Conlang Relay 23/Urianian

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Text in Urianian, Urduk dialect

Dalt iviane flozkase

Teso fesne a ivian vefei ad ofre in keltavri nerti. Eari ivian venan fogr bari. Ca cari balf fisk, te kyk metita gizna. Cari nakt ja a korme nam, ca aku est ma ai a. Metit iviane keltavra bala topan, ca tand sep is ragan.

Ka! Veit nontz! Tai ka venan mantid fyre fisk, ankeni roskat ca vantan gantu. Ca fynian ja ambiant, tadsant ca bostiant.

Some grammar notes

Urianian is an Indoeuropean language that forms its own family but is nearest to Germanic. The standard Urianian that's used for writing today is a relatively modern development, formed from the highland dialect spoken around the university town Uria. Earlier, most literature was written in lowland Urianian, but as Urianian died out in most of the lowlands during the 2nd millennium, the focus of Urianian culture moved to the highlands. This torch is written in the dialect of the biggest lowland town, Urduk, and it follows the pronunciation used there rather than the traditional ortography apparent from place and personal names.

Lowland and Highland Urianian are hardly mutually understandable because of some sound changes that happened in the highlands and are functionally different languages. Also, eastern and western Lowland Urianian are mutually understandable with some difficulty Urduk belongs to the western branch.

The grammar of the various branches are similar. The main differences are that Highland is more conservative, retaining more of the complexity of IE grammar, and that the standard language abhors prepositions, while lowland Urianian is fully prepositional.

The syntax is rather free, but the most unmarked is SOV. Since there is no nominative/accusative distinction in the lowland dialect, SO order has to be strict. There is also no indefinite/definite distinction, so when you translate into your language, you must remember to make the appropriate distinctions if your language has them. There is no verb meaning 'have'. Instead, possession is denoted by 'be' + the possessor in the genitive. Urianian, both lowland and standard, has modal compounds consiting of an adjective, the verb be, and a personal pronoun in the oblique case. For example: necessary + is + for you = you must.

Nouns are inflected for number: singular and plural, and case: nominative/accusative, genitive, and oblique, which is an amalgation of the former dative, locative, ablative and instrumental cases. In addition, a vocative suffix is used when addressing someone, but this case has no other role. Accusative and nominative are distinguised only in personal pronouns, though the nominative forms are seldom used. Elsewhere, subjects and direct objects have the same forms. The noun class system is down to two classes, masculine and feminine, with a few nouns displaying irregularities inherited from former classes. The inflection is as follows:

Masculine o-stems:

nom/acc: - (sg) / -a (pl)

gen: -e / -an

obl: -i / -ai


nom/acc: -i / -id

gen: -id / -in

obl: -i / -in


nom/acc: -e / -a

gen: -es / -an

obl: -e / -em

Personal pronouns are inflected as follows:


nom: me (1sg) / to (2sg) / is (3sg masc) / u (3sg fem)

acc: mi / ti / in / jon

gen: my / ty / ai / ai

obl: mo / te / am / am


nom: nim (1pl) / em (2pl) / u (3pl masc) / je (3pl fem)

acc: na / fa / es / jes

gen: nam / fam / jam / jam

obl: ni / ym / is / is

Adjectives have some agreement with their heads in number, gender and case, and their inflection is similar to the nouns in singular but simplified in plural:


nom/acc: - (sg) / -a (pl)

gen: -e / -a

obl: -i / -a


nom/acc/gen: -e / -a

obl: -i / -a

They have comparison, too, but as there are no compared forms here, I will not trouble you further with them.

Verbs are inflected for tense, voice, mood and aspect, and are also equipped with clitic subject pronouns. Just as in standard Urianian there are 4 main conjugations. The 1st and 2nd conjugations have infinitives in -tu, the others have infinitives in -at. The infinitives are given in the vocabulary below. Here are some paradigms that are relevant for this torch:

Present indicative, 2nd conjugation:

-am (1sg) / -ad (2sg) / - (3sg) / -ant (1pl) / -ta (2pl) / -an (3pl)

3rd and 4th conjugations are equal, except that 2pl has -at.

Past indicative, 2nd conjugation:

-jam / -jet / -i / -jant / -jed / -jan

Present optative, 2nd conjugation:

-yam / -yad / -y / -yant / -yta / -yan

Present subjunctive, 2nd conjugation:

-fam / -fad / -u / -fant / -fat / -fan

Future, 2nd conjugation:

-sam / -sad / -s / -sant / -sta / -san

4th conjugation:

-iam / -iad / -is / -iant / -ita / -ian

Imperative, 2nd cojugation:

NA / -zi / -t / -tad / -ti /-anu

4th conjugation:

NA / -az / -at / -atad / -ati / -anu

Irregular verb: etat - to be

Present indicative:

em / ed / e / sant / sat / san

Past indicative:

am / ad / a / set / sad / sa


NA / vei / veita / vejant / veit / vejan

Participles aren't used as much in place of subordinate clauses as in standard Urianian, but they do occur. Their meanings must be interpreted along with their associated prepositions. Example: with + genitive pronoun + participle = while doing the verb.

Active participle, 2nd conjugation:

-an (sg, nom/acc) / -ne (sg, gen) / -ni (sg, obl) / -na (pl, nom/acc) / -nan (pl, gen) / -nai (pl, obl)

Stative participle, 2nd conjugation:

-fas / -es / -ei / -fa / -en / -ei

Vocabulary (personal pronouns, see above)

ad (prep) at (+obl)

ai (conj) or

ak (num) one

aku (adj) single, one only

alanti (prep) along (+gen)

alman (adj) free

ambat (v4) attack

an (prep) into (+obl)

ank (adj) necessary

anni (prep) in (+nom/acc)

arvat (v4) become

arzantu (v2) find

azl (adj) desirable

bal (adj) many

balf (adj) great

balkat (v4) turn, swivel

bar (prep) through (+gen)

bartu (v2) try, test, take a chance

bask (m) fish

bent (m) path

bi (prep) towards (+nom/acc)

blartu (v2) swim

bostat (v4) defeat, esp. in battle

bra (prep) for (+obl)

brezat (v3) pass, cross

bsakbent (m) fish path

ca (conj) and

cari (m, i-stem) power

caztu (v2) destroy

da (prep) towards, into (+nom/acc)

dalt (m) story

din (m) day

eari (adv) once, one day

est (m) wish

etat (vi) be

far (adj) careful

fargat (v4) make, create

fesne (f) spring (season)

fire (f) truth

firze (f) rose

fiskat (v4) poison

fislap (f) bubble of air

flozkas (adj) ambitious, artful, scheming

fogr (adj) powerful

for (m) water

fynian (m) aggressive enemy, attacker

fyr (m) man

gantu (v2) know, understand, have the ability to

garvat (v4) write

gizn (adj) strange, crooked, ugly

imvi (prep) about, around (+obl)

in (prep) in (+obl)

ivian (m) general

ja (adv) already, so, then

ka (interj) hey, come on

ka (pron) this

kan (prep) with (+obl)

keltavr (m) province, taxed land

kirkifet (m) circular manner

kokta (v2) help

komp (m) bend, curve

korm (m) hero, famous or infamous person, gossip object

kort (m) gate, door

kozat (v3) protect

kykat (v3) lend, render unto something or someone

lakt (prep) until (+nom/acc)

ma (adj) big

manti (m, i-stem) mind

manzane (f) experience

matcantu (v2) turn into

metit (m) idea

mon (adj) brave

mon (m) courage

nakat (v3) reach

nakt (adj) enough – also: more than enough

nert (adj) northerly

ni (adv) not

nontz (adj) brave

ofre (f) river

on (prep) against (+nom/acc)

ondat (v4) open

ragtu (v2) rule

rant (m) shore, beach

roskat (v4) fight, go to war

sactu (v2) say

san (prep) without (+obl)

sep (prep) over (+obl)

suz (adj) advisable, appropriate

tadtu (v2) beat, defeat

tai (adv) because

tam (pron) there

tana (adv) as, like, used in comparison

tand (adv) then, thereafter, afterwards

ten (m) thorn

teso (adv) once (upon a time)

toptu (v2) conquer, subdue, repress

vaftu (v2) live, dwell

vantat (v4) fight, struggle

vejons (m) opening towards light, escape route

venan (m) drug

vizr (adj) vital, absolutely necessary

vragtu (v2) break, ruin

yl (adj) other, another


1 - 1. person

2 - 2. person

3 - 3. person

acc - accusative

adj - adjective

adv - adverb

conj - conjunction

f - feminine noun

fem - feminine

gen - genitive

interj - interjection

m - masculine noun

masc - masculine

NA - not appropriate

nom - nominative

num - numeral

obl - oblique

pl - plural

prep - preposition

pron - pronoun

sg - singular

v2 - 2nd conjugation verb

v4 - 4th conjugation verb

vi - irregular verb

Smooth English

The story of the ambitious general

In the spring a while ago there was a general living by a river in a northerly province. Once the general tried a strong potion. And great power poisons, it gives you strange ideas. Our hero already had plenty of power, and a single great wish. The idea of the general was to conquer many provinces, and then rule over them.

Hey! Be brave! Because this potion poisons the minds of men, we must go to war and learn to fight. And then attack, beat and defeat the enemy.