Naūkeman

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soani ag kai, ceben! naūkenha miyari sar naūkeman!
If (you) can read this, welcome! Let's learn to speak Naūkeman!

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Table of Contents

  1. Phonemes
  2. Pronunciation Guide
  3. Vocabulary
    1. Pronouns
    2. Question Words
    3. Common Words and Greetings
    4. Nouns
      1. Family Members
      2. Noun Affixes
    5. Verbs
      1. Verb Affixes
    6. Conjunctions, Prepositions, etc.
      1. Time
    7. Adjectives
    8. Adjective Affixes
    9. Adverbs
  4. Grammar
    1. Word Order
    2. Doing One Thing, (While) Doing Another
    3. Wanting Things
    4. Purpose and Service
    5. Modifying With Verbs
    6. If... Then...
    7. Having Things

Phonemes

Written a e i o u ū m n g k y r
Romanized a e i o u ū m n ng k y r
IPA a e~ɛ i o ʊ~ʌ~ə u m n ŋ k~g j ɹ~ɾ

Written l t s c h b
Romanized l t s sh h b
IPA l t~d s~z ʃ~tʃ h b~p

Pronunciation Guide

a = "ah" like in tall or ahh
e = "eh" like in neck or bet
i = "ee" like in she or bee
u = "uh" like in fun or hut, sometimes "oouh" like in put or book
o = "oh" like in bow or oh
ū = "oo" like in too or boot

There is no distinction between the letter t and d, s and z, b and p, k and g, or sh and ch. Their pronunciation can be either by convenience or accent, but tends toward the first. For consistency, all words here are spelled with the first letter and not the second.

Emphasis is typically on the first syllable of a word, or the second and last in words four syllables or longer. However, it is often shifted wherever is convenient in songs or poems, as it does not change the actual meaning of the words.

When speaking quickly or casually, the short "u" sound is often skipped or pronounces as a shwa (ə) instead. Words that have "u" in the first syllable may shift emphasis to the second.

Vocabulary

Pronouns

na
I, me
she
they, them (sing.)
ū
it
tūe
they, them (plur.)
sa
you
tosho
she, her (honorific)
tūashe
he, him (honorific)
taotsha
they, them (sing. honorific)
naūe
we
nanim
someone, a person
naemiri
everyone
naeben
anyone
naiya
no one

ūs
thing, something
ūsmiri
everything
ūsebin
anything
ūseya
nothing

ranen
here
lunan
there (near/visible)
onarn
there (distant/unseen, archaic and somewhat formal)
onan
there (distant/unseen, informal)
tokebin
anywhere
tokemiri
everywhere
toket
place, there
tokeya
nowhere

Question Words

anle
what
nelne
how
naile
who
onye
why
onsa
when
tolke
where

Common Words and Greetings

ungi, ngi
yes
ya, yasun
no
yanetrolun
hello (to someone new, or after long time apart)
ke'aron
hello, how are you?
kutūlrana
hello (older, more formal)
sheben
welcome (greeting into one's home or other space)
yunbekur
I'll see you soon
ūlyotsha
thank you

Nouns

ba
person
ekask
breakfast
kake
picture, piece of artwork
kanen
name
kenmi
food
kibi
knife, blade
komi
drinks
kosanmi
book
koyakmi
sword (from /koya kibi/, 'large blade')
lusū
idiot
maūnmi
story
mayūt
city, town
sarnem
dinner
tanla
house, home
timani
saying (from timaūnmi, "that which is said")
tūln
game
tole
fire
men
water
sanat
stone
ūat
tree
tūi
seed, beginning
nias
sun
insū
moon
kopet
sky
han
wind, breath
tamūk
animal, creature
kas
bird
sela
fish
anlai
robe, cloak

Family Members

basuntya, baba
mother
nanyūnta, nana
father
sonen
sibling
rona
sister
otshi
brother
ansun
child
ronsun
daughter
otshun
son
hona
friend

Noun Affixes

le
(possessive suffix)
tya
(plural suffix)

Verbs

amyai
to argue
amsan
to like
ataūn
to stand up, to begin, to awaken
ban
to play
banyin
to glow, to be bright
batan
to take
belen
to remove (clothing)
binai
to give up
busen
to lose
ekin
to begin
eli
to possess, to contain (features, things)
haen
to breathe
hūn
to outdo, to be greater than
ili
to walk
ilan
to create, to cause
ilkan
to win
itan
to decide (with another), to agree (one)
kahai
to put on (clothing)
kanemi
to ask, to question
kanenten
to be known as, to be called (from kanen timaūnyemi, "name is said")
kanri
to know, to be familiar with
kern
to be present
kin
to be aware of, to understand
koyi
to drink
kuen
to eat
kyun tūel
to arrive at...
lūkūn
to defeat
miyari
to learn, to study
mūren
to require, to command/demand
... mūryūn
to want... (someone else wants) (see grammar for full guide)
nalun
to go/come from...
naūken
to speak...
ngen
to have
noekin
to sleep
nomais
to fold
... rener
to want... (one's own desires) (see grammar for full guide)
rin
to buy...
roen
to exist in/at...
... samyūn
to think/feel that something is... (other people)
seben
to enter (somewhere), to visit
soani
to read
soūn
to cover, to protect
... sūmaen
to meet with...
... sūyan
to meet ... for the first time
... tener
to think/feel that something is... (self only)
teūn
to stand (in place)
timaūn
to say...
tren
to see
tūin
to learn, to discover
tulten
to explain, to tell
tyurni
to hear
ūli
to do
ūmūn
to love...
ūnūi
to live
unili
to trouble, to disturb*
ungi, ngi
to be
yangi
to bring
yarani
to come here, to approach (something)
yohen
to blow (on)
yunmeli
to go to...

Verb Affixes

oya-
(future tense prefix, formal)
o-
(future tense prefix, informal)
tro-, to-, t-
(recent past tense prefix)
ta-
(distant past tense prefix)

byū, byūka
(continuous, follows verb)
-s
(negative suffix for verbs ending in -i)
-se
(negative suffix for verbs ending in -n or other)
sha-
(imperative prefix, precedes tense)

-mil
(-doer, one who VERBs) (follows negative)
-ūmi, -mi
(a thing that is VERBed) (follows negative, replaces "yemi")
-ūman, -man
(archaic equivalent of "-ūmi")
ha
(makes gerund, ends subclause(?)) (follows negative)
-yemi
(makes passive voice) (always precedes other suffixes)
... ang
can...
... sar
let's...

Conjuctions, Prepositions, Etc

bel
only (vaguely)
eken
but
ir
all
kai
if
ke
in
kel
about
kyun
into, at (destination)
meona
around
mulūn
over
na
from
ti
(marks a quote)
yun
to/at (direction)
sara
therefore, as a result
simat
only (exactly)
and, along with
sūsun
without
te
or
ten
also, and (sentence connector)
tyo
using, with
unke
so (vague), because of this
yoeken
however, but (formal)

...seber
for (to be offered to, to be used for)...
...nimūr
for (an action for the sake of)...
...hoye
for (the purpose of doing)...

Time

atya
and then... (finally, after that)
bebeker
again and again
beker
again (formal)
ek
before
ekis
early, morning
iba
and then (standard verb connector)
ni
while (see grammar for more information)
nūsa
after, later
salar
ending
sana
then, in that time
sarn
late, evening
sir
the whole time
sonsa
finally, at long last
yenha
now

Adjectives

anyan
small
atu
angry (briefly, in the moment)
atsan
hot
ayū
other
batyū
another
bikū
angry (long-term, begrudging or simmering), passionate
elar
sad
hanyak
just, fair, right
imit
weak
keme
happy
koya
big
lan
near
mūr
wanted, desired (by someone else)
onen
far
oton
warm
rea
wanted, desired (by the speaker)
sahlo
more
sanar
lovely, nice (archaic)
sang
favorite, loved
sohu
many, much
shihir
strong
tomen
cold
tun
serious, genuine
tusū
foolish, stupid
ūk
true
ūle
this (visible, nearby)
ūnon
that (visible, far)
ūnūn
that (not visible or not present)

ani
yellow
komor
green, blue
osū
red, orange
leo
green*
ubanya
light (incl. white and similar colors)
yalū
dark (incl. dark colors, black, some shades of purple)

kimin
north
yunit
south
alhūl
east
osheba
west

Numbers

kiū
1
lan
2
nir
3
nat
4
aeūt
5
silū
6
san
7
melo
8
hu
9
nuū
10

-(ū)r
(makes a number ordinal)

Adjective Affixes

el
quality, -ness (prefix, often used for comparison)
kisa
not (prefix)

Adverbs

very, especially ("not very/especially" when used with negative)
mema
knowingly, deliberately, with awareness of one's actions
ot
(suffix converting adjective to adverb)
tūo
always
tūya
never


*Sateca'an loanword/cognate.

Grammar

Word Order

Word order is typically verb-object-subject (VOS). Adjectives precede nouns.

Tulten maūnmi she
tell story they
They tell a story.

When describing an action as a noun (i.e. forming a gerund) or adjective (i.e. using it to modify the noun), the word order of the described action often changes to SOV. For example:

Rener she maūnmi tultenha na
want they story tell-GERUND I
I want them to tell a story.

Totimaūn she na maūnmi tultenha mūryūn ti she
PAST-say they I story tell want END-QUOTE they
They said they wanted me to tell a story.

Kanri sohu ūstya maūnmi tultenmil ba
know many thing-PLURAL story tell-DOER person
(The) person who tells stories knows many things.


Doing One Thing, (While) Doing Another

The term "ni" is used to indicate an action happening alongside another.

The structure for this is: ACTION1 sū ACTION2 byū ni. ("Byūka" can be used for "byū" when speaking formally.)

For example:

Kosanmi trosoani sū teūn byū ni na
book PAST-read also stand CONT while I
I read a book while standing

Naūken sū noekin byū ni sa
speak also sleep CONT while you
You talk in your sleep.

In informal speech can also be simplified by removing "sū" and "byū", and changing the tense/form of the second verb to match the first.

Onoekin, oteūn ni she
FUTURE-sleep FUTURE-stand while they
They will sleep standing up.

Shasoanis shailis ni, lusū!
IMPERATIVE-read-NEG IMPERATIVE-walk-NEG while idiot
Don't walk while reading, idiot!


Wanting Things

Two different verbs are used, depending on whether the speaker is describing their own desires, or someone else's.

Torener tūe na amsanyemiha
PAST-want them-PLURAL me like-PASSIVE-GERUND
I wanted them to like me.

Mūryūn noekin Nana
want sleep father-INFML
Dad wants to sleep

Mūryūn na tūln obusenha she
want me game FUTURE-lose-GERUND they
They want me to lose the (upcoming) game.


Purpose and Service

There are several ways to describe a purpose for action, depending on whether the purpose is an object, a living thing, or an action.

Seber: To do something in order to use the result for an inanimate thing, sometimes a concept or situation. Can be thought of as similar to "hoye", but for nouns.
Hoye: To do something in order to perform another specified action. Applies to verbs only.
Nimūr: To do something for someone else, or for their sake. Can sometimes apply to inanimate things, but implies a sort of personification. Implies more benevolence than "seber", which is often used for more routine actions or obligations.

Sarnem seber orin ū na
Sarnem seber orin ū na
dinner for buy it I
I will buy it for dinner.

Cele rona sū maenha hoye, yunmeli mayūt ce
Shele rona sū maenha hoye, yunmeli mayūt she
they-POSSESSIVE sister with meet-GERUND for-purpose-of go-to city they
They go to the city to meet with their sister.

Baba nimūr troyagi ūs na
Baba nimūr troyangi ūs na
mother for-sake-of PAST-bring something I
I brought something for my mother.

Note that the second sentence, using "hoye", rearranges the phrase "sū maen rona" (VOS) into "rona sū maen" (SOV) for referring to the action like a noun.


Modifying With Verbs

One that verbs, one that is verbed

There are generally two ways to modify nouns with verbs, both using normal verb suffixes. The "mi"/"ūmi" suffix marks one that is VERBed, and the "mil" suffix marks one that VERBs.

When the actor other than the given noun is specified in this structure, it goes between the verb and the noun.

Gi lū anyan torinūmi komi
Ngi lū anyan torinūmi komi
is very small PAST-buy-PASSIVE-ATTRIBUTIVE drink
The drink that was bought is very small.

Roen tanla trosoanimi na kosanmi
Roen tanla trosoanimi na kosanmi
exists-in house PAST-read-PASSIVE-ATTRIBUTIVE I book
The book I read is in the house.

Roen tanla kaketya elimil kosanmi
Roen tanla kaketya elimil kosanmi
exists-in house picture-PLURAL possess-ATTRIBUTIVE book
The book that has pictures is in the house.


If... Then...

Clauses of an if/then statement are connected by a single word in the middle, "kai".

Kernse na kai, canaūken na nimūr
Kernse na kai, shanaūken na nimūr
present-NEGATIVE I if-then IMPERATIVE-speak I for-sake-of
If I am not present, speak on my behalf.


Having Things

To say someone has something can take two forms. For inanimate objects and features, the verb "eli" is used.

Eli kaketya ūle kosanmi.
Eli kaketya ūle kosanmi.
possess picture-PLURAL this book
This book has pictures.

Eli mayūt ke tanla na.
Eli mayūt ke tanla na.
possess city in house I
I have a house in the city.

However, when talking about people or animals, one uses the structure "... le X roen" (lit. "...'s X exists").

cele ansun roen kai, gi basuntya.
Shele ansun roen kai, ngi basuntya.
they-POSSESSIVE child exist if-then is mother
If she has a child, she is a mother.


About...

The term "about" uses the gerund "ha" form and SOV for the topic described, if it's a full sentence or phrase.

Taamyai byū kel naile elcihir tahūnha kimin han sū nias.
Taamyai byū kel naile elshihir tahūnha kimin han sū nias.
DISTANT-PAST-argue CONT about who QUAL-strong DIST.PAST-to-be-greater-GERUND north wind and sun
The Northern Wind and the Sun were arguing (with each other) about who was stronger.

Trotūin nanim kel na trokanemi byū na.
Trotūin nanim kel na trokanemi byū na.
PAST-learn someone about me PAST-ask-CONT I
I heard someone was asking about me.

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