Fire-based “insects”  lure victims in by distorting their reflection in the water as an image of their greatest desire – food, lovers, items, whatever – and when the creature reaches into the water for it, they immediately turn into water themselves. Their soul is devoured by the water-based creature therein. It feeds on the sorrowful memories of said victim and entering them into an eternity of reliving them, but discards the positive energy of that particular creature to feed the fire-based “flies.” However, if the “flies” ever actually touch the water, the entire water source and the creature therein will turn to a stunning gold-inlaid blue marble. If obtained, this marble is rumored to be the most precious item on the entire continent and is believed to heal all illness, grow any plant when buried, and even raise the dead or turn back time.

Many explorers and fortune-seekers have met their ends searching for – or attempting to outsmart – these creatures and the water sources they inhabit. One survivor of a exploring group reported that his entire outfit of 37 men and women fell victim to the enchanting images superimposing their reflections in the water and, upon attempt to retrieve them, were engulfed. A few even tried to escape, but according to his report, their stifled cries and desperate reaches for land appeared to be nothing but treacherous waves splashing on the rocky shores. Shortly after relaying the story to a stranger in a pub, the traveler lost his mind in mourning for his lost friends.

Images of the creatures are disputed among eyewitnesses and ancient documents uncovered throughout the land. The fire-based creatures are rumored to travel in swarms and to be very small, flighted, and warm to the touch — a key factor in their ability to lure victims toward the water at night when temperatures plummet below freezing. Some say their wings do not buzz, but hum – softly, and lyrically like a mother’s lullaby and often to a tune that is familiar or even meaningful to the victim. Once at the water’s edge, the victim instinctively looks into the water, expecting to see their own reflection, but actually visualizing the object of their deepest desire.

The water-based creature is even more mysterious since nobody has ever actually seen it. Drawings on scrolls and the walls of ancient mountainous cave settlements suggest that it is a long, eel-like creature with an enormous gaping mouth lined with long, grotesque, needle-like teeth. Because sorrow is never seen, but felt, the monster lacks eyes and instead has seventeen humanoid “arms” projecting from its face and neck, used for grabbing its victims in the water and shoving their weeping souls into its mouth. Legend has it that when victims seem immune to the charms of the firefly-like creatures, the water monster will wave its “arms” above the water to create the illusion that someone is drowning in an attempt to appeal to the heroic side of passersby. Legend also says that the fangs of this creature, when removed from the skull, collapse into ash that burns the skin of someone that has been dishonest, deceitful, or treacherous. Oftentimes, parents of the human race would use this story and wave skinny sticks or animal bones at their children to scare them into telling them the truth when they’ve gotten into mischief.

The Hidden Lands

The Hidden Lands are the home lands of the human race.  It was here that the first human civilizations were born including the great civilization of the Elder Folk, whose great legacy, the Elder Tongue, is still used in the world today. It was from the Hidden Lands that the other two great continents of the world were settled: the Sunrise Lands to the east, and the Sunset Lands to the west.

After the collapse of the civilization of the Elder Folk, memory of both their civilization and of the Hidden Lands faded into memory.  Some say that the Hidden Lands had been removed from human knowledge by magic; others denied that the Hidden Lands had ever really existed.  After the journey of Meharanganar Toreanastrarax of Denesatiriux and Daegal Swordsmith of Greatvale, the Hidden Lands were reopened. The realms of the Sunrise and Sunset Lands are reluctant to colonize there for fear of bringing on a curse, but intrepid explorers and fortune seekers will travel there seeking fame or riches, but not without peril.

The Hidden Lands

The Hidden Lands

Thuva-Tha: The Elder Tongue

The language of the Elder Folk who inhabited the Hidden Lands before The History began.  Their civilization is no more but their ancient language survives as a ritual language in many of the cultures of the Lands Under the Sun.

I. Alphabet and Pronunciation

Pronunciation is generally the same as in English. IPA values are given below:

Theme ITheme IITheme IIITheme IVUniversalVowels
ffttssllppaa
vvddzzrrbbee
thθnnshʃyjmmii
dhðkkzhʒww  oo
hh xggch    uu
  ngŋdj      
The thematic table, above, in the Elder Tongue script
The thematic table, above, in the Elder Tongue script

A. Thematics

Consonants are organized into four themes (see, Gender, below), a set of universals, and five vowels.

II. Nouns

A. Gender

The Language has four genders based on the four ancient elements: air, earth, fire, and water

1. Air

The Air, or Ethra Gender is identified by the presence of the thematic consonants of the First Theme (f,v,th,dh,h).  It is used for abstract nouns and gasses.

ethra  air
efath truth

2. Earth

The Earth, or Kadam Gender is identified by the presence of the thematic consonants of the Second Theme (t, d, n, k, g, ng). It is used for ordinary neuter inanimate nouns.

kadam  earth
geto thing

3. Fire

The Fire, or Zazh Gender is identified by the presence of the thematic consonants of the Third Theme (s, z, sh, zh, dj, ch).  It is used for masculine animates and for forms of energy.

zazh  fire
djasu  man/male

4. Water

The Water or Alir Gender is identified by the presence of the thematic consonants of the Fourth Theme (l, r, y, w).  It is used for animate feminine nouns and liquids.

alir water
lara  woman

B. Subjective Form (Absolute)

The subjective form, also known as the absolute, is the basic, lexical form of the noun.  There are no, standard patterns for nouns in any particular gender other than the thematic consonants used in them.  The Elder Tongue generally resists consonant clusters, but they are found.  All the forms given in the section on gender, above, are in the Subjective Form.

The subjective form is used for the subject of a sentence or for the predicate nominative.

C. The plural

The plural is formed by adding (h)u to the end of a word.  If the word ends in a consonant, the h does not appear.  Even when appearing between two vowels, it is not often pronounced, and often is manifested as a slight pause or lift between vowels. [1]

SingularPlural
efath  truthefathu truths
djasu man/maledjasuhu  men/males
lara woman/femalelarahu  women/females

D. Objective Form

The objective form is used for the direct object of the main verb.  It is formed by prefixing a- to the noun, whether singular or plural:

SubjectiveObjective
efath, efathua-efath, a-efathu
geto, getohua-geto, a-getohu
djasu, djasuhua-djasu, a-djasuhu

E. Bound Form

The bound form is for any noun used with a preposition.  It is formed by suffixing -a to the noun.  In the plural, the suffix follows the plural ending:

SubjectiveBound
efath, efathuefath-a, efathu-a
getogeto-a, getohu-a
djasudjasu-a, djasuhu-a

 

III. Adjectives

As with all words in the Language, adjectives are formed from the noun.  Strictly speaking, there are no pure adjectives in the Language, and all adjectival constructions are in fact noun phrases.

To form an adjectival phrase, two nouns are connected by the particle va (based on ava being).  If one wanted to say “a blue house” one would take the word ganad house and the word ethia blue and connect them with the adjectival particle va.  The definite article is placed after the modified noun:

ganad va-ethia blue house  (lit. ‘house being blue-one’)

If the noun in question is definite, the definite article is placed after the entire adjectival phrase:

ganad-va-ethia ka  The blue house

Note that the definite article agrees with the modified noun (here ka agrees with ganad, both earth gender not ethia, air gender).

IV. Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns cover three persons and two numbers.  In the first person, there are three numbers, a plural exclusive (“we, but not you”) and a plural inclusive (“we, including you”).  In the first and second person, all pronouns are of common/indeterminate gender.  In the third person, there is a pronoun for each gender.  Where those being described are of more than one gender, the earth gender plural is used.

 SingularPlural
Ime  Imeha  we (excl)[2]
mehu  we (inc)
IIpe  youpehu  you (pl.)
III a.the  itthehu  they
III e.ke  itkehu  they
III f.ze  he/itzehu they
III w.le  she/itlehu  they

On occasion, the pronouns the and thehu can be used for persons of unspecified, indeterminate, or ambiguous gender, much the way “they” is used in contemporary English. However, ke and kehu cannot be used in this way, except as an insult.

V. Demonstrative Pronouns/Adjectives

Demonstrative pronouns and the Definite Article are based on the personal pronouns (which may in fact be a form of a demonstrative).  The Definite Article and the Demonstratives are as follows.

Def. Art. (the)ThatThoseThisThese
thathothohuthithihu
kakokohukikihu
zazozohuzizihu
lalolohulilihu

The definite article and the other demonstratives, like all adjectives, follow the noun they modify and take the same case modifiers as their nouns.

efath tha  the truth
kadam ka the earth
djasu zo that man
larahu lihu these women
i-larahu-a lihu-a  with these women 

VI. Relative Pronouns

VII. Verbs

The foundation of the Language is the noun.  All verbs, therefore, are derived from the base noun form.  In each tense, personal endings are added based on the personal pronouns. Because of the specificity of the personal endings, an explicit subject need not always be used.  If the noun stem ends in a vowel, the e is elided.

 SingularPlural
I-em-emu
II-ep-epu
III a.-eth-ethu
III e.-ek-eku
III f.-ez-ezu
III w.-el-elu

A. Infinitive

The infinitive is formed by adding b’ to the unaugmented verbal noun stem.

dhifa  thought     b’dhifa  to think

B. Present Tenses

1. Simple Present

The simple present tense is formed by adding the prefix ba- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The simple present is translated by the English simple present.

b’zazh  to set on fire

 SingularPlural
Iba-zazhem  I set on fireba-zazhemu  we set on fire
IIba-zazhep  you set on fireba-zazhepu  you set on fire (pl.)
III a.ba-zazheth  it sets on fireba-zazhethu  they set on fire
III e.ba-zazhek  it sets on fireba-zazheku  they set on fire
III f.ba-zazhez  he/it sets on fireba-zazhezu  they set on fire
III w.ba-zazhel  she/it sets on fireba-zazhelu  they set on fire

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Iba-dhifam  I thinkba-dhifamu  we think
IIba-dhifap  you thinkba-dhifapu  you think
III a.ba-dhifath  it thinksba-dhifathu  they think
III e.ba-dhifak  it thinksba-dhifaku  they think
III f.ba-dhifaz  he/it thinksba-dhifazu  they think
III w.ba-dhifal  she/it thinksba-dhifalu  they think
2. Present Continuous

The present continuous tense is formed by adding the prefix aba- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The present continuous is translated by the English present continuous.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Iaba-dhifam  I am thinkingaba-dhifamu  we are thinking
IIaba-dhifap  you are thinkingaba-dhifapu  you are thinking
III a.aba-dhifath  it is thinkingaba-dhifathu  they are thinking
III e.aba-dhifak  it is thinkingaba-dhifaku  they are thinking
III f.aba-dhifaz  he/it is thinkingaba-dhifazu  they are thinking
III w.aba-dhifal  she/it is thinkingaba-dhifalu  they are thinking

C. Future Tenses

1. Simple Future

The simple future tense is formed by adding the prefix be- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The simple future is translated by the English simple future.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Ibe-dhifam  I will thinkbe-dhifamu  we will think
IIbe-dhifap  you will thinkbe-dhifapu  you will think
III a.be-dhifath  it will thinkbe-dhifathu  they will think
III e.be-dhifak  it will thinkbe-dhifaku  they will think
III f.be-dhifaz  he/it will thinkbe-dhifazu  they will think
III w.be-dhifal  she/it will thinkbe-dhifalu  they will think
2. Future Continuous

The future continuous tense is formed by adding the prefix ebe- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The future continuous is translated by the English future continuous.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Iebe-dhifam  I will be thinkingebe-dhifamu  we will be thinking
IIebe-dhifap  you will be thinkingebe-dhifapu  you will be thinking
III a.ebe-dhifath  it will be thinkingebe-dhifathu  they will be thinking
III e.ebe-dhifak  it will be thinkingebe-dhifaku  they will be thinking
III f.ebe-dhifaz  he/it will be thinkingebe-dhifazu  they will be thinking
III w.ebe-dhifal  she/it will be thinkingebe-dhifalu  they will be thinking

D. Past Tenses

1. Simple Past

The simple past tense is formed by adding the prefix bo- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The simple past is translated by the English simple past.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Ibo-dhifam  I thoughtbo-dhifamu  we thought
IIbo-dhifap  you thoughtbo-dhifapu  you thought
III a.bo-dhifath  it thoughtbo-dhifathu  they thought
III e.bo-dhifak  it thoughtbo-dhifaku  they thought
III f.bo-dhifaz  he/it thoughtbo-dhifazu  they thought
III w.bo-dhifal  she/it thoughtbo-dhifalu  they thought
2. Past Continuous

The past continuous tense is formed by adding the prefix obo- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The past continuous is translated by the English past continuous.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Iobo-dhifam  I was thinkingobo-dhifamu  we were thinking
IIobo-dhifap  you were thinkingobo-dhifapu  you were thinking
III a.obo-dhifath  it was thinkingobo-dhifathu  they were thinking
III e.obo-dhifak  it was thinkingobo-dhifaku  they were thinking
III f.obo-dhifaz  he/it was thinkingobo-dhifazu  they were thinking
III w.obo-dhifal  she/it was thinkingobo-dhifalu  they were thinking
3. Past Perfect

The future continuous tense is formed by adding the prefix ebe- to the base noun stem and adding the personal endings.  The future continuous is translated by the English future continuous.

b’dhifa  to think

 SingularPlural
Ibobo-dhifam  I have thoughtbobo-dhifamu  we have thought
IIbobo-dhifap  you have thoughtbobo-dhifapu  you have thought
III a.bobo-dhifath  it has thoughtbobo-dhifathu  they have thought
III e.bobo-dhifak  it has thoughtbobo-dhifaku  they have thought
III f.bobo-dhifaz  he/it has thoughtbobo-dhifazu  they have thought
III w.bobo-dhifal  she/it has thoughtbobo-dhifalu  they have thought

E. The verb b’ava ‘to be’

The verb b’ava is completely regular based on the noun stem ava  being.

ba-avam, ba-avap, ba-avath, ba-avak, ba-avaz, ba-aval, ba-avamu, ba-avapu, ba-avathu, ba-avaku, ba-avazu, ba-avalu

F. Verbal Short Forms

In conversation and in poetry, the personal endings can be dropped where the subject is explicit.

Djasu za ba-thavaz a-efath a-tha
Djasu za ba-thava’ a-efath a-tha
The man speaks the truth

VIII. Participles

There are two kinds of participle, continuous (trad. “present”) and complete (trad. “past”).  They are formed similar to verbs in that they are based on a prefix affixed to the noun stem.

A. Continuous Participles

The continuous participle is formed by adding the

B. Complete Participles

IX. Non-indicative Moods

A. Subjunctive

B. Imperative

X. Prepositions

A. Spatial

LocationalDirectional ToDirectional From
uratultoumfrom
erinelintoemout of
oronolontoomoff of
irby/alongsideilto alongsideimfrom alongside
nurunder/beneathnulto undernumfrom under
merbetweenmelto inbetweenmemfrom between
aragainsal(to) againstamfrom against
warbehindwalto behindwamfrom behind
larbefore/in frontlalto the frontlamfrom before
mererthroughoutmerelthroughmeremfrom among

B. Temporal

uat, when
oby (instrument)
iwith (accompaniment)
labefore
waafter
merelthrough(out)
heof

XI. Vocabulary

EntryGenderMeaningNotes
kadameearth 
kadmawe(hu)eperson (people)-awe, suff. = “-ite”, “-ling”, “of”
getoething 
tungeway, path 
alirwwater 
ethraaair 
efathatruth 
thavaawordb’thava = “to speak”
zazhffire 
djasufmale/man 
noteneday 
dhifaathought 
dangework 
dumeplace 
kedoteneyear 
havanumber 
avathaname 
genotehome 
kideline 
hadhasound 
ganadehouse 
akkadameworld 
dhifa-gnadeschoollit, ‘thought-house’
ethasky 
ethilaabluelit. ‘sky-color’
dhufahastorm 
kogodebusiness, dealings 
tegaerun, courseb’tega = “to run”
kodangemaking, creationb’kodang = “to make”
shadjafsun 
thuvaalanguage 
djufson 
lirwdaughter 
azhffather 
illawmother 
kagestone 
walwblood 
illalirawocean/seaLit. “mother water”
kunudecity 
uzhfevil, wickedness 
allawgood, goodness 
hethoaspirit, ghost, demonperhaps akin to geto, “thing”
takataart, drawing 
magaelarge person, giantused with particle va to make the adjective “large”
mikiesmall personused with particle va to make the adjective “small”
kudumaeworld 
detegaevoyageb’detega to voyage
dutugaetraveler, voyager 
kadungewritingb’kadung to write
min/aand 
kitikecanvas 
uthuadesert, an empty place 
vohueformlessness 
yaruluwbeautyva-yarulu, “beautiful”
duguespade, shovel

[1] This leads many to think that the base form is in fact u with an intervocalic h inserted between two vowels, as opposed to *hu with a dropped h before a consonant.  Were the base form *hu we would expect to see some aspiration in the preceding consonant: genot – *genothu home, homes.  Instead, we see genot/genotu.

[2] Some believe that meha may be a vestige of an earlier dual form “we two”.