Grammar of Silindion

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Historical Silindion Grammar.

 This will eventually contain a grammar of the Silindion language according to the following plan:
    A) Letters and Orthography
    B) Phonology
        1) Vowels and Consonants of Silindion
          a) Vowels
          b) Stops
          c) Fricatives
          d) Other
        2) Historical Development 
          a) Vowels
          b) Consonants
          c) Lenition 
          d) Stress
             i. Syncope
             ii. Metathesis
        3) Vowel Harmony 
    C) Morphology
        1) Case Usages in Silindion
        2) Nouns 
            a) Vowel Stems 
            b) Consonant Stems
            c) Rare or Irregular Stems
        3) Demonstratives
        4) Personal Pronouns
            a) Nominative 
            b) Oblique Stem
            c) Enclitic 
            d) Possessive 
            e) Possessive Enclitics
        5) Non-personal Pronouns
            a) Interogative
            b) Other
        6) Relative Particles and Prefixes
        7) Adjectives
            a) Base form
               i. derivation from nouns
               ii. non-derivative
            b) Comparative
            c) Superlative
            d) Equative Constructions
            e) Prefixes with Adjectives
        8) Tense Usages 
        9) Verbs
             a) Stem Classes
             b) Infinite Forms
                 i. Infinitives
                 ii. Participles
                      1) Present
                      2) Past
                 iii. Gerunds
                      1) Nominal 
                      2) Conjunctive
                      3) Anterior
                      4) Abessive
                      5) Adjectival
             c) Active Finite Forms
                i. Present Classes
                ii. Imperfect
                iii. Past Classes
                iv. Optative/Future
                v. Subjunctive
                    1) Present
                    2) Past
             d) Passive Finite Forms
                i. Present 
                    1) Impersonal 3s
                ii. Imperfect
                iii. Past
                iv. Optative/Future
                v.  Subjunctive
                    1. Present
                    2. Past
          10) Prepositions
          11) Adverbs 
              i. non-derived
              ii. derived from nouns
              iii. derived from adjectives
          12) Numerals
              i. basic forms
              ii. composition forms
              iii. ordinals
          13) Conjunctions 
        D) Syntax That Is Not In Morphology


Letters and Orthography

Here is a preliminary scan of the alphabet and an example of its use:



Id i phendenya mornë Uristiénëa ievissa mirto i nossë mirnanólmëa. Filisi no i yénëanna istankómëa, teldenvi ya ropavi elkaniri.

Behold the shaded western hills where the winter snows are falling. I come to the new-year's feast, In silence, under star-host watch.

Case Usage

Silindion nouns can be inflected in 14 cases. The cases are nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, locative, allative, comitative, instrumental, copulative, essive, topical, adjectival. The last case, the benefactive, is an extension of the dative, and is not in use in the modern language, except for in some grammatical tracts. In older forms of the language, it is widespread in the usage given below. The topical is also called relative, since it relates one noun to another, as explained below.

  • Nominative indicates the subject of a verb. It is also used adpositionally, as in <Nanthalonis, i nista> "Nanthalonis, the king".
  • Accusative indicates the object of a verb. It also indicates motion through a place or time, and is used with prepositions such as ‹ono› "through", ‹pero› "across" or ‹erë› "during".
  • Genitive indicates the possessor. It is also used with various prepositions, such as ‹ess› "inside of" or ‹omë› "because of". It is also used as the object of a few verbs, namely <anëallo> "to promise", which is intransitive in High Silindion.
  • Dative indicates the indirect object and the person or thing for which an action is done. The last usage is called the benefactive use, and in Old, Middle and some High Silindion texts, is indicated by an extra ‹-r› to the dative ending. An example of this is, <nistanu> "to the king" (dative) => <nistanur> "for the king" (benefactive).
  • Ablative indicates separation, and is mostly used to translate 'from'. It is used with prepositions such as ‹ka› "away from" or ‹eis› "from out, out of". It is also used as the object of a few verbs, namely <moniello> "to hear", which is intransitive in High Silindion. In comparative constructions it introduces the standard. An example of this usage is the following, <ëan i nari më pantio nattolim> "this bird is smaller than the other". The word <nattolim>, indicating meaning "than the other".
  • Locative indicates place. It is used with prepositions such as ‹o› "in", ‹a› "at", ‹emë› "on", ‹eiva[n]› "within", ‹ina› "near" and many others. Metaphorically it also indicates time, and thus is used with prepositions like ‹nor› "before". It is also used, with the preposition <ompo> "over", to indicate the object of the verb <línyello> "to play an instrument". An example of this usage is, <lir empindo ompo i yalmavi> "the cantor plays upon a harp".
  • Allative indicates motion towards a place. It is used with prepositions like ‹noro› 'towards' or ‹noss› "into". It is also used as the animate agent in passive sentences.
  • Comitative means 'together with'. If two or more nouns are animate, they may be connected by adding the comitative suffix to the last noun. An example of this usage is, <pëa mëamma> "a father and a mother". Occasionally this usage is seen with inanimate nouns as well.
  • Instrumental indicates the instrument with which something is done, or how something is done. Thus it means both 'using X' and 'by doing X'. It also indicates what something is made out of. It is not often used with animate nouns.
  • Copulative is attached to a noun or interrogative pronoun to form sentences meaning 'X = Y'. An example of this is, <i nar lavando> "the man is a hunter". It is only used to link two [pro]nouns together, not a [pro]noun with an adjective.
  • Essive is attached to a predicate nominative or interrogative pronoun to form sentences meaning 'It = Y'. That is, when the predicate nominative is the only element present. It is mostly used with a definite predicate, although indefinite predicates may occur as well. An example of this is, <kirmeihya> "it is my ship" (<- <kirma> "ship"). The essive also means 'as' or 'when', such as in the following sentence, <nópië, asui Eril nëa némpian niva> "as a poet, Eril created many beautiful poems" (<- <nopio> "poet"). Finally, in Poetic High Silindion only, the essive may be used to derive an adjective from a noun. However, in Low Silindion this is done with the adjectival. In some poems, the essive seems to have the same meaning as the topical, depending on translation.
  • Relative/Topical indicates the topic of the sentence. In this sense, it can be translated as 'as for X' or 'about X'. Most of the time however, the relative is used to derive an adjective meaning 'X-like', such as the word ‹rilitma› "jewel-like". The topical is also used to mean 'as X', after an equative adjective. Another use of the relative is to mean 'but' after the conjunction ‹› "and". However, this use is restricted to sentences of the form 'X, but as for Y'. An example of this is, <ihyotma, ë niva, në tahyotma, ië nukil> "today, (it) is beautiful, but (as for) yesterday, (it) was cloudy" (<- <tahyón> "yesterday").
  • Adjectival derives an adjective from a noun. Mostly the meaning is transparent, such as in the following examples, <vierya émëa> "forest paths, paths of the forest" (<- <ema> "forest"), <nerendo núkëa> "wilderness dweller, dweller in the wilderness" (<- <nuko> "wilderness"). However, sometimes the meaning is not that obvious, such as in the following examples, <sílnëa> "silver" (<- <silni> "star"), <ílië> "holy" (<- <ilë> "god").

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns have multiple stem forms, for differing usages. The first stem form is the nominative, a bare stem form which is not used in derivation. The second is the oblique stem, to which unique pronominal case endings can be added to create a paradigm. Then there are the two enclitic stems; one oblique and one possessive. These are non-derivational and are suffixed at the end of a fully inflected verb, noun or prepositional form. Lastly, there are free possessives, which are also non derivational, they tend to precede an associated noun.

Nominative Pronouns

Person Singular Plural
1st Person si hyan
2nd Person nassa
3rd Person epicene ein anto
3rd Person masculine eino ento
3rd Person feminine éinië éntië
3rd Person neuter ess enta[ssë]

Epicene pronouns

These are used when a specific gender is not needed or when the speaker wishes to conceal the gender. <enta> seems to be a more common variant of <entassë>, which is a High Silindion form.

Gendered Pronouns

When referring to a limited number of words, such as <larë> "moon", gendered pronouns are used, mostly in poetic situations. The appropriate pronoun for <larë> is <éinië>.

Variants and Other Forms

There are also several other forms, which are less common:

  • hyanna "all of us" (inclusive 1pl)
  • tai "both of them" (dual 3pl)

Oblique Pronouns

The following are the oblique pronominal stems:

Person Singular Plural
1st Person siT [hy]aT/[hy]an
2nd Person liT anaT
3rd Person epicene o tei
3rd Person masculine o tei
3rd Person feminine ie tei
3rd Person neuter o tei

Pronouns with T-stems

All those pronouns with stems ending in _T_ are changeable, and can appear as <sit, lit, at, hyat>, <siss, liss, ass, hyass> or <si, li, a, hya>.

Variation in 1st Person Plural

The variation in the first person plural is due to both stylistic and dialectic differences. Those forms ending in _T_ are northern dialectal forms. Those forms beginning in _hy_ are Low Silindion (i.e. colloquial or non-courtly/scholarly).

Oblique Stem + Case Suffixes

Person Acc. -ti/-ssi Dat. -ni Abl. -lim Rel. -tma All. -nna Loc. -vi Inst. -i Comm. -mma Cop. -(a)r
1st s. sitti sinti silim sitma sinta sivi sissi sinta sissar
1st pl. [hy]anti [hy]anni [hy]alim [hy]atma [hy]anna [hy]avi [hy]ani [hy]amma [hy]anar
3rd m. ossi oni olim otma onna ovi ë omma or
3rd f. iessi ieni ielim ietma ienna ievi iemma ier
  • note, like <ie-> is <tei->, and like <hyaT-> is <anaT>.

Enclitic Oblique Pronouns

Enclitic oblique pronouns are attached to verbs and prepositions to indicate either the direct or indirect object. They are indeclinable and, except for the 1st person plural, have only one form per person and number.

Person Singular Plural
1st Person -sis -hyass/syass, -na
2nd Person -li -nass
3rd Person masculine/neuter -o -ta/-ssa
3rd Person feminine -ië -ta/-ssa

Variation in 1st Person Plural

The form <-hyass/-syass> is used with third person singular verb forms. The form <-syass> takes the place of the third person singular present ending <-n/r>. The form <-hyass> is used in all other tenses. The form <-na> is used with all other persons and with prepositions.

Variation in 3rd Person Pronouns

The third person plural form <-ssa> is used after vowels. The third person singular forms <-o, -ië> assimilate to preceding vowels, according to the standard assimilation rules.

Double Enclitic Pronouns

Two enclitic pronouns may be found on the same word. If this is the case, the first indicates the indirect object:


ne- -n- -syass -o
give 3rd person singular subject 1st person plural 3rd person singular

He gives it to us.

Possession with Enclitic Pronouns

Enclitic pronouns may also be attached to the noun + copulative case/enclitic complex to indicate possession:


lanka- -r- -li
horse copulative to you

You have a horse.

Stylistic Repositioning of Enclitics

In poetry only (and very exceptionally indeed) these enclitic pronouns can be repositioned. That is, they can become proclitics that can attach to a wider range of words, such as nouns and adjectives as well. In this capacity, the normally forms are: sis, li, o, ye, na, nass, ta.


Nan ka salim na rómpëa.
Light from EVIL-ablative us PROTECT-adjectival.gerund

A light which protects us from evil.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns have two functions. Either they represent the genitive of the personal pronouns (i.e. 'mine', 'yours', etc.) or they are used to indicate possession (i.e. 'my, your', etc.). These two uses are fairly distinct, as the second is usually used in poetry or High Silindion. The following are the forms of these pronouns:

Person Singular Plural
1st Person ehya anya
2nd Person elya anatya
3rd Person epicene eya taya
3rd Person masculine enya taya
3rd Person feminine enyë taya
3rd Person neuter enya taya

Enclitic Possessive Pronouns

Enclitic Possessive Pronouns are attached to nouns (after all case endings) to indicate possession. They are indeclinable and have only phonological not grammatical variants. The following table gives the forms of these pronouns:

Person Singular Plural
1st Person -hya/sya -nya
2nd Person -lya -natya
3rd Person masculine/neuter -nya -tëa/-ssëa
3rd Person epicene -ëa -tëa/-ssëa
3rd Person feminine -nyë -tëa/-ssëa

1st Person Singular Possessive

The first person form <-sya> is attached to a final consonant. This final consonant may sometimes be the original final consonant of the stem, which has, in other cases, been either lost or altered. This usually only happens in High Silindion; Low Silindion preferring to attach the suffix to the synchronic ending of the noun :


veleT- -sya
knot 1st person singular possessive

"My knot" (High Silindion for <vélteihya> from <veltë>.

3rd Person Plural Possessive

The third person form <-tëa> attaches to a consonant. Just like <-sya>, it is used, in High Silindion to attach to consonants which were originally present but have been altered diachronically.


ranaD- -tëa
property 3rd person plural possessive

"Their property" (High Silindion for <ranássëa> from <rana>.


A) Finite Verbs are conjugated for (present, imperfect, past, future), mood (indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative), voice (passive, active, impersonal) and number (singular, plural). Present and past tenses can be either thematic or athematic. Thematic tenses have suffixes beginning in a vowel, athematic tenses have suffixes beginning in a consonant.

B) Infinite verbs consist of an infinitive, gerunds and participles, as well as various verbal adjectives and sometimes a verbal noun. The last two categories are not normally grammaticalised, but depend on the lexical root itself, that is, they are not part of the verbal paradigm.

C) A verbal paradigm is arranged into stem classes and principle parts. Both of these categories help in classifying and conjugating the verb correctly.

D) The are five main stem classes: vowel stems, regular consonant stems, changeable consonant stems, semi-vowel stems, and compound stems. There is also an irregular group, which consist of verbs which add _l_ or _n_ to a vowel.

E) From the seven principle parts, one can make the entire verbal paradigm, according to this schema:

1st Principle Part 2nd Principle Part 3rd Principle Part 4th Principle Part 5th Principle Part 6th Principle Part 7th Principle Part
infinitive nominal, conjunctive, abessive, adjectival, necessitive gerund, impersonal passive, passive participle present past imperfect, subjunctives, anterior-gerund, imperative-sg., present participle imperative-pl.

Certain verbs deviate from this pattern and will be mentioned in the appropriate section below. Furthermore, some verbs have "irregular" principle parts, that is, deviations that do not fall into the normal range of variant patterns. The following shall serve as examples:

  • The verbs <askello> "to shake hands" and <terskello> "to hammer" have i-stems, <aski-> and <terski->, despite the lack of _i_ in the infinitive (1st principle part). The verb <niniello> "to desire", has an irregular past participle (3rd principle part): nirë. The verbs <surollo> "to rustle", <piello> "to touch", <tiello> "to take", have irregular past tenses (5th principle part): asulti, aphiksi, istë, respectively. The verbs antandiello> "dedicate", <falyallo> "awaken" have irregular gerunds (2nd principle part): antana, falina, respectively.

Verbal Stem Classes

Verbs are classified according the last phonological element in the word, be it semi-vowel, consonant, or vowel. This is termed the stem-sound. Usually, despite other changes in the word morphologically, the stem-sound stays constant. However, there are three cases in which this is not the case:

  • A certain class of consonant stems have at most four different stem sounds. These are termed the changeable stems.
  • A certain class of vowel stems whose 3rd, 5th and 6th principle parts add either _l_ or _n_. These termed are termed the augmented stems.
  • Regular morphophonemic changes may affect the stem, such as in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 7th principle part of some verbs as well as in athematic verbs (of various tenses). These are completely predictable, and involve processes like vowel contraction, assimilation and metathesis. These changes are not the same as those that occur in changeable consonant stems which are fairly irregular.

Vowel Stems

Verbs with stems ending in a vowel may end in the following vowels or vowel/consonant combinations: a,ya,o,ëo,u,i,ē,e.


Those stems ending in <a> and <ya> are not formally distinct from each other except in the first principle part.


Those ending in <ē> are distinct from those ending in <e> throughout their conjugation, except in some derivatives of the 6th principle part, i.e., the imperative singular, the present participle, the present and past subjunctive and the anterior gerund.


Those stems in <o> differ from those in <ëo> only due to the presence of an _e_ in ëo-verbs, which becomes _i_ in the subjunctives, optative/future and past (where the past tense is an ë-past).

Consonant Stems

There are four types of consonant stems: regular, changeable, semi-vowel, and compound stems.

Regular Stems

The regular stems are: t,p,k,l,r,n,m,ng-stems.

Changeable Stems

The changeable stems are: T,D/L,P,B,K,G,Gw,s. Note that they are written with a capital letter (save for s-stems). They have at most four different stems: pre-constonant, pre-vowel, pre-y and other. Examples of Changeable Consonant stems are the following:

  • <peT-> "to eat":

Pre-Consonant: pet Pre-Vowel: pess

  • <laD-> "to steal":

Pre-Consonant: lad Pre-Vowel: lar Pre-y: lan

  • <roL-> "to defend":

Pre-Consonant: rod Pre-vowel: rol

  • <neP-> "to sing":

Pre-consonant: nep Pre-vowel: neph

  • <reB-> "to row":

Pre-consonant: reb Pre-vowel: rev Pre-y: rem Other: rep

  • <reK-> "to reach":

Pre-consonant: rek Pre-vowel: re

  • <faG-> "to spit":

Pre-consonant: fag Pre-vowel: fa

  • <ruGw-> "to follow":

Pre-consonant; rug Pre-vowel: ruv Other: ru

  • <pos-> "to heal":

Pre-Consonant: por Pre-vowel: pos Pre-y: poh

Semi-Vowel Stems

The semi-vowel stems are: (y),(w),y,w.

Compound Stems

The compound stems are: st,nt,nd,ld,nn,rn,mp,mm,sk.

Augment Stems

This is a small class of verbs which have a basic stem in a vowel. However, in certain principle parts, this vowel can be augmented by either an _l_ or an _n_.

Use of Augment in Augment Stems

The augment occurs in the 3rd principle part and derivatives of the 6th principle part. Namely, it occurs in the anterior gerund, the subjunctive, the optative/future, and sometimes in the imperfect and present participle (according to stylistic and dialectal variation). Certain verbs also have the augment in the 5th principle part. Furthermore, they are distinguished from all other groups of verbs in the 1st principle part, which has the ending <-llë> rather than <-llo>. The verbs in this group are:

  • <ya-> "to go": yan (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <ne-> "to give": nel (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <u-> "to gleam": ul (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <ni-> "to negate": nin (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <si-> "to shine": sil (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <onëa-> "to disappear": onëan (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <këa-> "to leave": këan (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <faya-> "to extinguish": fayan (3rd, 5th 6th)
  • <hya-> "to age": hyan (3rd, 5th, 6th)
  • <se-> "to clasp": sen (only in 5th, otherwise e-stem.)
  • <ra-> "to hold": ran (only in 3rd, otherwise a-stem.)
  • <se-> "to seem": (only 1st <sellë>, otherwise e-stem.)


In Silindion, there is one main inifinitive, although in certain registers there can be up to four infinitives: present, present 2, future, perfect. The present infinitive is the first principle part. All other infinitives are formed from 6th principle part.

Present [First Infinitive]

The present or first infinitive formed in 8 different ways. The choice between the eight types is conditioned by factors such as verbal stem-type, stress pattern, vowel harmony, register and derivation. The eight suffixes are: -iello, -eallo, -yello, -yallo, -ello, -ollo, -llo, -lle. The can be divided into 4 groups for descriptive purposes. Group A: thematic suffixes: -iello, -eallo; Group B athematic y-suffixes: -yello, -yallo; Group C athematic vowel-suffixes: -ello, -ollo, Group D: simple suffixe: -llo, -lle.

Group A suffixes

These suffixes are found in many types of verb. They are termed 'thematic' because they are formed by combining a vowel -e- with the athematic y-suffixes, which is then contracted in various ways. Thus, -e-yello becomes -iello and -e-yallo becomes -eallo. The suffix -iello is rather common, -eallo is considerably less so.


The suffix -iello is found with the following stem types: t-stems, k-stems, r-stem, l-stems, n-stems, w-stems, nd-stems, nt-stems, nn-stems, rn-stems, ng-stems, mp-stems, ld-stems, T-stems, D/L-stems, P-stems, B-stems, Gw-stems.

It is the default suffix for stems whose root is unstressed (i.e. with stress on the ending). It is also the default for non-derived T and n stems (accounting for a small percentage of primary verbs, unlike inchoative yaT-verbs and denominal n-verbs). In contast, it is the default for derived r-stems ending in the stativizing suffix -ár. It also seems to be the preferred ending for P-stems (even if the root is stressed). The above are the main tendencies in the usage of this suffix. It is likely that no hard and fast rules can be made. There are a few roots that take this suffix that do not conform to any of the above generalities: kusiello from <nkus-> 'lose' (s-stem), ernóriello from <ernór-> 'be located in, settle' (stressed r-stem) and several others.

Changeable Stems: For changeable stems, their pre-vowel form is always used before this suffix.

Examples of -iello

  • <fat-> 'do' -> fatiello
  • <vuk-> 'spin' -> vukiello
  • <lor-> 'open' -> loriello
  • <thel-> 'generate' -> theliello
  • <ren-> 'move slowly' -> reniello
  • <diw-> 'be powerful' -> diviello
  • <fingand-> 'go swimming' -> fingandiello
  • <sint-> 'sew' -> sintiello
  • <sonn-> 'shake' (tr.) -> sonniello
  • <leurn-> 'clean' -> leurniello
  • <ling-> 'ring' -> lingiello
  • <namp-> 'hammer' -> nampiello
  • <mald-> 'move' (tr.) -> maldiello
  • <aT-> 'nurture' -> assiello
  • <siD-> 'recline' -> siriello
  • <sóP-> 'sleep' -> sóphiello
  • <leB-> 'laugh' -> leviello
  • <ruGw-> 'follow' -> ruviello
  • <namár-> 'be named' -> namáriello


The suffix -eallo is found in a small group verbs having an unstressed -a- in the first syllable that end in nasals, l, r, rr, nd, and T. There are four verbs which do not follow this tendency: <mál-> 'prosper' (stressed -a-), <mén-> 'rise' (-e-), <ilmen-> 'raise' (-e-), <nen-> 'despair' (-e-).

Examples of -eallo

  • <ilkam-> 'quieten' -> ilkameallo
  • <kan-> 'surprise' -> kaneallo
  • <ilpar-> 'fill' -> ilpareallo
  • <harr-> 'meet for the first time' -> harreallo
  • <mond-> 'drag' -> mondeallo
  • <paT-> 'diminish, wane' -> passeallo

Group B Suffixes

These suffixes are termed athematic y-suffixes', because they are formed by added ye/ya directly to the infinitival ending -llo, resulting in -yello, -yallo. The suffix -yello is very common, while -yallo is considerably less so.


The suffix -yello is used with vowel stems, and the following consonant stems: t-stems, k-stems, r-stems (rare), l-stems, n-stems, y-stems, w-stems, ng-stems, st-stems, T-stems, D-stems, B-stems, K-stems, G-stems, s-stems, and the semi-vowel stems ending in (y) and (w). A verb which take -yello but does not come from any of the above stems in <sérn-> be ready.

This ending is the default in stems having a stressed vowel (except for those stem types mentioned above). Because adding this suffix to a consonant stem results in a cluster, various phonological rules operate in order to reduce or modify the cluster. Also, all vowel stems exhibit diphthong reduction and other attendant changes.

Consonant Stems: The following consonant stems exhibit some phonological changes:

y-stems: These stems lose their _y_ before the suffix. Thus there is noyello from <noy-> 'consecrate'.

w-stems: These stems make a distinction between HS and LS forms. In HS, the w of the stem is lost in stems with the vowel _u_. Thus, there is nuyello from <nuw-> 'tune'. The w is also lost in stems ending in _aw_, after rounding the _a_ to an _o_. Thus, there is doyello from <daw-> 'roar. This is true for both HS and LS. In LS, all other stem types, change the stem final consonant to _m_. Thus, we have numyello from <nuw->, timyello from <tiw-> 'use, shape' (compare HS tiuyello).

ng-stems: These stems change their final consonant to _n_ before the suffix. Thus there is fínyello from <fíng-> 'swim'.

st-stems: These stems lose the final _t_ before the suffix. Thus there is lisyello from <list-> 'think'.

(w)-stems and (y)-stems These stems lose their semi-vowels. In this respect, (w)-stems behave exactly like w-stems. However, (y)-stems behave differently. Since all (y)-stems end in _ay_, these behave like a-stems in the infinitive. Thus, for example, we have persiello from <persa(y)-> 'encompass, include'.

The changeable stems ending in T, D, B, and S end in their pre-y form, if they have one. Otherwise, they end in their pre-consonant form. The changeable stems ending in G and K end in their pre-vowel form.

Vowel Stems: The following changes happen to vowel-stems. The final vowel of vowel-stems combines with the suffix to produce -iello (equivalent to the thematic suffix above). Because stems ending in vowels usually take athematic endings in other forms, it is preferable to view their infinitives as being athematic as well - even though the forms would be the same if their infinitive were thematic. For _ya_ stems, the combined form -yiello is further reduced to -iello. Thus we have kaniello from <kanya->.

Examples of -yello

  • <huila-> 'rain' -> huiliello
  • <malya-> 'move' (intr) -> maliello
  • <nanke-> 'uncover, discover' -> nankiello
  • <lē-> 'show, point out' -> liello
  • <sari-> 'farm' -> sariello
  • <lissu-> 'live' -> lissiello
  • <néit-> 'increase' -> néityello
  • <nek-> 'hurt, cause pain' -> nekyello
  • <sëur-> 'get torn, ripped, cut' -> sëuryello
  • <vel-> 'tie' -> velyello
  • <nalpín-> 'play a piano' -> nalpínyello
  • <náy-> 'be permitted' -> náyello
  • <mew-> 'gleam' -> meuyello/memyello
  • <fíng-> 'swim' -> fínyello
  • <mist-> 'sit' -> misyello
  • <iT-> 'poke, prick' -> ityello
  • <saD-> 'cultivate' -> sanyello
  • <reB-> 'row' -> remyello
  • <seK-> 'write' -> seyello
  • <faG-> 'spit' -> fayello
  • <dles-> 'freeze' -> lehyello
  • <kó(w)-> 'bark' -> kóyello
  • <a(y)-> 'be' -> iello


-ello: sk, lk -yallo: e:, e, a, y (if -a- in first syllable), ya -ollo: -o- in first syllable -llo: eo, a, o, -lle: augment stems


Silindion has two participles an active present participle and a passive participle. They differ from gerunds in the fact that they function not as verbs but as adjectives solely. This means that they do not have verbal argument structure and thus cannot take objects (even if the verb they are related to is transitive).

Active Present Participle

The active present participle is an adjective formed from an old verbal noun in an a-stem. This a-stem noun usually does not exist apart from its adjectival derivative, however a few examples do survive:

  • <doa> "roaring"  : <daw-> "to roar"
  • <koa> "barking"  : <ka(w)-> "to bark"
  • <lesa> "frost"  : <les-> "to freeze"


The active participle is formed by adding the adjectival ending <-ni> to this a-stem noun. The participle appears to be formed from the 6th principle part with a suffix <-ani>, due to various sound-changes (see below for the root: <daw->). When added to a-stem verbs, the two _a_ vowels coalesce to form _o_. When added to o-stem verbs, the vowels coalesce to form _u_. All other stem types show no change (other than normal changes that occur in the 6th principle part, such as alternative stem forms in changeable stems, or augmented stem forms in augmented stems).

Stem Type Assimilation Example
a -a+ani -> -oni <lia-> "to glow" -> <lioni> "glowing"
ya -ya+ani -> -yoni <kuiya-> "to form" -> <kuiyoni> "forming"
o -o+ani -> -uni <tildo-> "to frequently see" -> <tilduni> "frequently seeing"


In Silindion, there are six different gerunds, which are used to indicate the relation of one action to the action of the main verb. The types of gerunds are the following: nominal, anterior, abessive, conjunctive, necessitive, adjectival. Except for the anterior gerund, these forms are made from the second principle part.

Nominal Gerund

The nominal gerund is a nominalisation of the verbal root, essentially expressing either a noun ending in _-ing_, in English or a verbal noun ending in _-tion_.


The nominal gerund is formed by adding the ending <-na> to the stem of the verb, this forms the 2nd principle part. For vowel stems, the nominal gerund is a d-stem. An example of this type of verb is:

  • <mi-> "to fall" -> <mina> "falling"

Assimilation in Consonant Stems

For consonant stem verbs, various assimilations occur when the gerund ending is added. Also, note, that the gerund is an a-stem in consonant verbs (except for gerunds of n-stems which are d-stems).

Stem Type Assimilation Example
T/t -t+na -> -nta <peT-> "to eat" -> <penta> "eating"
D/L -d+na -> -nda <siD-> "to sit" -> <sinda> "sitting"
P/p -p+na -> -mpa <neP-> "to sing" -> <nempa> "singing"
B -b+na -> -mba <reB-> "to row" -> <remba> "rowing"
K/k -k+na -> -nka <reK-> "to reach" -> <renka> "reaching"
G(w) -g+na -> -nga <faG-> "to spit" -> <fanga> "spitting"
s -s+na -> -rna <pos-> "to heal" -> <porna> "healing"
l -l+na -> -lda <thel-> "to create" -> <thelda> "creating"
r -r+na -> -rna <ker-> "to halve" -> <kerna> "halving"
n -n+na -> -nna <lin-> "to play" -> <linna> "playing" (accusative: lindán)
m -m+na -> -mma <nam-> "to name" -> <namma> "naming"
ng -ng+na -> -nga <ling-> "to ring" -> <linga> "ringing"

Semi-vowel Stems

For the semi-vowel verbs, the ending is <-na>, just like the vowel stems. For these verbs the nominal gerund is a d-stem. Examples of this type of verb are:

  • <persa(y)-> "to include" -> <perseina> "including"
  • <pay-> "to keep vigil" -> <paina> "keeping vigil"
  • <ko(w)-> "to bark" -> <kona> "barking"
  • <mew-> "to glitter" -> <meuna> "glittering"

Compound Stems

For compound verbs, the ending is <-a>, save for st-stems, which have the ending <-na> and a stem ending in _s_. The gerund is an a-stem for this type of verb.

  • <mald-> "to move X" -> <malda> "moving"
  • <kest-> "to divide" -> <kesna> "dividing"


The nominal gerund is normally used as a noun, and may take case endings. It can also be used as a substitute to full complement clauses, which are normally formed with the conjunction <ta> and the indicative or subjunctive.

1) Nominal:

ahwáteisi liu pentán
aug.-DO-past-1st.sing. perfect particle EAT-gerund-accusative

I have just finished eating.

2) Indicative Future Complement:

avavissi i lio ninmanye
aug.-RUMOR-past.3rd.sing. the woman MARRY-gerund-topical-3rd.sing.possessive

The woman rumored that she would get married.

3) Subjunctive Purpose Complement:

sunu sinti tandán i nistari
WANT-impersonal.passive ME-dative RULE-gerund-accusative the KING-genitive

I want the king to rule.

  • Note: The subject of a nominal gerund is either a possessive suffix or a genitive noun. (see examples 2 and 3 above).

Conjunctive Gerund

This gerund is used to express events that occur simultaneously with the main verb, that is, it can translate clauses beginning with "while". It can also have the circumstantial connotations, like "since" or "because". As the examples will show, it is essentially timeless. In its simultaneous function, it is often accompanied by the conjunction <ve> "as".


The Conjunctive Gerund is formed by adding the prefix <i-> to the 2nd principle part. With verbs beginning in a vowel, the prefix becomes the on-glide <y->. Examples of the formation are:

  • <til-> "to see" -> <issilda> "while seeing"
  • <empi-> "to chant" -> <yempina> "while chanting".

Stylistic i-Dropping

In some texts (especially poetry) the prefix <i-> is written as a detached word and may be found before other material, instead of the verb. It also may be omitted completely.


1) Circumstantial

isompa, en filiello iss
conjunctive-SLEEP-gerund COME-inf. here

Because he's sleeping, he can't come here.

2) Simultaneous

yempina, roponë i nimán
as conjunctive-SING-gerund WATCH-impf. the CROWD-acc.

As he was singing, he was watching the crowd.


Anterior Gerund

This Gerund is used to express events that have already occured and have been thoroughly completed. It is usually translated as "after having X-ed".


It is formed by adding the suffix <-isë> to the root of the 6th principle part. This is for the most part straightforward. However, in two cases this is a problem.

Phonological Change in Vowel Stems

In the case of verbs ending in a vowel certain morphophonemic changes occur. For a-stem verbs, the combination yields _ei_. For e-stem and ē-stem verbs, the combination yields _i_. For o-stem verbs, the combination yield _ei_, for ëo-stem verbs, the combination yields _iei_. For u-stem verbs, the combination yields _i_.

K-stems & y-stems

In the case of verbs ending in a changeable K-stem and a y-stem, one adds the ending to a reduced form of the root. Hence for the verb <reK-> "to reach", one adds the ending to <r->, instead of <re-> and for the verb <noy-> "to consecrate", one adds the ending to <no-> instead of <noy->.

  • <lissu-> "to live" -> <lissisë> "having lived"
  • <saT-> "to raise up" -> <sassisë> "having raised up"
  • <noy-> "to consecrate" -> <noisë> "having consecrated"
  • <fat-> "to do" -> <fatisë> "having done"
  • <reK-> "to reach" -> <risë> "having reached"


The Anterior Gerund can be used in three main functions. The first as a non-grammaticalised perfective aspect with certain auxiliary verbs. It is usually used as such in High Silindion, other varieties having other ways of expressing this aspect. For a more thorough look at aspect, see the appropriate section. Another usage is similar to the conjunctive gerund, that is, as a sentential adjunct. However, it is used exclusively to show previous time. The last is as a non-passive nominal modifier. In this usage it is usually found before the noun being modified.

1) Pefective Aspect

aniksisi liu pessisë
aug.-ARRIVE-past-1st.sing. perfect particle EAT-anterior.gerund

I have just eaten.

2) Sentential Adjunct

Purisë myentán, onuyanë i nuno
SAY-anterior.gerund THIS-accusative LEAVE-past the young man

Having said this, the young man left.

3) Nominal Modifier

eillini i rutalo misisë limmo osso rulín
aug.-PLANT-past the since FALL-anterior.gerund by means of WIND-pl-instrumental SAPLING-accusative

He planted the sapling, which has since fallen because of the wind.

Abessive Gerund

This Gerund is used to express events that have not occured. It is used as the negative of both the anterior gerund and the conjunctive gerund. It can also be used as a negative of the nominal gerund, if needed. It is usually translated by "without".


It is formed by adding the prefix <en-> to the 2nd principle part. This prefix assimilates to verbs beginning in l, s, p, f, v, m, and r. A further change occurs in verbs beginning with hw and th. In these verbs, the prefix becomes <e->, and the initial combinations become sw and st respectively. In verbs beginning with h, the the initial changes to k. Verbs beginning with other consonants undergo no change.

  • <lissu-> "to live" -> <ellissuna> "without living"
  • <saT-> "to raise up" -> <essanta> "without raising up"
  • <pay-> "to be vigilant" -> <empaina> "without being vigilant"
  • <fat-> "to do" -> <efanta> "without doing"
  • <vuk-> "to weave" -> <evunka> "without weaving"
  • <mew->> "to glitter" -> <emmeuna> "without glittering"
  • <runi-> "to soar" -> <errunina> "without soaring"
  • <hyeK-> "to fight" -> <esyenka> "without fighting"
  • <thR-> "to cover" -> <estarna> "without covering"
  • <hum-> "to soothe, calm" -> <enkumma> "without calming"
  • <til-> "to see" -> <entilda> "without seeing"
  • <del-> "to bundle" -> <endelda> "without bundling"
  • <yaT-> "to happen" -> <enyanta> "without happening"
  • <nalpin-> "to play piano" -> <ennalpinna> "without playing piano"


The translation of this form varies according to use. If it negates a nominal gerund it is usually translated "not X-ing". If it negates a conjunctive gerund it is usually translated as "without X-ing". If it negates an anterior gerund it is usually translated as "having not X-ed".

1) Nominal Gerund Negation

empurnonya, varilië i laro sammanna
abessive-SPEAK-gerund-instrumental-3s.poss. CONDEMN-passive-past the thief DEATH-allative

By not speaking, the thief was condemned to death.

2) Anterior Gerund Negation

empenta erë nani urón, eimpetyassi
abessive-EAT-gerund during whole DAY-accusative aug.-BECOME.HUNGRY-past

Having not eaten for a whole day, he became hungry.

3) Conjunctive Gerund Negation

enostona, ahwingi pero i nirnë
abessive-BREATHE-gerund aug.-SWIM-past across the RIVER-accusative

Without breathing, he swam across the river.

Necessitive Gerund

The necessitive gerund is used to express the same ideas as the Latin Gerundive. That is, it can be translated as "should/must X" or "fit to be X-ed". It occasionally is used in a purposive sense, that is "in order that". The theme or patient is usually in the nominative case (or is expressed as a personal ending on the verb). The agent is usually placed in the allative case. However, if the meaning of the construction is "must", the theme is in the genitive and the agent is expressed as a personal ending on the verb. If the meaning of the construction is "in order that" then the theme is in the nominative.


It is formed from the 2nd principle part by adding the dative case ending, according to either the rule for nominal a-stems or d-stems.


1) Should

Vávëa ëan pentanu sinta?
how BE-present-3s EAT-necessitive ME-allative

How should I eat it?

2) Must

ëalë nenkanu neketyari.
BE-present-2s ENDURE-necessitive HARDSHIP-pl-genitive

You must endure hardships.

  • Note: In this construction, the theme is in the genitive case.

3) In order to

Kesema nekéssëa fantanu...
participle passive MAKE-necessitive

In order to form the past participle...

  • Note: In this construction, the theme is in the nominative case.

Adjectival Gerund

The adjectival gerund is used the verbal equivalent to the present participle. What this means is that, unlike the present participle, the adjectival gerund can both describe a particular noun and have argument structure of its own. It is usually best translated as a relative clause, however, this will depend on the context.


It is formed from the 2nd principle part by adding the adjectival case ending according to the nominal rules for d-stems or a-stems, depending of verb-class. In some cases however, especially for s-stem, r-stem, and rn-stem verbs, the adjectival gerund is formed by adding the adjectival case ending according to the d-stem rules, despite the fact the the principle part is an a-stem. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and occasionally a-stem forms are found as well. Also, hybrid forms are used on occasion.

  • mirna "falling" -> mírdëa / mírnëa / mírndëa


In addition to the "collapsed-relative-clause" usage, some verbs (especially intransitive ones) use this form to translate various different verbal adjectives, such forms similar to English adjectives ending in -ous or -y. In this sense it is just a "second present participle" or sorts, that is, it has no verbal function at all.

1) Relative Clause

Nórë anti lénëan mórnië neldéndëa.
tree US-dative SHELTER-accusative shady PRESENT-adjectival.gerund

A tree which presents us a shady shelter.

2) Verbal Adjective

këasi pero i narnán mëundëa.
LEAVE-1st.singular across the SEA-accusative GlITTER-adjectival.gerund

I leave across the glittery sea.

Active Finite Forms


The Imperfect has one formation for all types of stem, it is based on the root of the 6th principle part. For vowel stem verbs, the imperfect is athematic, except for ē-stems. For consonant stems and ē-stems, itis a thematic formation, consisting of a variable theme vowel _V_ followed by the tense suffix, <-në>. The theme vowel is usually the same as the present theme vowel. In those cases where the present tense of the verb is athematic, the theme vowel is the same as the root vowel. Some verbs with _u_ as the root vowel use _o_ as the theme vowel.


  • <tad> "to rule" -> <taranë->
  • <fat> "to do" -> <fatanë->
  • <yaT> "to become" -> <yassanë->
  • <rev> "to row" -> <revenë->
  • <til> "to see" -> <tilinë->
  • <rop> "to watch" -> <roponë->
  • <muK> "to sail" -> <muonë->
  • <pur> "to speak" -> <puronë->


The Subjunctive has one formation for all types of stem.

Present Subjunctive

In the present, it is formed by suffixing <-i> to the stem of the verb. I

Vowel Stems

n the case of a-stems, o-stems, e-stems and ē-stems, the vowels coalesce into _ei_. For ëo-stems, the vowels coalesce to become _iei_. In the case of i-stems and u-stems, the vowels coalesce to become _i_.

  • <yalma-> "to play the harp" -> <yalmei->
  • <ilno-> "to make bloom" -> <ilnei->
  • <lē-> "to show" -> <lei->
  • <de-> "to gather" -> <dei->
  • <dorëo-> "to finish" -> <doriei->
  • <moni-> "to hear" -> <moni->
  • <lissu-> "to live" -> <lissi->

Consonant Verbs

Consonant verbs take the suffix <-i>, to the root of the 6th principle part. Note that in changeable verbs, this usually means that a special stem form is used, see the two examples below.

  • <muK-> "to sail" -> <mui->
  • <taD-> "to rule" -> <tari->
  • <fat-> "to do" -> <fati->

Past Subjunctive

The past subjunctive is formed by suffixing <-u> to the root of the 6th principle part.

Vowel Stems

In the case of a-stems, this combination becomes _o_. In the case of o-stems, this combinations becomes _u_. In the case of e-stems and ē-stems, this combination becomes _ëu_. In the case of all stems ending with _o_ and _u_, the suffix itself disappears in combination. It also has the augment (for which see below).

  • <yalma-> "to play the harp" -> <ayalmo->
  • <ilno-> "to make bloom" -> <eilno->
  • <lē-> "to show" -> <alëu->
  • <de-> "to gather" -> <adëu->
  • <dorëo-> "to finish" -> <adorëo->
  • <moni-> "to hear" -> <amoniu->
  • <lissu-> "to live" -> <alissu->

Changeable Stems

The final consonant of changeable consonant verbs undergoes the same modification as in the subjunctive present.

  • <eT-> "to lack" -> <eissu->
  • <neP-> "to sing" -> <anephu->


Some verbs with stems in _w_, have two alternative forms for this tense, one reflecting a more recent analogical change, the other being the historically developed form.

  • <daw-> "to roar" -> <adau-> or <adavu->
  • <diw-> "to be powerful" -> <adiu-> or <adivu->


The preterite has two formations and eight suffixes. It is the 5th principle part of the verb and is the most unpredictable. The two formations are termed the root-preterite and zero-grade preterite. The root-preterite is by far the more common. The root-preterite is formed from the root of the verb, with no modification, beyond the addition of the augment (see below) and the addition of one of the eight suffixes. The zero-grade preterite however, is formed by modifying the vowel of the root in some way, usually unpredictably.

The Preterite Augment

Almost all preterites have a prefix which is, essentially, <a->. This is termed the augment. It causes lenition to consonant initial verbs and vowel contraction to vowel initial verbs. In the case of verbs beginning of _k_, lenition causes the _k_ to drop completely and then various changes occur: _a_+_e/i_ -> _ai_, _a_+_o/u_ -> au, _a_+_a_ -> _a_. Certain verbs behave a bit unpredictably however, reflecting earlier forms of the root, or various other irregularities:

  • <ya-> "to go" -> ayanë and not *ëanë (with vowel contraction).
  • <kus-> "to lose" -> ankusi and not *ausi (with lenition).
  • <ë-> "to be" -> and not *ai (with vowel contraction).

The Augment with Compound Verbs

In certain compound verbs (formed by prefixing a prepositional element to the root of a verb), the augment is found between the prefix and the root. The only common verb displaying this property is:

  • <onëa-> "to leave" -> onuyanë, where the medial _u_ represents the augment, after vowel contraction with the original ending of the preposition <ono>.

Verbs with no Augment

The verbs <vo(w)-> "to be", <thiello> "to be necessary", <siello> "to sneeze" and the defective verb <hur> "it is raining" do not have an augment: being in the past tense <vusi>, <thi>, <'si> (although <assi> is found) and <huksi> respectively. This lack of an augment is more widespread in poetry.

Preterite Suffixes

The eight suffixes are, in order of decreasing frequency, <>, <-i>, <-si>, <-ti>, <-zero>, <-ssi>, <-na>, and <-në>. These are added to both types of formations.

Nasal Suffixes

The nasal suffixes, <-në> and <-na> are not at all common, being present in a total of eight verbs. They are usually part of the more formal register, known as High Silindion and may alternate with more common suffixes in some verbs. The following list gives all the verbs that take these suffixes, with any variant past tenses as well:

  • <ra-> "to have, hold" -> arena, arti
  • <se-> "to attach, clasp together" -> asenë, asessi
  • <se-> "to seem" -> asena, asti
  • <neit-> "to increase" -> aneintë
  • <vow-> "to have existance" -> avona, avovë

The following three verbs have nasal past tenses, especially in poetry and older varieties of the language, but they share special properties to be discussed below: <sëur-> "to get ripped, torn, cut", <yeir-> "to get weighed, weigh", <sar-> "to get hot/burned".

Other Suffixes

The distribution of the other suffixes can be outlined broadly, however, even so, the formation of a preterite is the least obvious of all of the principle parts.

Suffix with Vowel Stems: For most vowel stems, the suffix is <-i>. When added to an a-stem, e-stem and o-stem, the combination becomes <>. When added to an ëo-stem, the combination becomes <-ië>. When added to a u-stem, the combination becomes <-i>. Examples of these stem types are:

  • <nalla-> "to pound" -> anallë
  • <hwanske-> "to wound with a bow" -> ahwanskë
  • <nayo-> "to permit, allow" -> anayë
  • <lissu-> "to live" -> alissi

Zero Suffix & -ssi: i-stems have no suffix, while ē-stems usually have the suffix <-ssi'>, with a few exceptions.

  • <moni-> "to hear" -> amoni
  • <vē-> "to gossip" -> avissi

Suffixes with Changeable Stems: For changeable stems, the following broad rules apply: B-stems have <-si>, D-stems have <-ti>, G-stems (and Gw-stems) have <-i>, P-stems have <>, T-stems have <-si> (with some <>), K-stems have <-si>. s-stems have <>. Where these rules do not apply, <> is default (see below however for vowel-harmony rules with this suffix).

  • <reB-> "to row" -> arepsi
  • <saD-> "to plant" -> asatti
  • <faG-> "to spit" -> ahwai
  • <neP-> "to sing" -> anephë
  • <ermissiaT-> "to fall in love" -> eirmissiassi
  • <seK-> "to write" -> aseksi
  • <dles-> "to freeze" -> aldesë

Harmonic Suffixes with Consonant Stems: Other simple consonant stems (together with augmented stems) take mostly <>, using <-i> as an harmonic allomorph in certain circumstances. This vowel harmony actually applies in all cases when <> is used. Basically, <> is used whenever the root vowel (the vowel preceding the suffix) is _a_ (and _ai_), _e_ (and _ei_) or _o_, that is, the low vowels and the central vowel. The <-i> suffix is used if the root vowel is _i_ or _u_, that is, the high vowels. There are very few exceptions to this rule; those that do exist have historical explanations. The following examples illustrate this contrast:

  • <fal- "to wander" -> aphalë
  • <fil- "to come" -> ahwili
  • <pel- "to seek" -> aphelë
  • <sun- "to walk" -> asuni
  • <ol- "to sparkle" -> ulë (a-ol-ë)

The main exceptions to this rule are: <sul-> "to flow" (asulë < aso:lë), <si(l)-> "to shine" (asili, asilë), <nun-> "to detect scent" (anunë), <perophur-> "to relate" (apherophurë, peruphurë), <pur-> "to speak" (aphurë), <sur-> "to rustle" (asulti, asurë), <tusk-> "to hoot" (assuskë), <nuw-> "to tune" (anuvë), <ling-> "to ring" (alingë).

Suffixes with N-stems: n-stems take either <-ti> or <> (with harmonic alteration). There are also a few instances of <-si>. The consonantal past tense suffixes are associated, for the most part, with verbs which have been derived from a noun by means of the deverbal suffix <-n>. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it does cover a large number of n-stems. Otherwise, the suffix is usually <>. The examples below show both the noun (if any) and the derived verb:

  • <nossa> "snow" -> <nossan-> "to snow" -> anossanti
  • <riska > "popping, swelling" -> <riskan-> "to swell, pop" -> ariskassi (a-riskan-si)
  • <nomben-> "to get engaged" -> anombenë
  • <ndun-> "to rush" -> anduni

Suffixes with y-stems: These take either <> or no suffix, rather indiscriminately.

  • <nay-> "to be permitted" -> anai
  • <nankoy-> "to apply to" -> anankoyë

Suffixes with Compound Stems: Compound stems take either <> (with harmony) for the most part, or <-si> only in nd-stems, nt-stems and rn-stems to some extent.

  • <teld-> "to silence" -> asseldë
  • <pelk-> "to ask" -> aphelkë
  • <namp-> "to hammer" -> anampë
  • <yathend-> "to be obligated" -> ayathensi (note, not *ëathensi with vowel contraction)
  • <sint-> "to sew" -> asinsi
  • <vovern-> "to answer" -> avoversi
  • <harr-> "to meet for the 1st time" -> aharrë
  • <mersk-> "to conceal" -> amerskë
  • <risk-> "to swell" -> ariski
  • <misp-> "to destroy" -> amispi
  • <list-> "to begin to think" -> alisti
Zero-Grade Preterites
  • <ra-> "hold" -> a-r-ti (augment + zero-grade-root + suffix) (but, arena is also found).
  • <se-> "seem" -> a-s-ti (augment + zero-grade-root + suffix) (but, asena is also found).
  • <vo(w)-> "exist" -> vu-si (zero-grade-root + suffix).
  • <the-> "be necessary" -> th-i (zero-grade-root + suffix).
  • <tildo-> "frequently see" -> -assil-ti (a-tild-ti) (augment + zero-grade-root + suffix).
  • <ren-> "drown" (High Silindion) -> a-r-si (a-rn-si) (augment +zero-grade-root + suffix) (but, aressi & arenti are also found).
  • <tera-> "work metal" -> a-sser-ti (augment + zero-grade-root + suffix) (but, asserë is also found).

Irregular Past Tenses

These are past tenses which are not formed according to the two normal formations (root or zero-grade) or having special suffixes.

Stative Pasts

The irregular nasal past tenses of <sëur-> "to get ripped, torn, cut", <yeir-> "to get weighed, weigh", <sar-> "to get hot/burned".

These verbs form past tenses from stems that do not end in _r_. This is because _r_ was originally a derivational suffix indicating process. When viewed from the past, process and state sometimes become synonymous. That is "got ripped" and "have been ripped" mean basically the same thing. This was indicated in Old Silindion by replacing the process suffix _r_ with a stativizing _n_, followed by a harmonic vowel. This resulted in the (original) past tenses:

  • <sëur-> -> senkë (sekw-n-e)
  • <yeir-> -> yeina (yay-n-a)
  • <sar-> -> salda (sal-n-a)

Eventually, these were replaced by asëurë, ayeirë, and asarë respectively.


The past tense of <pia-> "to touch" is irregular. This verb becomes a k-stem in the past tense, taking the suffix <-si>: aphiksi.


The past tense of <fē-> "to flee" is irregular. This verb sometimes takes the peculiar suffix <-essi>: aphiessi (but aphissi is also found).


The past tense of <su-> "to want" is irregular. This verb is almost always used in the passive, thus the past tense is <súrië>.

Mot- & Thor-

The irregular verbs <mot/mar/mat-> "to hide" and <thor/thar/tha-> "to cover" are irregular in the past tense as well. These verbs have the past tenses amatë and athasi (also athorë) respectively.


The verb <ti-> "to take" is irregular. This verb is defective and has no past tense. The past tense is supplied by the synonym <ist->, which only exists in this tense. Thus the past is <eistë>. This root is also used for the past tense of <vayanti-> "to choose a path", which is <vayaneistë> in the past tense. (Note internal augmentation).


The verb <sur-> "to rustle" is irregular. In addition to having the past tense <asurë>, this verb also becomes an l-stem in the past tense, making <asulti>. This is probably due to contamination with <sul-> "to flow".

Regular and Irregular Principle parts

In this section common verbs will all of their principle parts shall be given. In addition, those verbs which have "irregular" principle parts of some kind will be listed.

Regular Principle Parts

Stem Class 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
o-stem niello nona norë non anë, nonë nossë
u-stem lissiello lissuna lissurë lissún, alissi lissunë lissussë
i-stem sariello sarina sarilë sarín asari sarinë sarissë
ē-stem vëallo vinë virë vién avissi vienë vissë
e-stem nankiello nankena nankerë nankén anankë nankenë nankessë
a-stem silliello sillana sillarë sillán asillë sillanë sillassë
ëo-stem delëollo delëona delëorë delëon adélië delëonë delëossë


Standard of Comparison

A) In Silindion, the standard of comparison (i.e. "than-phrases") are formed in two ways according to the type of comparative.

B) If the comparative is used adjectively to denote the attributes of a referential noun phrase, then the standard of comparison is a noun phrase as well. The standard of comparison is inflected for ablative case.

C) If the comparative is used adverbially to denote the manner by or degree to which something is done, then the standard of comparison is a prepositional relative with a resumptive pronoun (for more information, see the appropriate section).

1) Standard of Comparison = Noun Phrase

ëan i nari pantio nattolim
BE-present-3rd-sing. the BIRD this SMALL-comparative OTHER-ablative

"This bird is smaller that the other one."

2) Standard of Comparison = Relative Clause

purontë layo ta(lim) yova phurosi ulo
SPEAK-present-3rd-plural GOOD-comparative which-(ablative) relative SPEAK-present-1st-sing. BEYOND-it

"They speak better than I speak."


Complement Clauses

Purpose Clauses

Relative Clauses

A) Relative clauses in Siliindion are formed in a number of ways depending on dialect and register. In the following sections, Standard Low Silindion (the vernacular language in use for every day life as well as so-called 'vulgar literature' and some poetry will be described. A separate section, entitled Relative Clauses in High Silindion will deal with the court language and the language of religion, epic poetry and other 'higher' forms of literature.

B) In Low Silindion (hereafter: Silindion), the relative clause is formed by means of two elements: the relative pronoun and the subordinating conjunction. The both the relative pronoun and the subordinating conjunction are vary with regard to animacy. The pronoun varies with regard to number only for inanimates. The following table gives the forms of both the relative pronoun and the subordinating conjunction. The forms of the pronoun are found under the labels 'singular' and 'plural'.

Animacy Singular Plural Subordinator
Animate yo
Inanimate ta tona yova

C) The animate subordinator is usually prefix that attaches to the following verb. Vowels are changed as in the following chart. Consonants that can be lenited, are lenited (except for _k_, which remains unchanged). The only time that the subordinator is not a prefix is if the verb begins in a diphthong.

Verb Initial Assimilation Example
a yo + a > yu <aski-> "to shake hands" -> <yuski-> "relative-shake.hands"
o yo + o -> yu <or-> "to speak" -> <yur-> "relative-speak"
i yo + i -> yei <ilor-> "to terrify" -> <yeilor> "relative-terrify"
u yo + u -> yu <urr-> "to swallow" -> <yurr-> "relative-swallow"
e / ei yo + e -> yoi <es-> "to jump" -> <yois-> "relative-jump"

D) The pronoun may be inflected for any of the cases (except for the essive, copulative and adjectival). Examples of the inflected pronoun are found in the following sections.

E) With inanimate antecedents, the number distinction (<ta> singular; <tona> plural) found in the relative pronoun is optional. This does not correlate with restrictiveness vs. non-restrictiveness and is likely a free variant. The number distinction is more common in literature and in High Silindion.

1) Number Agreement:

i mar i ssorma tonán yova lenyáneinto i deni...
the CITY and the TOWER which-plural-accusative relative BUILD-imperfect-3rd.plural the PEOPLE

"the city and tower that the people were building..."

2) Non-Number Agreement:

ya i nóriavi ta malyanto o ostervi...
under the TREE-plural-locative which MOVE-pres.-3rd.-plural in WIND-locative

"Under the trees that move in the wind..."

F) With non-human animate nouns (such as animals) as antecedents, both the inanimate and animate pronouns may be used, together with either the animate or inanimate subordinator. This tendency to restrict animacy marking to humans is very usual in spoken Silindion.

3) Animal = Animate

Nissa phessina i lëorna tein yulavassë apa
let EAT-subj.-1st-plural the WHITE.DEER-accusative which-accusative rel.-aug.-CATCH-past-3rd-sing. father

"Let's eat the white deer that father caught."

4) Animal = Inanimate

Nissa phessina i lëorna tan yova alavassë apa
let EAT-subj.-1st-plural the WHITE.DEER-accusative which-accusative relative.inanimate aug.-CATCH-past-3rd.-sing. father

Headed Relative Clauses

Headed relative clauses have an antecedent, headless relative clauses do not.

Argument Relative Clauses

A) The pronoun may either be inflected for the case that the argument has in the relative clause or the case that the antecedent has (this is called case attraction).

1) Non-case attraction:

Monienta i vurmán Alarieli yossarán emë turnivi.
HEAR-optative/future.2nd.plur the STORY-accusative Alarië-genitive who-nominative rel.-RULE-pres.-3rd.sing. on NIGHT-locative

"You shall hear the story of Alarië who rules over night."

  • Note: The pronoun is inflected as a nominative, as it is acting as the subject of the relative clause. This is despite the fact that the antecedent is in the genitive.

2) Case Attraction:

a hweya Rilméveri, yumiri apanya...
oh DAUGHTER-nominative Rilmevë-genitive WHO-nominative rel.-aug.-LOVE-past-3rd.sing. FATHER-nominative-our

"Oh daughter of Rilmevë, whom our father loved..."

  • Note: The pronoun is inflected as nominative. This is despite the fact that it is acting as the object of the relative clause. However, because it is in apposition to the antecedent, 'daughter', it is inflected as nominative; i.e. it is attracted to the case of the antecedent.

B) Unusually (from the point of view of language-typology), case attraction is only found when the relative clause is non-restrictive, i.e. appositive (as an option). The explanation is likely that the relative pronoun is functioning like an antecedent in its own right, hence it must have case appropriate to its clause, not the relative clause. This phenomenon is also found in embedded questions, for which see the appropriate section.

Prepositional Relative Clauses

A) There are two methods of forming a prepositional relative clause (i.e. when the the relation between relativized element and subordinate clause is a prepositional relation).

B) The most common method is to inflect the relative pronoun in an oblique case (dative, ablative, allative, comitative, locative, instrumental, relative, benefactive) and place the relative pronoun between the antecedent and the relative clause, which is introduced by the subordinator.

C) The second method is to add a preposition with a resumptive pronoun. In this case, the relative pronoun remains uninflected (normally, although inflection in an oblique case appropriate to the preposition is sometimes found).

D) In the first sentence type, no prepositions are found. In the second type, prepositions are required. The difference is one of specificity, i.e. whenever a more specific prepositional relation is required (i.e. meanings such as "beyond" or "above") the preposition+resumptive strategy would be used. Whenever a generic prepositional relation is meant (i.e. "at", "in") the normal method is used.

1) No Preposition + Resumptive

arti haitín to yova aropsi i siryán
aug.-HOLD/HAVE-past-3rd-sing. SWORD-accusative which-instrumental relative aug.-PROTECT/GUARD-past-3rd-sing. the GATE-plural-accusative

"He had a sword with which he guarded the gates."

2) Preposition + Resumptive

noldi i morno ta yova amisti yo
was COOL the SHADE which relative aug.-SIT-past-3rd-sing. beneath-it

"The shade under which he sat was cool."

(ië noldi i morno tavi yova amisti would mean "the shade in which/where he sat was cool."

Genitival Relative Clauses

A) There are two ways of forming a relative clause which has a genitival relation, i.e. which can be translated as "whose".

B) The first way, found commonly in poetry, is to place the pronoun (in the genitive) after the antecedent followed immediately by the subordinate clause, with no intervening subordinator. This seems to be found with animate antecedents. Note that in this construction, the object possessed by the antecedent is usually (but not always) placed at the end of the subordinate clause, as in the example.

1) Non-Fronting Construction

a noirë na teiri rento sinta i nempë
oh HOLY ONE who-genitive REACH-3rd-plural ME-allative the SONG-plural

"Oh holy one, whose songs reach me..."

C) The second way of forming a genitival relative, found most often with inanimate antecedents, is to inflect the relative pronoun and front the possessed object to before the subordinated verb. In this construction, the subordinator is found. However, it may be best to analyze the subordinator and the relative pronoun has one grammatical element. In fact, it is occasionally written as one, i.e. as tariyova.

2) Fronting Construction

silinya tariyova nan ahwili mi
STAR-plural whose LIGHT aug.-FALL-past-3rd-sing. down

"Stars whose light falls down."

  • 'Note: In this construction, tari is not inflected for number. This is another indication, perhaps, that this has become divorced from the relative pronoun ta.
Headless Relative Clauses
High Silindion Relative Clauses
Poetic Relative Clauses
Copular Relative Clauses

Embedded Questions


Conditional Clauses

Information Structure



Copular Clauses