From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Pronounced: ['ŋjæ.ʀa]
Timeline and Universe: Polycosm, Mermish World
Species: Mermish World Batrachoid
Spoken: Unknown
Total speakers: Unknown
Writing system: Syllabic
Genealogy: Isolate?
Morphology: Isolating
Morphosyntax: Split ergative
Word order: SVO
Creator: Linguarum Magister
Created: July 7, 2012

Geography and Anthropology

Ngiæra is a language spoken on the Mermish world in the Polycosm by the local version of humans – these humans would strike the natives of Earth-Prime as a bit batrachid. Ngiæra speakers live in the hills to the south of the Great Gulf, ever since the People of the Wave (another human tribe) came from the islands and drove them from the shore.


Ngiæra has nine consonants, and five vowels. There is no current information on the consonantal allophones.


Consonants Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Uvular
Nasal [m] /m/ m [n] /n/ n [ŋ] /ŋ/ ng
Plosive [p] /p/ p [t] /t/ t [k] /k/ k
Sibilant [s] /s/ s
Fricatives [j] /j/ j
Rhotics [ʁ] /ʁ/ r


Vowels Front Back
High [i] [j] /i/ i
Mid [e] /e/ e [o] [w] /o/ o
Low [æ] /æ/ æ [ɑ] [ɐ◌̯] [ə◌̯] /a/ a


Ngiæra is a AVP split-ergative language divided along SAP lines. Unlike many such languages, the SAP split is between the second singular and the second plural.

Transitive Sentence With Nouns

The transitive sentence with nouns is AVP.

Ngir tean mær.

man see woman

The man sees the woman.

Iiar tean mær.

1sg see woman.

I see the woman.

Ngir tean iiar.

Man see 1sg.

The man sees me.


Ngiæra pronouns are divided into two categories: nominative and ergative.

Pronouns Singular Plural
1st Excl *iiar *iot
1st Incl *iæik *ioor
2nd *iook *iei
3rd *ioæon *ioap

The nominative personal pronouns are /iiar/, /iæik/, /iot/, /ioor/, and /iook/. The ergative personal pronouns are /iei/, /ioæon/, and /ioap/ - names and common nouns are classified as ergative. With transitive verbs, the pronouns behave identically, but the detransitivized verb reveals the nominative/ergative distinction.

Of the pronouns, /iæik/ and /iei/ are newcomers, derived from polite forms of speaker and addressee, respectively. Initially, both were ergative forms. Although /iei/ fully replaced the previous 2nd plural form and continued to be ergative, /iæik/ never fully replaced /iiar/ and was influenced by it to become a nominative form.

The detransitive marker /næim/ [næjm], which comes before the verb, causes two changes.

If the agent of the transitive verb is ergative, the agent becomes an absolutive subject and shifts to the end of the clause, while the verb becomes antipassive voice. If the patient of the transitive verb is accusative, the patient becomes a nominative subject and shifts to the front of the clause, while the verb becomes passive voice.

Ngir tean mær.

man see woman

The man sees the woman

Næim tean ngir.

ANTIPASS see man

The man sees.

Tean mær.

See woman

The woman is seen.

Iei tean ngir

2pl see man

You see the man

Næim tean iei

ANTIPASS see 2pl

You see

Tean ngir

see man

The man is seen.

Ngir tean ioor

man see 1incl

The man sees us.

Ioor næim tean

1incl PASS man

We are seen.

Iook tean ioor

2sg see 1incl

You see us.

Iook tean

1incl see

You are seen.

The Structure of the Ngiæra word

Roots Meaning First Form Second Form Third Form
*Structure *0 *C1G1VG2C2 *C1G1VG2C2V2 *V1C1G1VG2C2
Nominal *death *koæon *koæono *okoæon
Verbal *to speak *ngiær *ngiæra *ingiær

Ngiæra roots (also known as a First Form) all have the shape C1(G1)V(G2)C2. C may be any consonant native to Ngiæra. V may be any vowel. G1 may be /i/, /o/ or /r/. G2 may be /i/, /o/, or /a/. Ngiæra roots are divided into nominal and verbal roots – these classes are lexically determined. Nominal roots include the categories of pronoun, man/woman, directions, family members, colors, geography, beauty, and sufficiency. Verbal roots include verbs of motion, copular verbs, verbs of expectation, possession, do/make, and 'bear (children)'.

A First Form nominal (f4) is a stative or abstract noun, while a First Form verbal (f1) is usually a transitive verb. The Second Form is derived from the First Form by taking G2 and reduplicating it as a vowel called V2, after C2. If there is no G2, V provides the vowel. The Second Form derives a noun of agent or action from the First Form verbal and and an adjective from the First Form Nominal. V2 is identical to V with the following exception: the V2 of /æ/ is /a/. Thus the name of the language, Ngiæra is the Second Form (f2) of /ngiær/, 'to speak', while the word for masculine, /ngiri/, is the Second Form (f5) of /ngir/ 'man'. The Third Form derives V2 from G1 (or V if there is no G1), and prefixes it to the First Form. V2 is identical to V with the following exception: the V2 of /r/ is /a/. The Third Form (f3) derives an adverb or preposition from a verb, and a stative, intransitive, or 'applicative' verb (f6) from a noun. An adverb in Ngiæra covers English adverbs and prepositions. Thus the Third Form (f3) of /tean/, 'to see', /etean/, is the evidential marker, and the Third Form (f3) of /ngiæar/, 'to give', /ingiæar/, is the indirect object marker 'to'. The Third Form (f6) of /ngræs/, 'greenness', /angræs/, is intransitive and means 'to flourish'. The Third Form (f6) of /rooop/, 'criminal', /orooop/, is transitive and means 'to commit a crime (of type X)' where type X is the direct object of the verb.


Tense in Ngiæra is optional and generally indicated by a specific time word.

Near Future

An auxiliary verb /ngoær/, 'to wait', follows the noun or pronoun and precedes the verb.

Iook ngoær saak rooop.

2sg wait find criminal.

You (sg) will find the criminal.


Future tense may also be indicated by the word /itin/ 'tomorrow' preceding the noun or pronoun.

Itin iook saak rooop.

Tomorrow 2sg find criminal

You will find the criminal.


Past tense may be indicated by the word /omot/ 'yesterday' preceding the noun or pronoun.

Omot iook saak rooop.

Yesterday 2sg find criminal

You found the criminal.


The copula in Ngiæra is /miii/.

Mær miii poongo.

Woman COP wife

The woman is a wife.

Iook miii kiein.

2sg COP child You are a child.

The Copula with Second and Third Form Nominals

If the subject of the copula is a pronoun and the predicate is a Second Form nominal, a special conjugation is used, derived from the Third Form nominals.

Iiiar poongo. I am a wife.

  • Aiæik poongo. I am a wife.

Oiook poongo. You (sg) are a wife.

Oioæon poongo. (S)he is a wife.

Oiot poongo. We (excl.) are wives.

Oioor poongo. We (incl.) are wives.

Iiei poongo. You (pl) are wives.

Oioap poongo. They are wives.

With a Third Form nominal as the predicate, the pronoun is a First Form nominal.

Iæik iting. I am sad.

  • Iiar iting. I am sad.

Iook iting. You (sg) are sad

Ioæon iting. (S)he is sad.

Iot iting. We (excl.) are sad.

Ioor iting. We (incl.) are sad.

Iei iting. You (pl) are sad.

Ioap iting. They are sad.

  • indicates an illegitimate form

Noun and Adjective Order

Modifiers, including the optional plural marker, follow their heads.

Ngir moanga miii rooop (moanga).

Man many COP criminal many

Many men are criminals.

Poongo iiara miii mær neopo.

Wife 1sg COP woman beautiful

My wife is a beautiful woman.


Reduplication indicates indefinite plurality

Omot kroapa meim rooop rooop

Yesterday judge hang criminal criminal

The judge has hanged all sorts of criminals.

Concultural Note: 'hanged' here does not mean 'ordered someone else to hang them'. The judge is truly judge, jury, and executioner.

Third Person Pronouns as Demonstratives

The 3rd person pronouns /ioæon/ and /ioap/ can be used as demonstratives in their Second Forms (f5).

Omot rooop ioapa orooop etean nepe.

Yesterday criminal 3pl commit.crime.of.type.X EVID taker

These criminals clearly committed the crime of taking.

These criminals are thieves.

Prepositional Phrases

Prepositions precede their modifiers. Indirect objects take the preposition /ingiæar/:

Iæik mres ioap ingiæar kroapa.

I give 3pl IO judge

I give them to the judge.

I hand them over to judge.

Kroapa kroap ioap oroæk koæon.

Judge judge 3pl toward death. The judge sentenced them to death.

Negative Particles

Negative particles follow the verb.

Ioæon kroap ioap eker akæong koæon (ioapa).

3sg judge 3pl NEG away.from death 3pl

He did not pardon them from their death sentences.

Expressions of Time

The use of time nouns as past and future markers has encouraged the use of reduplication to indicate precise times. Note that Ngiæra is also pro-drop!

Isik isik meim ioap.

morning morning hang 3pl

In the morning (the judge) hanged them.

Nominal Possession

Possession is indicated by the preposition /epek/, from /pek/,' to possess'

Poongo sanga epek rooop iting otom

wife lack GEN criminal be.sad be.excessive

The widows of the criminals were very sad.

Direct Speech

Direct speech is reported as it was originally said.

Poongo sanga ioæono ngiær ingiæar kroapa.

Wife lack 3sg speak to judge.

This widow said to the judge

Kese iæiki okoæon.

Husband 1sg be.dead

“My husband is dead.

Iæik miar eker ngiæar seim ingiæar kiein iæiki.

1Sg can NEG give food to child 1sg

I cannot feed my children.

Conditional Statements

To form a conditional statement, the Third Form of /teng/, 'to do' is placed before each clause.

Kroapa ngiær ingiæar ioæon.

judge speak to 3sg

The judge said to her.

Poongo iæiki miar eker poong.

wife 1sg can NEG bear.children

My wife cannot bear children.

Eteng iook roong miii mær mii iook poong,

if 2sg make be woman REL 2sg bear.children,

If you become my mistress,

eteng iæik ngiæar seim ingiæar kiein iooko.

then 1sg give food to child 2sg

I will feed your children.

Optative Mood

The optative mood is indicated by the First Form verbal of /nrir/:

Poongo sanga ngiær ingiæar ioæon.

Wife lack speak to 3sg

The widow said to him.

Iæik nrir eker roong miii mær iooko.

1sg can NEG make be woman 2sg

I do not want to be your mistress.

Eteng iook nrir ngiæar otom seim ingiæar kiein mæra moanga iæiki,

if 2sg want give very food to child woman many 1sg

If you want to feed my daughters,

eteng ioap roong miii anrir maer mii ioap poong.

then 3pl make be OPT woman REL 3sg bear.children

let them become your mistresses.

Eteng iook teng ioæon, iæik miar ngiæar seim ingiæar iæik.

if 2sg do 3sg, 1sg can give food to 1sg

If you do this, I can feed myself.

The North Wind and the Sun

Ngaop Rieanga, Siaot Siki nrir saak ioæon.

uncle north whiteness rising want find this

The North Wind and the Sun wanted to know this.

Ioap ngiær ingiæar ioap: ngoær ioor saak miara otom

3pl say towards 3pl want 1excl find able excessive

Ngir kar ioap. Ioæon pek miaoto

man come.towards 3pl possess cloak

Ngaop Rieanga ngear miing ngir

uncle north go.down go.forward man

Ngir ngiæar kara ingiæar miaoto

man give come.towards.nominal towards cloak

Siaot Siki ngear miing ngir.

whiteness rising go.down go.forward man

Ngir ngiæar kæong ingiæar miaoto

man give away.from.nominal towards cloak

Ngaop Rieanga ngiær ingiæar Siaot Siki

uncle north say towards whiteness rising

Næim miar otom iook

INT excessive 2sg

Dictionary of Defined Roots


iæik [jæjk]– 1st person singular (NOM); my, mine

ieat [jevt] - 1st cousin

iei [jej] - 2nd person plural

iiar [jivr] - 1st person singular (NOM); my, mine

ioæon [jwæwn] - 3rd person singular

ioap [jovp] - 3rd person plural

iook [jwok] - 2nd person singular (NOM)

ioor [jwor] - 1st person plural inclusive (NOM)

iot [jot] - 1st person plural exclusive (NOM)

kaom [kawm] – West; west; 3

kæong [kæwŋ]– back; back; away from

kiang [kivŋ] [kjaŋ] – life; alive; be alive

kiein [kjejn] – child; 2; 3

koæon [kwæwn] – death; dead; be dead

mær [mær] – woman

mii [mij] – who; whose; 3

mioii [mjojj] – scarcity; few; 3

moang [movŋ] [mwaŋ] – plenty (n); many, plural marker; 3

neop [newp] – beauty (n); beautiful; 3

ngaop [ŋawp] – uncle, aunt; 2; 3

ngæot [ŋæwt] – brother, sister; 2; 3

ngim [ŋim] – East; east; 3

ngir [ŋir] – man; masculine; 3

ngon [ŋon] – blood, redness; red; 3

ngræs [ŋræs] – greenness; green; to flourish

noat [novt] [nwat] – hill country; of the hill country; be narrow

nrik [nrik] – drink; 2; 3 [MISCATEGORIZED]

piaeai [pjaevj] – a plain; of the plain; be broad

pios [piws] [pjos] – region, country; regional; 3

ræn [ræn] – ugliness; ugly; 3

ræip [ræjp] – nephew, niece; 2; 3

reak [revk]– happiness; happy; be happy

rieang [rjevŋ] – North; north; 3

rioi [rjoj] – darkness, blackness; dark, black; 3

riop [riwp] [rjop] – South; south; 3

roæk [rwæk] – front; front; towards

rooop [rwowp] – criminal (n); criminal (adj); to commit a crime (of X type)

saep [saep] – grandparent; 2; 3

seim [sejm] - food

siaot [sjawt] – light (n); light, white; 3

soiar [swivr] – father, mother; 2; 3

soor [sowr] [swor] – greyness, dimness; grey; 3

ting [tiŋ] – sadness; sad; be sad

toaing [twajŋ] – grandchild; 2; 3

toaok [twawk] – insufficiency; insufficient; be insufficient, not quite enough

toip [tojp] [twip] – son, daughter; 2; 3

tom [tom]– excess; excessive; be excessive, very


irep [jrep] – lose; 2; 3

kar [kar] – come towards

ker [ker] – to not be; 2; negative particle

kes [kes] – beget (children); husband; 3

koong [kowŋ] [kwoŋ] – go back; 2; 3

kroap [krovp] – judge (v); judge (n); 3

meim [mejm] – hang; 2; 3

miaot [mjawt] - protect; cloak; 3

miar [mivr] [mjar] – to be able to; 2; 3

miii [mjij] – copula; 2; 3

miing [mijŋ] [mjiŋ] – go forward; 2; 3

moor [mowr] [mwor] – find; 2; 3

mot [mot] – remember; 2; yesterday

mres [mres] – give; 2; 3

næim [næjm] – detransitive marker

nep [nep] – take; taker;

ngear [ŋevr] – set, go down; 2; night

ngiæar [ŋjævr] – give; 2; indirect object marker

ngiær [ŋjær]– speak; Ngiæra - Ngiæra language; 3

ngoær [ŋwær]– wait, future auxiliary verb; 2 ; 3

nrir [nrir]– want; 2; optative marker

peit ]pejt]– come up; 2; 3

pek ]pek]– possess; 2; genitive marker

poong [powŋ] [pwoŋ] – bear (children); wife; 3

rion [riwn] [rjon]– come back; 2; 3

roong [rowŋ] [rwoŋ]- make

saak [savk] – find

sang [saŋ] – lack; one who lacks; abessive marker

sik [sik] – rise, go up; 2 ; morning

sreok [srewk]– live, dwell; inhabitant; 2

tan [tan]– go; 2; 3

tep [tep]– come down; 2; 3

tean [tevn] – see; 2 ; etean – evidential marker

tek [tek] – come; 2; 3

teng [teŋ]– do; 2; if, then

tin [tin] – expect; 2; tomorrow