Tirkunan: A Romance Language

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Inside this orange box I am writing as a conlanger. A blue box will be used when our hobby linguist from this universe reports on what information was sent from there about Tirkunan. If there is no special markup, you are reading the original text that the Institute for Parallel Histories (IPH) sent from there. The IPH themselves use light grey boxes to clarify language history in more detail.

Idea / Cuciput

Tirkunan (Tircunan [tɪrə̆kʊˈnan]) is a Romance conlang derived from Vulgar Latin that I modelled to look like what I felt was a nice Romance language, whatever 'nice' may mean.

Due to my preference to create highly regular engelangs, simplicity and regularity is one design goal, but Tirkunan is not an engelang, nor an auxlang, nor a creole, but constructed like a plausible language from a separate Romance branch, probably in sprachbund with a few surrounding other Romance languages.

The morphological simplification is extensive, but considering the Germanic family, there is a wide rage of morphological complexity, from Africaans to Icelandic. So Tirkunan is meant inside the Romance family to be morphologically simple like Africaans, and even simpler. Tirkunan should still feel like a natural Romance language, and some irregulaties exist to avoid an odd feel. I also try to give examples for individual simplifications of morphology in existing Romance languages to indicate plausibility.

Another goal was to have a fully elaborated Grand Master Plan for the sound shifts instead of making up words in an ad-hoc manner. This will help me prevent inconsistencies and makes the lexicon more plausible.

The nouns, adjectives and verbs will be derived with a semi-automated set of rules from Vulgar Latin words, but some manual adjustments will be made if it feels more plausible that way. The sets of rules will try to produce something that looks plausibly Romance, without making the conhistorical development explicit. The conhistory is currently not my primary goal as long as the result looks plausibly Romance at first and hopefully second glance.

Tirkunan's location in the multiverse is in the parallel universe of Þrjótrunn somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula. The details are still missing from the IPH.

In summary, the design goals were the following.

  • Very simple morphology.
  • Plausibly a Romance language.
  • Isolating morphology, and isolating or agglutinative derivation.
  • A plausible phonological history of the language, i.e., a grand master plan by which words are regularly derived from Vulgar Latin.
  • An interesting vowel system. This was the initial momentum starting this conlang.
  • No palatalisation, except for very few examples.
  • Flavours of Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Sardinian, Sicilian.
  • Should not sound like French, Portuguese, or Romanian.
  • If Afrikaans can throw away all(/most) morphology, so can Tirkunan.
  • Tendency to not reborrow words from Classical Latin, but to keep the Proto-Romance derivation.

Influences / Mfluit

To get the sound right that I had in mind, I considered the following.

Like Logudorese (Sardinian), Tirkunan did not palatalise /k ɡ t d/ (nor other consonants) before [e i].

Like Sicilian, Calabrese and other Italian languages, Tirkunan drops some initial unstressed vowels, most frequently /i/, e.g. mpiri < impērium 'empire' (compare Sicilian/Calabrese 'mperu'). This does lead to more initial consonant clusters.

Like Catalan, Tirkunan does not fear consonantal endings on words. E.g. citat [kɪˈtat] < civitātem 'town' (compare Catalan 'ciutat'), cel [kel] < caelum 'sky; heaven'.

Like many dialects of Catalan, Portuguese, and some Southern Italian dialects like Sicilian/Calabrese, reduces unstressed vowels into a three-vowel system /a i u/, e.g. the participle of solu [ˈsolʊ] is sulut [sʊˈlut].

Like Catalan, has new endings in /u/ from /v/: nou 'nine' < novem.

Like Spanish (and Sardinian), Tirkunan has five phonemic vowels: /a e i o u/ (well, it has /ə/ now). Some words show similar sound shifts: cumre [ˈkumbrə] < *culmine 'peak' (compare Spanish 'cumbre').

Like Italian (and French), Tirkunan has quite a lot of elided vowels and consonants, and many function words end in a vowel.

Like in Modern Tuscan, Romanian, and other languages, the infinitive '-re' on verbs is dropped. And like Romanian, that very ending is reinterpreted as a new kind of supine or gerund for nominalisation.

Similar to Sicilian and Romanian, prepositions have shortened significantly: pi < per, cu < cum, sra < supra.

Like some Catalan dialects, the preposition di to form the genitive is often dropped. The preposition is not dropped in other meanings or usages, like 'from': gen di Tali 'person from Italy' cannot be shortened.[1]

Unlike most Romance languages, there is almost no palatalisation, so no [ɲ ʎ ç ʃ ʒ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ]. Instead, Tirkunan sometimes retains the [i] (and [u]) glides as a vowel, or drops [j][2] , e.g., al < alium, and crou < corvus.

Unlike French, there are no nasal vowels, and no [y ø ʒ ʃ ɥ].

Unlike Portuguese, Old French, Old Spanish, there are no nasal vowels and no [l] > [u] shift, although I like it very much and it was tempting to include it.

Unlike all existing Romance languages, Tirkunan has lost gender completely. Still, I do not think it is inconceivable in Romance, because Germanic has done it, and Romance and Germanic come from the same source. While Romance is relatively homogeneous, in Germanic, the completely different handling of gender (and case) between Icelandic and Afrikaans is estonishing, so why should there not be a hidden Romance language that lost gender altogether?

With the loss of endings, the number marking on nouns was also lost. This also does not feel implausible to me as French has only weak number marking on nouns, too.

Further, especially the verbal system is untypically analytical for Romance languages, although all the principles and forms are taken from existing Romance languages so none of the isolated verb forms should appear out of place.

I am positively surprised about how making Tirkunan isolating could be done by using selected features from existing Romance languages: analytic verb forms using auxiliaries, dropped endings in Catalan and Tuscan, ordinals with di+number like in Sardinian, replacement of possessive adjectives by di+pronoun in Balearic Catalan, causatives with fe auxilary like Portuguese, plural marking only on article (almost) like French. Sometimes, I found the existing languages with the simplified features only after accidentally doing it in a very similar way, the singular pronouns of Ligurian.


Structurally, Tirkunan is more French than I had planned. Some problems were elegantly solved that way, and some things probably just happend by chance:

  • Plural is shown on articles, not on nouns: citat 'city/cities': li citat 'the city' vs. lur citat 'the cities'.
  • Drop of vowels, very short verb forms, qu>c: gen 'person', cim 'five'.
  • Some vocab does sounds very French, but even more Catalan in most cases: Lac Liman 'Lake Geneva'.
  • Quite some vocab is actually identical to Catalan: peu 'foot'.
  • Some similarities with Romanian derivation. E.g., '-re' (old infinitive, now noun formation) has inspired (a)r in Tirkunan for nominalisation, and '-tor,-toare' (a)tur is also used for adjective formation. Since finding this accidental similarity, I now often actively try to be inspired by derivation structures in Romanian.

Name / Li Numre

The name 'Tircunan' or 'Tirkunan' means 'Tarragonian', i.e. 'language of (the city of) Tarragona'. This town is called 'Tracunis' in Modern Tirkunan and was the capital of the Roman province of Hispānia Tarracōnēnsis for several centuries. Today, it is the second largest city (~2.300.000 inhabitans) of Lustany (or 'Lustani' in Tirkunan).[3] In texts written before the unified orthography was introduced, Tirkunan is also frequently referred to as 'Trakunan', 'Tracunan', 'Terkunan', 'Tercunan', 'Tircunan', or 'Tirkunan'. Further, some dialects have metathesis (or used to have, as by the influence of the standard language this is no longer the case), in analogy with other words, so we also find 'Tricunan', etc.

Derived regularly from the Latin word, the city is called Tracunis. For the language, the ending -an was eventually preferred for adjectives instead of -is as the latter was more and more interpreted as a locative, today often found in city names.

The vowel change in the language name was either by influence of another language, or maybe because it was taken to be related to ter 'earth'. We don't know the exact reason. Historical documents merely show that the name changed around four-three hundred years ago, and there are various inconsistent spellings in older texts.

Development / Dimvulur

Phonology / Sistim Soni


Spelling of Tirkunan is completely phonemic. All phonemes are represented by a single grapheme, i.e., there are no digraphs.

Stress and syllable boundaries are mostly implicit and not specifically marked, but the full stress pattern can be derived regularly from the spelling. The apostrophe is used to indicate a vowel or consonant that was dropped due to a elision, and at the end of a word, this apostrophe also marks that stress is retained on the last syllable.

In the following, the phonemic representation is usually not given except in special cases, because the spelling of Tirkunan is phonemic. When pronunciation is discussed, the phonetics are given in IPA.


The following consonant graphemes exist, with the phonemes and possible phones also listed:

grapheme phoneme phones
b /b/ [b]
c /k/ [k]
d /d/ [d]
f /f/ [f]
g /ɡ/ [ɡ ŋ]
j /j/ [j]
l /l/ [l]
m /m/ [m ɱ]
n /n/ [n ŋ m ɱ]
ng /ŋ/ [ŋ ŋɡ]
p /p/ [p]
r /r/ [r]
s /s/ [s]
t /t/ [t]
v /v/ [v]


Tirkunan allows any sequence of vowels anywhere in a word, and each vowel is counted phonemically as a separate syllable. Some vowel sequences tend to be phonetically realised as diphthongs, as the section on vowels explains. Also, sequences of u + vowel emerging from derivation are usually resolved as v + vowel.

The j is used in a few words only, because usually, [j] can be inferred from the spelling i. Some words, however, particularly monosyllabic words and loan words, have a phonemic /j/.

ja [ja] 'already'
je [je] 'the letter "j"'
Cijiu [kɪˈjiw] 'Kyiv'

Most consonant phonemes have only one phone attached, but n adjusts its point of articulation to the subsequent consonant, if there is one. m also adjust a bit, but is always labial.

cim deca [kim ˈdekɐ] 'fifty'
cum gen [kum ɡen] 'like people'
lim primeu [lim prɪˈmew] 'proto-language'
mfril [ɱ̩fril] 'inferior'
mves [ɱ̩ves] 'invert'
un dit [un dit] 'one finger'
lun prin [lum prin] 'full moon'
un vic [uɱ vik] 'one time, once'
labrin crut [lɐˈbriŋ krut] 'short labyrinth'

Further, g at the end and before consonant is pronounced as a nasal.

lig [liŋ] 'connect'
ligat [lɪˈɡat] 'connected'

The related ng is a single nasal at the end and before consonants, but acts as a sequence n+g intervocalically.

mang [maŋ] 'eat'
mangat [mɐŋˈɡat] 'eaten'

In sequences of nasal + r or l, a voiced homorganic plosive is regular pronounced, but not written.

The same holds true for s + r or l and l plus r. The spelling is completely regular, and it is even applied to clusters where the plosive was historically phonemic, and even in loan words, and any old phonemic voice distinction of the plosive is lost: it is deleted in modern spelling, so these plosives are completely regularly non-phonemic, but always pronounced.

This also holds true for derivation and even across word boundaries, e.g. when -n or -s ends up right before r- or l-.

The epenthetic plosive is either voiced [b d ɡ] or unvoiced [p t k] depending on phonological context.

The following table shows the correspondance between phonemic spelling and phonetic pronunciation:[4]

cumre [ˈkumbrə] 'top'
cinre [ˈkindrə] 'ash'
ungre [ˈuŋɡrə] 'fingernail'
avan lac [ɐˈvan dlak] 'front of the lake'
avan rable [ɐˈvan ˈdrablə] 'front of the tree'
fung rau [fuŋ ɡraw] 'white mushroom'
desre [ˈdestrə] 'right'
sronti [ˈstrontɪ] 'strontium'
pulre [ˈpuldrə] 'powder'
ulre [ˈuldrə] 'vulture'

Note that a velar nasal only occurs in front of g and k where it is spelled n. The spelling ng is pronounced [ŋɡ] intervocalically, but otherwise, it is generally [ŋ], particularly at ends of words. Following the above rule, it is also [ŋɡ] before liquids.

The language allows the following initial consonants or internal clusters:

b bl br mb mbl mbr sb sbl sbr
p pl pr mp mpl mpr sp spl spr nsp nspl nspr
d - dr nd - ndr sd - sdr
t - tr nt - ntr st - str nst - nstr
g gl gr ng ngl ngr sg sgl sgr
k kl kr nk nkl nkr sk skl skr nsk nskl nskr
f fl fr mf mfl mfr sf sfl sfr
l - - nl - - sl
m - - - - - sm
n - - - - - sn
r - - - - - sr
s - - ns
v vl vr mv mvl mvr sv svl svr

Note that this tables only shows the phonetic clusters, i.e., with the epenthetic plosives included. They are not written this way, but without the plosive between nasal and liquid.

Inner clusters are usually simpler, but prefixes may cause more complex initial clusters, e.g., n(e) < in- and s(e) < -ex. The resulting combinations are already considered above – many combinations starting with s, n, m are not found in a lemma in the lexicon.

Phonemically, all the clusters are single syllable, e.g. for determining stress, but phonetically a pre-consonantal n or m is pronounced syllabic.

If a consonant cluster is not feasible, the epenthetic vowel surfaces from the prefixes: this is before nasal for n(e) and before s for s(e). In the case of s, before voiced plosives, it causes the plosive to become phonetically unvoiced, e.g., sba [sba]. More epenthetic consonants additional to what is listed above may emerge for some speakers, e.g. in sr, an epenthetic t may be heard.

The language allows the following final consonant clusters (spelling is shown here):

p mp lp rp sp
t nt lt rt st
k nk lk rk sk
m - - rm
n - - rn
- ng
f - lf rf
s - - - - ts nts ps cs

The final ng represents the phoneme /ŋ/.

To avoid other final consonant clusters, an epenthetic a has emerged historically, and is also written, because it has become phonemic, i.e., modern loan words may violate this principle. Some consonants usually do not occur in stems but are derived from Proto-Romance in different ways, e.g. final d usually appears as r and final b and v usually appear as u.

Vowels and Syllables

Tirkunan has five phonemic vowels in stressed syllables: /a e i o u/ and four in unstressed syllables: /a i u ə/.

The following table shows how vowels are spelled and how they are pronounced in different phonological context, determined by stress and closedness of the syllable.

spelling phoneme
a /a/ [] [a] [ɐ]
e /e/ [] [e] -
e /ə/ - - [ə]
i /i/ [] [i] [ɪ]
o /o/ [] [o] -
u /u/ [] [u] [ʊ]

Length is not phonemic.

In unstressed position, only vowels /a i u ə/ occur. /ə/, the schwa, occurs mostly at ends of words. If due to stress change (when suffixing a morpheme), a stressed /e/ moves to an unstressed syllable, it becomes /i/ and similarly /o/ becomes /u/. This is always shown in spelling, i.e., o never occurs in unstressed position in spelling and e is used for a /ə/ in unstressed position.

Some dialects do not distinguish between [a] and [ɐ], but only use [a].

A few dialects go in the opposite direction and have [ə] instead of [ɐ] for unstressed /a/, which means these dialects only have only three vowels in unstressed position: /ə i u/, e.g., atar [əˈtar] 'steel'. The dialects sometimes use a modified spelling where a is used for /ə/, e.g., canta 'to sing', pronounced [ˈkantə], instead of the standard cante.

In general, unstressed vowels /a i u/, have a laxer pronunciation than the stressed variants, become something like [ɐ ɪ ʊ] for most speakers. This is not universal, however, and some dialect are more like [a i u].

Closedness of the syllable only affects the vowel quality marginally, if at all. The vowel system has three heights, so /e o/ are usually pronounced roughly half-open, tending more to closed ([e o]) than to open ([ɛ ɔ]), but these specifics are non-phonemic. Also, vowel length is influenced to a small degree by syllable closedness, with a tendency that open syllable vowels are slightly longer.

Tirkunan does not have phonemic diphthongs. Phonemically, adjacent vowels are separate syllables, and there is no theoretical limit of vowel sequences. In most dialects, some vowels merge into phonetic diphthongs, though. The phonetic descriptions in this text show the typical diphthongs that occur. For simplicity and to ease reading, [j w] are used for showing diphtongs, e.g., /ai iu/ are shown as [aj iw]. Strictly speaking, glides are not parts of diphthongs and /ai iu/ are more like [a͡ɪ̯ i͡ʊ̯].

Due to phonetic diphthongs, even stress shifts occur is colloquial pronunciation, when a falling diphthong can be used by shifting stress to the first vowel of such a diphthong, e.g. in sraiu [strɐˈiw], which may become pronounced [ˈstrajʊ] in fast speech.

Spelling does not mark the phonetic syllables intuitively, but is focussed on indicating phonemic syllables and stress. This means that, for example, phones may belong to an adjacent phonological word instead of the one they are written in: clar ou [kla row] 'egg white'.

Syllable breaks are as follows: V-V, V-CV, VC-CV, VC-CCV..., i.e., a single consonant belongs to the next syllable, while of a sequence of at least two consonants, the first one closes the previous syllable. There is one exception: stop + r,l behaves like one consonant.
pan /pan/ [pan] bread
bisti /ˈbis.ti/ [ˈbistɪ] wild animal
citre /ˈki.trə/ [ˈkitrə] citrus
cenre /ˈken.rə/ [ˈkendrə] center
angre /ˈan.ɡrə/ [ˈaŋɡrə] angle
cucre /ˈku.krə/ [ˈkukrə] needle
fil /fil/ [fil] son; daughter

Foreign Names and Loans

Foreign names are usually spelled in Tirkunan-style phonetic spelling, even if the source language uses the Latin alphabet. This includes names of cites, countries, places, but also foreign names of people.

Some Latin consonant graphemes are not used by Tirkunan natively. Some of these are used in transscribing foreign names. There is an educated pronunciation that is closer to the transscribed language, and a common one that just uses the 'closest' Tirkunan phoneme.

Additional to the plain Latin letters, some letters with diacritics are used in educated transscriptions to more closely render the foreign pronunciation. This is by no means as close as it could get, but only a few sounds are rendered. The following tables gives a list of phonetic and typical educated spelling. It also shows how some sounds are not spelled distinctively. In common spelling, or when the word becomes more native, the diacritics are left out.

Furthermore, Tirkunan uses some digraphs to represent foreign phonemes in loans and names. In common spelling, or when the word becomes more native, the digraphs are simplified as shown, to represent the native, common Tirkunan pronunciation.

Phone Educated Spelling Common Pronunciation Common Spelling Comment
[h] h silent left out
[j] j /j/ j
[k] k /k/ c
[q] q /k/ c
[w] w /v/ v
[z] z /s/ s
[ɨ] y /i/ i
[yˌ ʏ] ï /i/ i
[øˌ œˌ ɵˌ ɘ] ë /eˌ ə/ e in stressed position /e/, unstressed /ə/
[əˌ ɜˌ ɞ] ä /aˌ ə/ a, e stressed position a, otherwise /ə/ spelled e
[ʌ] ä, ö /aˌ o/ a, o depends on best match of source language realisation
[ʃ] x /s/ s
[ʃ] š /s/ s
[t͡ʃ] tx /ts/ ts
[t͡ʃ] /ts/ ts
[ʒ] ž /s/ s
[d͡ʒ] /ts/ ts
[ʎ] lj /lj/ li
[ɲ] nj /nj/ ni
[c] cj /kj/ ci
[ɟ] gj /ɡj/ gi
[xˌ χ] ch /k/ c
[ɣˌ ʀ] gh /ɡ/ g
[θ] th /f/ f
[ð] dh /v/ v
[] th /t/ t
[] dh /d/ d
[ɤ] o /o/ o
[ɯ] u /u/ u
[ɨ] i /i/ i
[ʉ] u /u/ u
[æ] e /e/ e

The grapheme k is sometimes used like c if then transscribed language uses that grapheme. There is no difference in pronunciation. The grapheme x is used also in some recent loans into Tirkunan, but is usually quickly replaced by s as the word becomes native.

The spelling x for /ʃ/ is preferred if the source language uses it that way and in loans into Tirkunan, otherwise, š is used.

In some languages, e.g., with a three vowel system /a i u/, a [ɜ] may be /i/ and may be spelled ë instead of ä, e.g., in Greenlandic or Inuktitut, because it corresponds more closely with the phonology of the source language.


Stress in Tirkunan is clearly present, but it is mostly not phonemic. Similarly to Classical Latin, stress can be determined from the structure of the end of a word, and it also influences vowel quality.

Because Tirkunan spelling represents the phonemic word structure quite regularly, stress can be determined directly from spelling. Words are stressed

on the last syllable if the word ends in a consonant
on the last syllable if the word is phonemically monosyllabic
on the last syllable if an apostrophe is put after the word
on the penultimate syllable if the word ends in a vowel

The apostrophe rule looks like stress needs to be marked, so it would seem phonemic, but really what is marked is a dropped consonant in pronunciation. One could discuss whether this is a process of stress becoming phonemic. Also, foreign loans may have such irregular stress, which might be, again, indicating phonemic stress. But those are still exceptions.

For determining stress, each vowel is counted as a separate syllable, i.e., phonetic diphthongs like ia ie io iu ai au ou still count as two syllables and the word aoi is thress phonemic syllables.

A nasal prefixed to a consonant cluster is phonetically articulated as a syllabic nasal, but phonemically, it is not a separate syllable, i.e., mre [m̩bre] is a single phonemic syllable and not stressed on the nasal, but it is two phonetic syllables, with the nasal a separate phonetic syllable.

Exceptionally, if a final consonant is dropped by phonotactic phenomena, or because it is lexicalised that way, a stress on the word final vowel is indicated by an apostrophe. An apostrophe would also be used if the stress stays on the last syllable when adding a prefix, but in Tirkunan, stress may move backwards, so this does not happen.

Finally, because stress does influence vowel quality, if the phonemic structure of a word is shown in this document, stress is marked for convenience, as is the actual vowel quality.

Stress and Affixes

In Tirkunan, stress often moves towards the end of the word when suffixes are added, as stress is relative to the end of a morphological word.

If prefixes are added, stress may also move towards the beginning of the word, in case the word to which a prefix is added has only one syllable and ends in a vowel: multisyllabic words that end in a vowel are stressed on the penultimate. E.g. di + mre becomes dimri [ˈdimbrɪ].[5]

When a suffix is then added to such a prefixed word and the stress shifts back to the original syllable, the reduced vowel stays, i.e., derivation eliminates knowledge about original vowels, e.g. dimri [ˈdimbrɪ] + -(a)t becomes dimrit [dɪmˈbrit].[6]

Stress and Compounds

Compounding is not the most frequent way of word formation in Tirkunan, but it does happen. There are three typical kinds of compounding.

  1. Prefix modifier compounds, like mei-not 'midnight'. These are often from loans, like letr-iman 'electromagnet', where the word formation structure itself is a loan.
  2. Noun-noun compounds following the semi-learned original Latin way of compounding. This is much less productive, so most of these have lexicalised into a single word, e.g., culiflur 'cauliflower' or capil 'hair'.
  3. Phrasal compounds like aliol 'aioli' before it was lexicalised.

Compounds retain a secondary stress in all components. The last component has the main stress. Because stress is retained, there is no vowel reduction to a i u in compounding. To indicate this different type of word formation, compounds are written with a hyphen '-'.

Compounds may, over time, become single phonological words, e.g., aliol 'aioli'.

Note that V-N compounds, usually of verb+object for agent nouns, which are frequent in other Romance languages, are not used in Tirkunan. E.g., French casse-noisette 'nutcracker' is spastur nuc in Tirkunan, i.e., it is a normal lexicalised noun phrase, but not a compound.[7] Lexicalisation into single words also happens with noun phrases, which are no compounds and, therefore, not written with a hyphen, often with stems that are not used in isolation like culiflur < coli + flur. It is not unusual for the constituating fossilised stems to retain final vowels that have otherwise been dropped in isolated words, like the -i in coli.

Some examples

mpir /m.pir/ [m̩pir] to rule, to command
mpiri /mˈpi.ri/ [m̩ˈpirɪ] empire
mpirian /m.pi.ri.ˈan/ [m̩pɪˈrjan] imperial
mpiratur /m.pi.ra.ˈtur/ [m̩pɪrɐˈtur] emperor
raci /ˈra.ki/ [ˈrakɪ] some(one)
aoi /a.ˈo.i/ [ɐˈoj] today
ariva /a.ˈri.va/ [ɐˈrivɐ] to arrive
arivar /a.ri.ˈvar/ [ɐrɪˈvar] arrival
usrebe /us.ˈre.bə/ [ʊsˈtrebə] to observe
usribat /us.ri.ˈbat/ [ʊstrɪˈbat] observation
priscava /pris.ˈka.va/ [prɪsˈkavɐ] to pre-dig
scava /ˈska.va/ [ˈskavɐ] to excavate
scavar /ska.ˈvar/ [skɐˈvar] excavation
citat /ki.ˈtat/ [kɪˈtat] city
Iuan /i.u.ˈan/ [jʊˈan] John
Iacou /i.a.ˈko.u/ [jɐˈkow] Jakob
Iul /i.ˈul/ [jul] Julia
air /a.ˈir/ [ɐˈir] yesterday
aoi /a.ˈo.i/ [ɐˈoj] today
mre /mre/ [m̩bre] fill up
mret /mret/ [m̩bret] filled up
dimri /ˈdim.ri/ [ˈdimbrɪ] empty out
dimrit /dim.ˈrit/ [dɪmˈbrit] emptied out



In consonant clusters, the point of articulation is sometimes assimilated: n is [ŋ] before c g and [m] before b p. n m are both [ɱ] before v f. These shifts are partially shown in spelling when morphemes join: e.g. n + volu > mvolu, but this is not shown across word boundaries.


Phonetically, dialects may exhibit diphthongs, although phonemically, there are none. I.e., diphthongs do not influence determination of stress. The following table lists all possible diphthongs that a speaker may have, but dialects and ideolects may differ in what diphthongs are actually used. This text will show phonetic pronunciation with the maximum amount of diphthongs, just to show what is possible, but speakers may have much less, maybe none.

Basically all vowel sequences ending with u or i as well as those starting with i may be diphthongs. Vowels sequences starting with u are very unlikely, maybe only loan words have them, so these are not shown in this section.

As usual, e o cannot occur in unstressed position.
spelling phoneme
au /au/ [aw] [aw] [ɐw]
eu /eu/ [ew] [ew] -
iu /iu/ [iw] [iw] [ɪw]
ou /ou/ [ow] [ow] -
ai /ai/ [aj] [aj] [ɐj]
ei /ei/ [ej] [ej] -
oi /oi/ [oj] [oj] -
ui /ui/ [uj] [uj] [ʊj]
ia /ia/ [jaˑ] [ja] []
ie /ie/ [jeˑ] [je] -
io /io/ [joˑ] [jo] -
iu /iu/ [juˑ] [] []
Note that iu can be two different diphthongs, depending on stress. Unstressed, usually [] is preferred.

Falling diphthongs, ending in i, u, like au ou ai ui ..., are always considered long (if the dialect has them). This means that the main vowel is only reduced in quality in unstressed position, but not due to a closing consonant.

Rising diphthongs, starting with j, may be short or slightly long in speakers that have them, i.e., depending on the closedness of the syllable.

Diphthongs [], [uw] do not occur, because they collapse into i and u, respectively.

No falling diphthongs will be used if stress falls on the second vowel.

No raising diphthongs will be used if stress falls on the first vowel.

spelling syl. & stress pronunciation translation phenomenon
Caitan /ka.i.ˈtan/ [kajˈtan] Caietana a i are unstressed: falling diphthong
Mai /ˈma.i/ [maj] May a is stressed: falling diphthong
pais /pa.ˈis/ [pɐˈis] country i is stressed: no diphthong
cava /ˈka.va/ [ˈkavɐ] to dig a is stressed: falling diphthong
ariva /a.ˈri.va/ [ɐˈrivɐ] to arrive i is stressed: falling diphthong, i.e., not []
glurus /ɡlu.ˈrus/ [ɡlʊˈrus] glorious u is stressed: rising diphthong
Iul /i.ˈul/ [jul] Julia u is stressed: rising diphthong
biutur /bi.u.ˈtur/ [bjʊˈtur] drinking i u are unstressed: usually rising diphthong

Sequences of Same and Similar Phonemes

Sequences of same vowels collapse into a single vowel, even across word boundaries. I.e., There are no long vowels. This happens after stress and syllable openness is considered, i.e., there is no change in stress or vowel quality.

Similarly, sequences of same phonemic, but reduced and unreduced vowel collapse into the unreduced vowel, e.g. [] > [i]. Stress and vowel qualities do not change.

Sequences of same consonants collapse into a single consonant inside words (no geminates), but are kept and pronounced across word boundaries. Some pronological assimilation will occur, particularly gemination, e.g., two plosives merge such that only one release is audible, but making the merged consonant long. The same happens to most consonants, but the effect is less obvious as the result probably sounds just like pronouncing two of the same consonant. For nasals, if the second nasal is syllabic, it stays that way and the first nasal is pronounced separately as a coda of the previous syllable.

Sequences of two different plosives may merge similarly in that the first plosive loses its audible release. The sequence keeps its two consonant length. This is not universally done but only by some dialects/idolects, so it is not marked in this text.

Similary, nasal release or no audible release occurs with plosive plus homoorganic nasal sequences. For some dialects/ideolects, it may occur with non-homorganic nasals, particularly if the nasal's point of articulation is closer to the lung. Due to the diversity of realisaion, and since this level of detail may confuse readers, this is not marked in this document.

For lexicalised phrases that act as a single word, more assimilation may occur: double consonants and vowels may collapse into single ones, etc. This is not reflected in the phonetic descriptions in this text if the words are written separately, because such entries are usually written as one word.

spelling syl. & stress pronunciation translation phenomenon
posi iman /ˈpo.si i.ˈman/ [ˈposɪ ɪˈman] put a magnet vowel + vowel: syl. po is still open
posi butic /ˈpo.si bu.ˈtik/ [ˈposɪ bʊˈtik] put a bottle no vowel + vowel: syl. po is open
mos iman /mos i.ˈman/ [mo sɪˈman] bite a magnet
acit talian /a.ˈkit ta.li.ˈan/ [ɐˈkit̚ tɐˈljan] Italian vinegar
acit di Tali /a.ˈkit di ˈta.li/ [ɐˈkit̚ di ˈtalɪ] vinegar from Italy
al i ol /al i ol/ [a li ol] garlic and oil written separately here, but usually lexicalised as a single word
aliol /a.li.ˈol/ [ɐˈljol] aioli functions and is pronounced as one word
ap marel /ap ma.ˈrel/ [ap mɐˈrel] yellow water probably has nasal/no audible release of p (not shown)
ulre nic /ˈul.rə nik/ [ˈuldrə nik] small vulture probably has nasal/no audible release of t (not shown)

Consonants Cross Syllable Breaks

Consonants at ends of words before vowels in the next word are pronounced as if they belonged to the second word. This does not change the closedness of the last syllable of the first word, i.e., does not change the vowel quality of that syllable.

Similarly, if a word ending in a vowel is followed by a word that starts with a consonants cluster, the first consonant may be pronounced as if part of the previous syllable – for most consonants, this may be an insignificant pronunciation difference, but it may reduce the number of syllable when a syllabic nasal becomes non-syllabic by this.

spelling syl. & stress pronunciation translation phenomenon
posi iman /ˈpo.si i.ˈman/ [ˈposɪ ɪˈman] put a magnet s moved into syllable with following i
mos iman /mos i.ˈman/ [mo sɪˈman] bite a magnet s moved into syllable with following i
posi sal /ˈpo.si sal/ [ˈposɪ sal] put salt s is not a cluster, will not move back
posi sprag /ˈpo.si spraɡ/ [ˈposɪs praŋ] put esparagus s can move back out of cluster: not much difference in pronunciation
vis Mrac /vis mrak/ [vis m̩brak] towards Marcus m is syllabic
di Mrac /di mrak/ [dim brak] say Marcus m can move back and becomes non-syllabic
mpiri /mˈpi.ri/ [m̩ˈpirɪ] empire syllabic nasal
ni mpiri /ni mˈpi.ri/ [nim ˈpirɪ] in an/the empire nasal is non-syllabic

V and U Dualism

The consonant v and the vowel u are closely related, despite the clear fricative nature of the consonant. Whether historic sound shifts produced v or u depends on phonetic context, and derivational endings often fuse in special ways to stems in u. The rules are completely regular today.

For the purpose of describing this phenomenon, the symbol W is used to describe a vowel /u/ or consonant /v/ or /w/ (in Latin) or, in some phonological contexts, a consonant /b/.

Generally, a sequence of vowel plus W plus vowel cause a v to emerge. In other contexts, u emerges. This happened historically in sound shifts, but also still applies in derivation. E.g., avin < avēna 'oat' (history) and crou < corvus 'raven' (history), and ou + um = uvum 'somewhere' (derivation, with o > u due to stress shift).

However, if in such a sequence, the first vowel is u or o and the appended vowel is a, e, or i, then the v is dropped[8] . Again, this happens in derivation when endings are added, and it also happened in historic sound shifts. Hence proa < probat 'try' (history), uel < ovella 'sheep' (history) and crou + -iu = cruiu 'raven-black' (derivation).

These v rules apply at the same time as the usual drop of final a in derivation, e.g., prou + -i = proi 'rain' and scava + -i = scavi 'cave'.

In derivation, v will never change back to u or drop. E.g., there are cases when prefixes are prepended to stems that start in v, and these do not drop. E.g., cu + veni = cuveni.

In derivation, sequences vowel1+u plus vowel2 behave as follows, while the stress related e o shift to i u applies and sequences of identical vowels collapse into one. Generally, v emerges from u intervocalically, but if a vowel can be dropped instead, then u stays. Phonetic diphthongs may occur as a result.

If vowel2 is weak (e.g., (a)) and a consonant follows that can merge with u (generally a b or v), then u and vowel2 drop. mou + -(a)bre = mobre [mow a bre ˈmobrə] 'mobile'
Otherwise, if vowel2 is weak, then it drops. This is the standard rule for weak vowels, and collapse of same vowels due to stress shifts may consequently happen. mou + -(a)t = mut [mow at mut] 'moved'
greu + -(i)tat = griutat [ɡrew i tat ɡrjʊˈtat] 'gravity'
cau + -(a)r = caur [kaw ar kɐˈur] 'fall, drop'
beu + -(a)r = biur [bew ar bjur] 'drinking'
mou + -(a)t = mut [mow at mut] 'moved'
lei + -(a)t = lit [lej at lit] 'read' (corresponding case with -i)
Otherwise, if vowel1 is o and vowel2 is a, i, e, then the connecting u drops. This rule prevents -uva- -uvi- endings when more endings are added, mapping them to -ua- -ui-. crou + -iu = cruiu [krow iw krwiw] 'raven-black'
prou + -i = proi [prow i proj] 'rain'
Otherwise, u becomes v. beu + ac = bivac [bew ak bɪˈvak] 'drunkard, bibulous'
bou + -oi = buvoi [bow oj bʊˈvoj] 'large cow'

The following tables is a summary of the rules:

+ a i u ac el ic oi us (a)t (a)tur (i)tat (a)bre
au ava avi avu avac avel avic avoi avus aut autur autat abre
eu eva evi evu ivac ivel ivic ivoi ivus iut iutur iutat ebre
iu iva ivi ivu ivac ivel ivic ivoi ivus iut iutur iutat ibre
ou oa oi ovu uac uel uic uvoi uvus ut ur utat obre

The u v rules are back to an earlier state of the language after I got unsatisfied again with the new rules. Currently, the problem occurs mainly with the verbs mou 'to move' and prou 'to rain'. To reduce the problem, the latter could be changed to an a-theme like in Romanian or to i-theme like in French (we already were there, too). Anyway, rare problems still make the system ugly.

The intermediate rules introduced a -vu- from the second part of the diphthong like beu + -(a)t = bivut and mou + -(a)t = muvut, with the rationale that e.g., scriut 'written' would probably have a [j] glide (i.e., [skri.ˈjut] or [skrjut]) instead of [w] (i.e., [skri.ˈwut]) as indicated by the original verb stem [skriw]. OTOH, Tirkunan has no phonemic diphthongs, only phonetic ones, so why would I care? I don't know anymore.

I became unsatisfied, as -vu- was inconsistent with longer endings which did not do this: beu + -(a)tur = biutur (not bivutur) and mou + -(a)tur = mutur (not muvutur). Now, -(a)tur is not a composite ending anymore in Tirkunan (but it was in Latin), but outcomes of multiple endings were inconsistent: mou + -(a)t + -iu = muvut + iu = muvutiu (and not mutiu).

And then, while the intermediate rules were in place, the phonology of fast speech was reworked and more diphthongs were allowed that could also shift stress and thus blur the boundary of differences between /ˈa.u/ and /a.ˈu/. Originally, these stress differences were a major driver for the -vu- rules, with the v ensuring that no 'wrong' diphthong would emerge ([ju] instead of [iw]), but this reasoning then felt obsolete, too, by the gained freedom of pronunciation.

The intermediate rules for derivation were also more complicated, and simple is generally good.

Comparing to Romance natlangs, there is no clarity of what is more likely or natural: supines/participles in Latin use movere > motum and in French mouvoir > mû while Catalan has moure > mogut and Italian has muovere > mosso (OK, that's no help, but it also has piovere > piovuto). Romanian has be(re) > băut 'drunken'. It has ploua > plouat 'rained', i.e., moved the verb to a-conjugation (i.e., no help here). And it has replaced movere by reflexive mutare, which is interesting as old and new Tirkunan has mou + -(a)t = mut 'moved' equal to mut 'to change'. Is this a hint at a phonological collapse in Romanian, too? Anyway, whether we should have more syllables (with -vu-) or less does not seem to have a universal answer in Romance natlangs. It is a choice of preference.

The rules were, therefore, simplified back to the original ones without the -vu-, and we now have mou + -(a)t = mut 'moved' and mou + -(a)tur = mutur 'moving, mover' like Latin and French. We will see about prou + -(a)t = prut 'rained', which I kinda like and which would follow by analogy, but has no equivalent form in Romance: it's either a-theme (Romanian) or i-theme (Latin, French, Romansh, Iberian) or the extended stem (Italian, Catalan). But wait, there are Sardinian dialects that have pioere > piotu or proere > protu or cioere > ciotu!

New Epenthetic Schwa

Due to a near universal metathesis of r, which usually makes r and l move before a vowel, Tirkunan has relatively few consonant clusters that start with r or l. In such clusters, most speakers insert an extra short [ə̆] after r (and a few speakers also after l). This vowel does not change the stress, i.e., it does not increase the number of phonemic syllables, and some speakers also do not use it at all.[9]

Examples include many loan words, where this kind of cluster is more frequent, like Saturn [sɐˈturə̆n], but also in native words like purtat [pʊrə̆ˈtat].


Vowel Development

Vowel Shift Overview This figure shows an overview of what happened to the vowels from Classical Latin to Modern Tirkunan.

Vowel phones shown in the same colour are allophones of the same phoneme.

In detail, the following is shown. The Classical Latin vowel system had ten phonemic vowels, five long ones and five short ones, /iː i eː e aː a oː o uː u/ which were probably pronounced [iː ɪ eː ɛ aː a oː ɔ uː ʊ].

In Vulgar Latin, phonemic length was lost, but the quality of the vowels was retained, with three mergers: /aː a/ > /a/, /eː ɪ/ > /e/, and /oː ʊ/ > /o/. The result is a seven vowel system in Proto-Romance: /i e ɛ a u o ɔ/.

The vowels in Proto-Romance then came to be pronounced long and short again, depending on whether a syllable was open or closed: open syllables had long vowels, closed syllables short vowels. This is shown by the split of all vowels in the middle of the figure.

Tirkunan developed differently from this point than many other Romance languages. It collapsed the seven vowels with phonetic length into a five vowel system with phonetic length by four mergers: [e i] > [ɪ], [eː ɛː] > [], [o u] > [ʊ], and [oː ɔː] > [].

S25 Vowel Shift This figure shows the final vowel shift that reduced the four vowel heights of Proto-Romance to the three heights of Tirkunan.

The phones of modern Tirkunan are not lengthened much, so the modern phones can be given as [iˑ ɪ eˑ e aˑ a ɐ uˑ ʊ oˑ o]. In stressed syllables, the lengthening is slightly stronger.

Note that in this document, vowel length is usually not indicated for Tirkunan pronunciation, even in phonetic descriptions, since the differences are rather small.

Native Words in Schwa

Most endings have been lost compared to Latin. In some phonological contexts, a vowel that is usually dropped is reduced to a schwa instead, and this happens most frequently at the end of words. This schwa is written as e.

Some final a survives, and this section gives a brief overview when a thematic a is inherited or a older language schwa (which may have been any vowel before) is retained.

Secondly, in some loans, a final a is kept, e.g., in candela 'candela (SI unit)', burata 'burrata (cheese)', deca 'deca'.

More interesting examples are verbs with stem in v, where a final a may be inherited. Stem final v (from Latin v and also from d) surfaces as u in Tirkunan, and the derived partiple will turn that into -vut. This is different from other consonantal (non-glide) stems, were the participle ending is -(a)t. Depending on the thematic vowel of the Latin verb (a or something else), verb stems that ended in v will either end in a or in u in Tirkunan, so that the participle comes out similar to Latin or other Romance languages, i.e., so that a thematic a is preserved in the participle. E.g., salva 'to save, to heal' with the participle salvat 'saved, healed', in contrast to beu 'to drink' with the participle biut 'drunken'. Similarly lava 'to wash' and ariva 'to arive', but cau 'to fall' (with u < d) and mou 'to move'. For nouns, no such 'a protection' happened, e.g., compare selu < silva 'forest' for a very similar stem that is not a verb, and ended up in u.

A final e (i.e., a schwa) occurs when a stem final cluster of nasal + plosive refuses to simplify into the simple nasal, usually because the derivations of that stem are more prominent than the stem itself, so the plosive is remembered. This happens most often to verbs where an a was thematic. Further, this happens more often for a voiceless than a voiced plosive, e.g., tente 'to tempt' where there is tintar 'temptation' that may have prevented the loss of knowledge that the stem is in -nt. Similarly, there is cante 'to sing' and conte 'to count'. This preservation does not always happen, e.g., in fun 'to found' and the derived word funamen 'foundation' did not prevent the collapse, but instead got remodelled itself and has no d anymore. There is also the possibility that the thematic a is conserved, like it is usually the case with other thematic vowels, like in crea 'to create', and this most often found in more recent loans or re-learned verbs from Latin.

Morphology / Spluri Frum


The morphology has greatly simplified compared to Latin. Tirkunan is grammatically isolating with agglutinative derivation.

The verb is usually quite complex morphologically in Romance languages, but it is undeclinable in Tirkunan, except maybe for a past participle, which could also be counted as derivation.

All tenses, aspects, and moods are formed analytically with auxiliaries. The analytical forms that have completely replaced the old system, are still quite typical for Romance. There is only one irregular verb (e 'to be') with a few irregular verb forms, the rest of the verbal system is analytical and regular.

Tirkunan has dropped all grammatical gender distinctions.

There is no trace of Latin case. This is just like in many Romance languages. Tirkunan has thoroughly dropped case from pronouns, too.


The derivational system of Tirkunan is quite productive. Stems never change irregularly when affixes are added. When Latin allows several ways to form a word, often only one has survived and was generalised to be used in many more cases, e.g. endings -icus and -īvus have merged into -iu. Derivation happens by prefixing or suffixing.

As an example, from the verb am 'to love', we can derive amat 'loved', amatur 'lover', amar 'love'.

Nouns and adjectives are more weakly distinguished than in Latin, so most noun affixes work for adjectives, too, and vice versa.

Prefixes that modify verbs can also be used to denominalise nouns, e.g., ne- 'in-' that usually modifes a verb, will create a verb when attached to a noun or adjective. This is a very productive way of denominalisation.


For most words, Old Tirkunan drops a final vowel if the preceding consonant was -l, -r, -n, -s, -t, -c or -p (voiceless plosives or alveolar sonorants or sibilants), and if there was no final cluster except -(n,m,r,l,s)(p,t,c), and -rn. Final vowels that are not dropped collapse into -a (earlier [ə]). Nouns ending in rising diphthongs behaved similarly, dropping the main vowel, leaving the plain glide. This [j] or [w] glide becomes syllabic again and shows up as a final -i or -u in the corresponding words, e.g. glur < glōria, mpiri < impērium, crou < corvum.


Latin affixes were strongly simplified in Tirkunan, and often, multiple affixes were merged into a single one. Further, the weakening of the distinction between nouns and adjectives has lead to even more affixes to drop and merge. A consequence of this is that many derivations were remodelled to fit the new system of affixes.

One striking difference with many other Romance languages is that the otherwise very frequent -ātiō, -ātiōnem ending of Latin has not survived in Tirkunan except for opaque borrowings, because it merged with -ātus, -a, -um and by this, it acquired a strictly passive meaning, and was then substituted when used in other senses, often by decendents of -amentum or an original infinitive ending (e.g., -āre).

Another difference is that in Latin, many endings were used in a somewhat unpredictable way, something that many modern Romance language have copied or remodelled similarly unpredictably. E.g., endings to form adjectives were -icus, -īvus, -ilis, -ānus etc., and for nouns -tās, -iō, -ium, -tūdō, -men, -tia, -tiēs, -ūra etc., without clear semantic difference.[10] In Tirkunan, the surviving endings were often specialized into more specific semantic derivations.

The following are the major productive derivational affixes.

-(a)t Originally the supine ending. Used for deriving passive adjectives and nouns denoting the object of a transitive verb. For verbs that convey some kind of giving or transfer, it is also used to denote what was given/transfered, e.g., it is the formative for 'help', 'influence', 'attention', etc. Comparable to -ed, -ee, -ance, -ence, -tion. gel to freeze
gilat = gel + -(a)t frozen
gilat = gel + -(a)t ice cream
mfluit = mflui + -(a)t influence
-(a)r Yields a noun of the process or act of what the verb expresses. Compared to other Romance languages, this is not used for the result of that process or act. The meaning can both focus on the active and, less frequently, on the passive meaning, and the agent or patient can then be specified with a possessive construction (as in 'my eating' and 'eating of an apple'). Originally in Latin, this was often -atiō, -atiōnem, but this collapsed into -at and, therefore, cannot be used in an active sense. Comparable to -ing. apri to open
aprir = apri + -(a)r opening, ouverture
cilebre to celebrate
cilibrar = cilebre + -(a)r celebration
mou to move
mur = mou + -(a)r motion, movement
-(a)tur Originally the noun formation of the agent, -atōr, -atōrem in Latin, this still yields the agent noun, but also yields the adjective expressing what the active participle expresses, i.e., this merged with Latin -ns, -ntem particple endings. This can also sometimes replace the Latin -ivus ending attached to the perfect participle (e.g., in attractivus). Comparable to -er, -or, -ing, -tive. atrai to attract
atraitur = atrai + -(a)tur attractive, attraction
mori to die
muritur = mori + -(a)tur mortal
-(a)tiu = -(a)t + -iu Equivalent to Latin -īvus attached to the perfect participle, this yields a noun or adjective expressing that something/someone has a tendency to act or do as the verb expresses, or act or do similarly or strongly. Comparable to -tive. cudu to lead, to conduct
cudut = cudu + -(a)t conducted, conduit
cudutiu = cudu + -(a)t + -iu conductive
-(a)men Yields the instrument, tool, result, or manifestation of what the verb expresses. Equivalent to Latin -mentum. Comparable to -ment but often expressed also by using just -tion, -ing, while it is distinguished in Tirkunan. pac to pay
pacamen = pac + -(a)men payment
vesti to dress
vistimen = vesti + -(a)men garnment
distim to distinguish
distimamen = distim + -(a)men distinction, honour
-i Yields the underlying concept or abstraction of what the verb expresses. Equivalent to Latin -ium, -ia, -ūra. cau to fall
cavi = cau + -i case
flar to smell
flari = flar + -i smell
-(a)bre Expresses that an act or process is possible. This is the derived Latin ending -abilis, -abilem, and comparable to -able, -ible. distim to distinguish
distimabre = distim + -(a)bre distinguishable
-(a)tai = -(a)t + -ai Yields the (typical) places or institution. This is derived from -tōrium and crossed with -ārium, and it probably lost the r due to dialectal pronunciation. lava to wash
lavatai = lava + -(a)tai washing room, lavatory
-ac Forms an adjective or the property of doing something a lot or intensively or liking it. This adjective can, as usual, also be used for someone/something who has that property. Originally from -āx, -ācem. beu to drink
bivac = beu + -ac bibulous, drunkard

Noun/Adjective Derivation

The following derivational endings convert between adjectives and nouns. The boundary between the syntactic categories is weak, but of course, semantically, there are differences between properties, states, concepts, actors, etc., that need to be expressible.

- Without any ending, nouns can be used as adjectives in the sense of 'pertaining to'. In the same way, adjectives can be used as nouns, either for the abstract concept or persons with that property. For adjectives that are properties of people, the adjective used as a noun signifies a person with that property. Otherwise, the adjectives signifies the abstract concept of that property. An affix can be used to disambiguate. robi red
robi redness
rubie = robi + -i redness
rubit = robi + -(a)t s.t. red, reddened
rubiumre = robi + umre red stuff
pobre poor
pobre poor person
pobri poverty
pubrar poor person
pubrel pauper
-(a)t Expresses 'having a_' or 'equipped with _'. Comparable to -ed. al wing
alat = al + -(a)t winged
-i Makes a generic concept. If the underlying adjective is already quite abstract, i.e., not a person or an action or a participle or process (e.g., a participle), then there is no need for appending anything: the adjective can be used as is for the concept. This ending is often used on -itur derivations (which are actors, so they need an ending for forming a concept.) muritur mortal
murituri = muritur + -i mortality
breu short
brevi = breu + i (concept) shortness
The measure or unit of an underlying property.
It is occasionally used also for signifying the underlying concept, although -i or the plain adjective may be more appropriate, and very occasionally for manifestations, although -ac / -(u)mre would be more appropriate. This is done particularly when the difference may be hard to distinguish, or for loans, or for inherited words that had this derivational structure already.
Unless for measures/units, i.e., as a generic concept formation, -i is preferred, and particularly for words in -(a)bre, -(a)tur. Similar to -ity, -ness.
long long
longitat = long + -(i)tat length
mei (number) half
mitat = mei + -(i)tat (amount) half, middle
litriu electric
litriutat = litriu + -(i)tat electricity
-ani Forms broader, generic places or countries. It is also often part of country names without having been attached. mon mountain
munani = mon + -ani mountain range
-an Forms people or languages or habits from properties. This is basically -ani without the -i, and consequently, from places in -ani, people can be formed by dropping that -i. iou young
iuvan = iou + -an youngster
Limani Germany
Liman = Limani - -i German
munani mountain range
munan = munani - -i mountain dwellers
mon mountain
munan = mon + -an mountain dwellers
-ac Makes manifestations, things that typically have the underlying property. This ending is usually used for single items or events while -umre is used for groups or more generic manifestations. From Latin -āticum; -āgō, -āginem. Corresponds to -age. cau hollow
cavac = cau + -ac cavity
-el Diminutive: forms smaller things. From Latin -ellus. bou cow
buel = bou + -el small cow
-oi Augmentative: forms larger things. From Late Latin *-ōnius. bou cow
buvoi = bou + -oi large cow
ni- Forms the negation or opposite of nouns and adjectives. muritur mortal
nimuritur = ni- + muritur immortal
ap + -us water + full_of
apus aquous
niapus = ni- + apus anhydrous


The following endings form verbs from adjectives or nouns. This derivation is most often done via prefixes that are related to prepositions, and have a similar meaning of indicating that something is processed in the sense of that prepostion.

-ic This expresses that somethis is made or converted. This is inherited from Latin -icāre, -ificāre. In some cases, a prefix is added at the same time. Comparable to -ify. clar clear
claric clarify
mal bad
amalic = a- + mal + -ic to make worse
a-, au-, cu-, d(i)-, ne-, pi-, pru-, r(i)-, se-, si-, sra-, su-, tra-, u- Expresses that a process or act works in the sense of the corresponding preposition with respect to the prefixed noun or adjective. All of these prefixes can also be added to verbs to specialise the meaning in the sense of the corresponding preposition. Most of the prefixes are comparable to the ones borrowed from Latin into English. lat milk
alat = a- + lat to breastfeed

Derivation Examples

noun > adj. -an Tali Italy > talian Italian
adj. > emphatic -is gran large > granis huge
any > -ism -isme iman magnet > imanisme magnetism
adj. > unit/measure -(i)tat greu heavy > griutat gravity
verb > agent -(a)tur am to love > amatur lover
verb > patient -(a)t posi to put > pusit put
verb > ability -abre lava be able > lavabre washable

Initial a of verb endings drops after -u and -i, e.g. solu+-at > sulut, oi+-at > uit, so the resulting participles often look similar to the Latin ones, keeping the thematic vowel.

Some endings are often used in city, country, mountain, river, etc. names:

noun > noun -is often found in cities Tracunis Tarragona

Note that final -e (schwa) and -a are dropped when adding a vocalic ending, but final -i or -u are not. Two identical vowels are collapsed into one. Some endings drop the initial vowel after -i and -u.

mirac + -us > miracus miraculous
isre + -an > isran insular
mpiri + -an > mpirian imperial
am + -at > amat loved
oi + -at > uit heard; listened
solu + -at > sulut solved
solu + -amen > sulumen solution
solu + -atur > sulutur solver, solvent
selu + -ac > silvac wild, savage

Fusion and Elision

Tirkunan exhibits most prominently dropping of vowels or consonants when two morphemes are jointed in derivation or between words next to each other in a sentence. Some small and frequent words have alternative forms, depending on the preceding or following word. The following list shows the main rules, roughly from most widespread rule to most restricted/special.

Final unstressed e /ə/ is always a weak vowel and drops in the presense of another vowel, even across word boundaries.

Final unstressed a (in multi-syllable words) is also a weak vowel that drops if suffixes starting with a vowel are appended, but it does not drop at the end of a word if the next word starts with a vowel.

In suffixes, any initial vowel may drop. Which one drops and which one does not is marked in the lexicon.

A final u in words ending in a two-vowel sequence ai, ei, iu, ou or in V(l,r)u, regularly becomes v when another vowel (except u) follows, e.g., when a derivational ending is suffixed that does not readily drop its initial vowel. The rules for this u are bit involved and listed separately below.

Adjacent same vowels merge into a single vowel. This is shown in spelling only inside words, but spoken language also exhibits this across words. Note that ee may represent /ˈeə/ if the first of these e happens to be stressed, and in this case, this will not merge into a single vowel.

The following is an overview of the most important rules of elision:

Final /ə/ is dropped before vowels all words and affixes litre + ap > litr' ap 'liter of water'
Final /a/ is dropped before vowels within words leva + -it > livit 'to float'
Final /u/ becomes /v/ between vowels many words ou + -um > uvum 'somewhere'
Final /u/ becomes /v/ after vowel+(l,r) many words selu + -ac > silvac 'savage'
Final /u/ stays /u/ in other endings many words nascu + -i > nascui 'birth'
Initial /əˌ a/ is dropped after vowel all suffixes solu + -amen > sulumen 'solution'
Vowel is dropped after/before same vowel all affixes flui + -iu > fluiu 'liquid'

The general 'final /əˌ a/ drops' rule is not shown in the lexicon, because it is universal. Still, as usual, there are exceptions to the rules even if the above table claims they apply to 'all' words. E.g. loan words ending in 'a' may not drop that 'a'. Such exceptions are clarified in the lexicon.

Many small words, particularly those that are often unstressed in a sentence, as well as affixes have additional rules of dropping vowels and consonants. These are not universally applied, but the lexicon lists this with each word and affix. The patterns repeat, i.e., this is not completely arbitrary, but follow the general rules of which consonant clusters and vowel sequences are acceptable – typical those that occur already in stems. Typical phenomena are shown in the following table:

Final vowel is dropped before vowels small words and affixes di + umre > d'umre 'of the shadow'
Initial phoneme is dropped special circumstances individual affixes greu + -itat > griutat 'gravity'

Between prepositions that end in a vowel and article li, there is a special rule for elision: the article drops its final vowel: di + un = d'un, di + li = di'l, cu + li = cu'l.

Apostrophe and Stress

The apostrophe is used to indicate vowels and consonants that have been dropped due to elision and sandhi, and also to indicate the case of a word whose last syllable is stressed if it ends in a vowel. No apostrophe is used in compounds, i.e., before -.

For multisyllabic words, this apostrophe at the end also indicates that stress is still on the last syllable if a consonant is dropped. There are currently no words where this happens; in older Tirkunan texts, this may be encountered.

In special cases for the words is and li, an apostrophe is placed before the word if it is shortened. In this case, there is no white space between the apostrophe and the previous word, and this apostrophe does not indicate a stress shift in the previous word, although the apostrophe is at the end of that word, i.e., an apostrophe with no space on both sides belongs to the next word.

A dropped vowel is indicated on the side that causes the drop (i.e., not the side that drops the phoneme): ni'l ring 'in the kingdom', although the i drops on the right side of li. If both sides could trigger the drop, then the right side carries the apostrophe, because the only way this can happen is if the first word is be a preposition: ni'l ap 'in the water' instead of *ni l'ap.

Theoretically, when prefixing a syllable to a mono-syllabic word that ends in a vowel, to indicate that stress stays on the last syllable, an apostrophe could be written at the end of the resulting word: an imagined *di + xe would become *dixe'. This apostrophe would then be removed if a suffix was added: *dixe' + (a)t would become *dixet. The lexicon can mark such stems with the 'stressed' feature, but there are no such stems in the current lexicon, i.e., what actually happens is that stress moves backwards in such situations in Tirkunan (like already in Classical Latin), so no apostrophe is needed, e.g., di + mre becomes dimri [ˈdimbrɪ].

The drop of a single vowel after a consonant at the end of a stem does not change stress. However, if a ends in two vowels and is at least trisyllabic, dropping the final vowel might, a similar situation could theoretically occur that would require a stress marker at the end, e.g., in an imagined *axia + axa, the result could theoretically be axi' axa. However, Tirkunan does not have stems that behave like that – the stress would shift backwards in this case, and no apostrophe would be needed. Also, there is no word in the current Tirkunan lexicon that drops a final vowel if the word ends in two vowels.

White space around an apostrophe is handled as follows. Firstly, no additional whitespace is used when adding an apostrophe. If only a single letter remains in the word that dropped a letter, whitespace is removed between an apostrophe on the right side and the following word: l'ap instead of *l' ap. No whitespace is used either between an apostrophe on the left side and a previous monosyllabic word: di'l instead of di 'l. Otherwise, normal whitespace is used.

The following table shows many elision phenomena for prepositions, articles, and verbs, as well as usage of the apostrophe:

ni ring [ni riŋ] in a/the kingdom
n'un ring [nun driŋ] in a kingdom
ni'l ring [nil driŋ] in the kingdom
ni gradin [ni ɡrɐˈdin] in a/the garden
n'un gradin [nuŋ ɡrɐˈdin] in a garden
ni'l gradin [nil ɡrɐˈdin] in the garden
can ni mpiri [kan nim ˈpirɪ] a/the dog in a/the empire
ni mpiri [nim ˈpirɪ] in a/the empire
anre ni mpiri [ˈandrə nim ˈpirɪ] walk in a/the empire
n'un mpiri [num m̩ˈpirɪ] in an empire
ni'l mpiri [nil m̩ˈpirɪ] in the empire
ni umre [ni ˈumbrə] in a/the shadow
anre ni umre [ˈandrə ni ˈumbrə] walk in a/the shadow
n'un umre [nu ˈnumbrə] in a shadow
ni'l umre [ni ˈlumbrə] in the shadow
cu ring [ku riŋ] with a/the kingdom
cu gradin [ku ɡrɐˈdin] with a/the garden
c'un gradin [kuŋ ɡrɐˈdin] with a garden
cu'l gradin [kul ɡrɐˈdin] with the garden
cu mpiri [kum ˈpirɪ] with a/the empire
c'un mpiri [kum m̩ˈpirɪ] with an empire
cu'l mpiri [kul m̩ˈpirɪ] with the empire
letr-imanisme [let rɪmɐˈnismə] electromagnetism
ou's ti e? [ows ti e] where are you?

Word Classes / Genri Parol

Introduction and Stress

Tirkunan word classes are much less clear cut than Latin word classes, because the endings were reduced so much. Adjectives could already be used as nouns in Latin and in Tirkunan, the difference has been reduced much more to the point that many noun-adjective conversion endings have not survived in Tirkunan.

Furthermore, adjectives can function as adverbs in Tirkunan, without any change (or ending). This means that also noun phrases can function as adverbials if semantics permit it, similar to phrases like 'one day'.

Adverbs that have some kind of point of reference often allow to be used as prepositions, to set that point of reference, e.g., apui 'afterwards' can be used as a preposition meaning 'after'. A few prepositions can also be used as conjunctions, e.g., ca 'than', minre 'during, while', or car 'because of, because'. More often, a preposition can be made a conjunction by adding ci, like apui ci 'after'.

Single word prepositions, articles, and conjunctions are always unstressed. If they derive from another word class that is stressed, the form may change, e.g., the adjective prons 'next' may be used as a preposition pruns 'next to'. This stress change is a very common pattern which is shown in spelling in Tirkunan.

Pronouns / Prunumre

sg. pl.
1.   mi nui
2. informal ti
formal vui
representative tro
3. personal le lur
impersonal se
reflexive se
reciprocal prapal
relative ce

There are many more relative, interrogative, and indefinite pronouns, listed in the lexicon, and also in the list of correlatives.

Morphological case and mostly also number have disappeared, also for pronouns. The pronouns are not distinguished by case, i.e., subject and object pronouns, as well as oblique pronouns and possessive pronouns are the same, and none of the pronouns usually reduces, i.e., no vowel or consonant may drop.[11]

Note how articles li, lur can be interpreted as unstressed versions of the third person pronouns le, lur.

Number has disappeared in the second person pronouns, which reinterprets plural vs. singular to indicate formal vs. informal addressing, based on the usage of the plural form for formal address in earlier stages of the language. The third person pronoun retains a number distinction just like the definite article. With the gender distinction lost, Tirkunan often uses noun phrases or demonstrative plus noun instead of a pronoun.

A pronominal relative pronoun is either equal to an attributive relative pronoun, or can be marked by prefixing a definite article, also for a possessive relative pronoun:

Mi au ce ti ro. [mi aw ke ti ro] I have what you want.
Mi au li ce ti ro. [mi aw li ke ti ro] I have what you want.

Reflexive se and reciprocal prapal cannot be in subject position. The impersonal pronoun se if no specific entity is expressed. This pronoun is exclusively used as a subject, complementing the reflexive pronoun.

Anratur mou se. [ɐndrɐˈtur mow se] The pedestrian moves.
Anratur vei se. [ɐndrɐˈtur vej se] The pedestrian sees him-/herself.
Anratur vei fil se. [ɐndrɐˈtur vej fil se] The pedestrian sees his/her child.
Se nar tircunan. [se nar tɪrə̆kʊˈnan] One speaks/you speak Tirkunan / Tirkunan is spoken.
Amatur bas prapal. [ɐmɐˈtur bas prɐˈpal] The lovers kiss (each other).

Pronouns are not mandatory in Tirkunan, in particular subject pronouns, but also object pronouns. This can lead to ambiguities that have to be resolved by context, because the verb does not carry any information about person.

Note that how le behaves differently after a vowel than the article: e.g. di + le (pronoun) is di le while di + li (article) is di'l.

The pronoun tro is used in conversations, often formal, to refer to the organisation, company, or group the interlocutor is part of, often in order to avoid direct addressing of the interlocutor. It derives from tua horda 'your gang'. Since tro is 2nd person, for its reflexive, also tro is used, not se.

The 3rd person pronoun se is strictly reflexive (refering to the subject of the same clause). This pronoun is only used to refer to a 3rd person, i.e., reflexive 1st and 2nd persons are referred to using 1st and 2nd person pronouns, resp. The reflexive pronoun is also used as a possessive.

Mi lava mi. I wash myself.
Le lava se. He/she washes himself/herself.
Le lava le. He/she washes him/her (someone else).
Mi va ni gradin mi. I (am) walk(ing) in my garden.
Vui va ni gradin vui. You (are) walk(ing) in your garden.
Tro va ni gradin tro. Your guy (is) walk(ing) into his garden.
Le va ni gradin se. He/She (is) walk(ing) in his/her (own) garden.
Le va ni gradin le. He/She (is) walk(ing) in his/her (someone else's) garden.
Se va ni gradin se. One (is) walk(ing) in one's (own) garden.
Se va ni gradin le. One (is) walk(ing) in his/her (someone else's) garden.

Possessives / Pusiviu

Possessives follow the noun and are formed with d(i) + noun/pronoun:

pren di gen parent of a/the person
pren di'l gen parent of the person
pren di le his parent

Pronouns follows the same pattern.[12] Also note that di may drop, particularly for lexicalised phrases and also for pronouns, so shorter possessives exist:

pren di mi my parent
pren mi my parent
pren nui our parent
pren ti your parent
pren tro your people's parent
pren se his/her (refl.) parent
pren le his/her (non-refl.) parent

Dependent possessive pronouns are either equal to the plain pronoun or are composed of the preposition di plus the plain pronoun. For the relative and interrogative possessive pronoun, the di is not optional.

lebre mi my book
lebre di mi my book
Mi au lebre di ce culur e robi. I have a book whose colour/the colour of which is red.
Di ce is culur e robi? Whose colour is red?

The independent possessive pronouns are composed of a definite article plus a pronoun, with an optional di preposition in between.

li mi mine (singular)
li di mi mine (singular)
lur mi mine (plural)
li vui yours (singular)
lur vui yours (plural)

Again, a pronominal possessive relative pronoun is either equal to an attributive relative pronoun, or can be marked by prefixing a definite article:

Mi au di ce culur e robi. I have (something) whose colour is red.
Mi au li di ce culur e robi. I have (something) whose colour is red.

Preferably, possessive pronouns follow a complex noun phrase they modify if it is sufficiently lexicalised. I.e., if a phrase is lexicalised 'enough', then inserting into the phrase is less likely. E.g. spastur nuc 'nutcracker' and spastur nuc mi 'my nutcracker'. Strictly speaking, this phrase is ambiguous and could be understood as 'the cracker of my nuts', but because it is sufficiently lexicalised, the ambiguity is resolvable. On the other hand, spastur mi nuc or even spastur mi di nuc are not wrong, just not preferred.[13] Similarly, possessives generally follow adjectives: spastur nuc vrir mi 'my green nutcracker'.

Determiners / Ditrimatiu

li, l', 'l < ille, illa article the (singular) reduces to l' before vowels and, otherwise, to 'l after vowels
lur < illōrum article the (plural)
un < una, unu(m) article a, an coincides with number 1
cil < eccu(m) ille determiner, pronoun this; that; this one; that one
tut < tōtu(m)? determiner, pronoun every, all
casci < *cata/quisque + quid determiner, pronoun each, each one, everyone
raci < aliqu(em) + quid determiner, pronoun some(one), some(thing), any(one), any(thing) (singular)
nici < nē + quid determiner, pronoun no-one, none, nobody, nothing, no
racan < aliquant- determiner, pronoun, adverb some (amount or plural), somewhat
nimre < nēminem pronoun no-one, none, nobody, nothing (more formal, more old-style)
nin < nē gentem determiner, pronoun no-one, none, nobody, nothing (more emphatic)

As can be seen, the difference many other Romance languages draw between 'person' and 'thing' has been lost in all the pronouns and determiners, e.g. nin and nimre and nici can all mean 'nothing' as well as 'nobody'.

Number is indicated on the article. There are the following articles:

li [li] 'the': singular definite
lur [lur] 'the': plural definite
un [un] 'a/an': singular indefinite, also numeral 'one'

The articles are optional and are used only rarely, in constrast to many other Romance languages.

Note that there is no plural indefinite article. 'Some' can be expressed using racan.

In some situations, Tirkunan does use the definite articles, e.g.: in pronoun-like phrases from numbers: lur dui 'the two'.

un bal [um bal] a dance
un cafi [uŋ ˈkafɪ] a cafe; a coffee
un fau [uɱ faw] a faba bean
un mpiri [um m̩ˈpirɪ] an empire
un ans [u nans] a donkey

Nouns / Sustantiu

Nouns have only one form and are not inflected.

Since number is marked only on pronouns and articles, noun phrases are often also underspecified for number: gen filic 'a/the/some happy man/men/woman/women/person/people. The previous example also shows that the loss of the thematic gender vowel from Latin is continued in the lexicon, which often has gender-neutral nouns where English would be more specific, e.g. the very frequent gen 'man/woman/person' and many kin terms like tiul 'aunt/uncle' and fil 'son/daughter'.


The declension system of Latin was dropped quickly in Tirkunan. More quickly than in other Romance languages. The accusative singular form, pronounced without -m in Vulgar Latin, was the only form that was left over. Most vowels in endings collapsed to only a /ə/ very quickly. In some cases, the thematic vowel of the declension was mistaken to be part of the stem, so some traces of the old -u- declension are still visible today.


To model the history of nouns, I use the following simulation. It takes care of the collapse of declension classes and deterioration of endings.

Nouns are based on the accusative singular form, but a general /-əm/ ending is assumed instead of the original ending, because declensions are assumed to having vanished greatly in late Vulgar Latin and so 1st (-a-), 2nd (-o-), 3rd (mixed), and 5th (-e) declensions are basically treated the same.

However, as some (very few) -i- declension nouns and some -u- (4th) declension nouns retained the -i-/-u- in the form of a final stem glide., assumed /jəm/ and /wəm/ endings are used. (In the alternate timeline, Þrjótrunn also retained the 4th declension for some words, so the Vulgar Latin there may be a little different from ours.)

Adjectives are derived in the same way, starting with the f.acc.sg. form (there should be no difference when starting with other genders' acc.sg. form).

Note that since the GMP is made for shifting words that resemble the Classical Latin written form to make life easier (it is the look of those classical forms the author is more familiar with), input is reconstructed to a classical form, and thus we use the /m/ ending although it is dropped by the GMP and does not cause any change the result. This is just a technical cheat for making it look like an accusative – this conlang is based on Vulgar Latin nevertheless. The GMP handles Vulgar forms, too.

Input for GMP
Tirkunan Pronunciation
porta 1st (-a-) port-a-m *port-əm prot [prot]
corvus 2nd (-o-) corv-u-m *corv-əm crou [krow]
imperium 2nd (-o-) imperi-u-m *imperi-əm mpiri [m̩ˈpirɪ]
bonus,-a,-um 1st, 2nd (-a-, -o-) bon-a-m *bon-əm bon [bon]
nox 3rd (consonantal) noct--em *noct-əm not [not]
turris 3rd (-i-) turr-i-m *turr-jəm tur [tur]
fēlīx 3rd (consonantal) fēlīc-e-m *fēlīc-əm filic [fɪˈlik]
portus 4th (-u-) port-u-m *port-wəm protu [ˈprotʊ]
dīēs 5th (-e-) dī-e-m *di-əm di [di]

There are some exceptions from this construction rule, especially for very short words, e.g. deu < dēus.

Adjectives / Aiatiu

Attributive adjectives always follow the noun they modify.

The comparative is formed with pru 'more'. The superlative is formed by using mans 'most'. For smaller comparison, min 'less' is used, which has the superlative mimre. The ending -is < -issimus is used for an absolute superlative of adjectives, and this can also be used on mrut and poc.

These words to modify adjectives can also used to modify sentences (to specify a frequency or excessiveness), nouns, and adverbs, and can be used in isolation, i.e., they are adverbs and indefinite pronouns.

much little
positive mrut [m̩brut] much, many, very poc [pok] little, few
absolutive mrutis [m̩brʊˈtis] very much, very many, very very pucis [pʊˈkis] very little, very few
comperative pru [pru] more min [min] less, fewer
superlative mans [mans] most mimre [ˈmimbrə] least, fewest
excessive trop [trop] too much, too many prau [praw] too little, too few
superexcessive trupis [trʊˈpis] far too much, way too many pravis [prɐˈvis] far too little, way too few

Some examples:

citat gran a/the large town
citat pru gran a/the larger town
citat mans gran the largest town
citat min gran a/the less large town
citat mimre gran the least large town
citat granis very large town
citat mrut gran very large town
citat trop gran a/the town that is too large
citat poc gran a/the town that is a bit large
pru bon better
mans bon best
pru mal worse
mans mal worst

Also note the usage of gran 'big/famous one' and santus 'saint': they are adjectives and follow the noun, unlike other Romance languages.

Cral Gran Charlemagne
Cicil Santus Saint Cecily

There are no synthetic comparatives or superlatives in Tirkunan, not even of the very common irregular comparatives 'best' and worst' like in other Romance languages.[14]

Distinction of Adjective vs. Noun

In Tirkunan, the distinction between adjectives and nouns is weak. E.g., the ending -atur is often used to form adjectives while -tor was used exclusively for noun formation from verbs in Latin and adjectives used participle endings, e.g., muritur 'mortal (both adj. and noun)'.[15]

The boundary is further blurred by Tirkunan's tendency to drop the connective di preposition between a noun and a modifying noun phrase, e.g., sup cou bou vs. sup di cou di bou 'oxtail soup'.

There still is a formative ending -an to derive adjectives from nouns, derived from and similar to -ānus and -ālis, but this ending does not just convert nouns to adjectives, but is used to indicate inhabitants or languages of places, like talian 'italian' derived from Tali 'Italy' plus -an.

Similarly, the ending -iu < -īvus (and merged with other endings like -icus) implies a similarity or inclination.

Examples where adjective formation endings are not used in Tirkunan while they are used in most other Romance languages are crou mar 'Kormorant' and trou loc 'Local Group'.

So when the lexicon lists a noun or an adjective, using that word as the respective other word class is likely also possible.

Adverbs / Avreu

Adverbial that are single words are called 'adverbs'. Adverbials are placed before the word or sentence they modify, or can also follow the verb.

In elliptic sentences without verb, when the adverb logically modifies the whole phase, they usually follow the subject and precede the object: mi ncui 'me, too', mi ncui ti '?I also you.'

Adjectives can be used as adverbs without modification.[16]

com < quōmodo 'how'
cai < eccum adeō 'so, in this way'
tan < tanquam 'so, so much'
crai < crās 'tomorrow'
aoi < ad hōdie 'today'
air < ab herī 'yesterday'
amou < *ad modo 'now'
atung < *ad tunce 'then'[17]
pi ur < per hōra 'for now'
ja < iam 'already'
ncui < hanc hōdie 'also'
ncur < hanc hōra 'still, again'
mrut < multum 'very, very much, very many'
putubre 'possibly, maybe, perhaps'
pruabre 'probably, likely'
sicur 'surely, very likely'

Conjunctions / Cuiumbitur

Conjunctions are generally unstressed, so all the vowels collapse to unstressed a, i, u. Conjunctions that are derived from other words (e.g., from relative pronouns or adverbs) also lose stress and, therefore, may have different vowels.

Conjunction Translation Derives From Translation
i and < et and
a but < ac but
u or < aut or
sinu but rather < *sī nōnotherwise
nip either, neither < *nēque neither, nor, and not
si if < *sī if
i ncur and yet
a ncui but also
i...i... both...and
u...u... either...or
nu sul...a ncui... not only...but also, both...and
nip...nip... neither...nor
ci that pron. ce who, what, that
car because adv. car why, therefore
cum how adv. com how
can as much as adv. can how much
cur when adv. cur when
u where adv. ou where
minre while adv. minre meanwhile
ca than prep. ca than

Conjunction vs. Adverb or Pronoun

Conjunctions often have an equivalent relative adverb or pronoun, and the only difference is that the conjunction is unstressed, which causes a collapse into the a i u vowel system, so some conjunctions (those with vowels e, o) have a different form than the corresponding adverb or pronoun.

Sentences may be non-ambiguous due to the different stressed vs. unstressed form, and some additional patterns may exist for further disambiguation. E.g., the relative pronoun ce can be preceded by an article li or lur (or maybe these can be thought of as a cataphoric pronoun, which is unstressed).[18] Similar to the relative pronoun construction, the conjunction can sometimes be stressed by using a (cataphoric) demonstrative adverb before it: la u, cai com, etc., and this can either be the matching demonstrative, or simply la (the sequence eu u is generally not used).[19] Also note that u is two conjunctions, meaning both 'or' and 'where'.[20]

conj. ci that Mi scriu ci ti lei. [mis kriw ki ti lej] I write that you read.
pron.rel. ce what/who Mi scriu ce ti lei. [mis kriw ke ti lej] I write what you read.
Mi scriu li ce ti lei. [mis kriw li ke ti lej]
that Mi scriu lebre ce ti lei. [mis kriw ˈlebrə ke ti lej] I write the book that you read.
conj. car because Mi scriu car ti lei. [mis kriw kar ti lej] I write because you read.
Mi scriu dum car ti lei. [mis kriw dum kar ti lej]
Mi scriu la car ti lei. [mis kriw la kar ti lej]
adv.rel. car why Mi scriu car ti lei. [mis kriw kar ti lej] I write why you read.
Mi scriu li car ti lei. [mis kriw li kar ti lej]
conj. u or Mi scriu u ti lei. [mis kriw u ti lej] I write or you read.
conj. u where Mi scriu u ti lei. [mis kriw u ti lej] I write (s.t.) where you read.
Mi scriu la u ti lei. [mis kriw la u ti lej]
adv.rel. ou where Mi scriu ou ti lei. [mis kriw ow ti lej] I write (down) where you read.
Mi scriu li ou ti lei. [mis kriw li ow ti lej]
conj. cum how Mi scriu cum ti lei. [mis kriw kum ti lej] I write the way/just like you read.
Mi scriu cai cum ti lei. [mis kriw kaj kum ti lej]
Mi scriu la cum ti lei. [mis kriw la kum ti lej]
adv.rel. com how Mi scriu com ti lei. [mis kriw kom ti lej] I write (down) how you read.
Mi scriu li com ti lei. [mis kriw li kom ti lej]
conj. can as much as Mi scriu can ti lei. [mis kriw kan ti lej] I write (s.t.) as much as you read.
Mi scriu tan can ti lei. [mis kriw taŋ kan ti lej]
Mi scriu la can ti lei. [mis kriw la kan ti lej]
adv.rel. can how much Mi scriu can ti lei. [mis kriw kan ti lej] I write (down) how much you read.
Mi scriu li can ti lei. [mis kriw li kan ti lej]
conj. cur when Mi scriu cur ti lei. [mis kriw kur ti lej] I write (s.t.) when you read.
Mi scriu atung cur ti lei. [mis kriw ɐˈtuŋ kur ti lej]
Mi scriu la cur ti lei. [mis kriw la kur ti lej]
adv.rel. cur when Mi scriu cur ti lei. [mis kriw kur ti lej] I write (down) when you read.
Mi scriu li cur ti lei. [mis kriw li kur ti lej]

Prepositions / Pripusit

Prepositions are a closed lexical class in Tirkunan, i.e., no new prepositions can be formed from other words by adding affixes or by reinterpreting them. A few prepositions are listed in the following table.

a at, to, for
di, d' of, off, from
ni, n' in, into, to, on
pi, p' for, by, because of
pur through, during, by (passive agent), by means of
vis towards
tra between, inside, within
cu with
sin without
cutre against
sra over, above, about
su under
dis since, starting from, from

Note that usage of prepositions is largely lexicalised, i.e., translating does not mean to map prepositions 1:1 according to the this table. One typical source of confusion is the preposition 'on', which has no direct equivalent in Tirkunan. In other Romance languages, a preposition may have been formed, either by reinterpreting sra or by using a derivative of sūrsum. In Tirkunan, usually ni is used. E.g. ni tol 'on the table', ni lun 'on the moon'.

Tirkunan has a strong tendency to drop the di preposition entirely when expressing a kind of genetive construction or in ordinals, particularly in lexicalised and very common phrases. This phonenomenon contributes to weakening the difference between nouns and adjectives in Tirkunan.

mricat di pruc mricat pruc flea market
Iuan Pol Di Dui Iuan Pol Dui John Paul the Second

The distinction between adverbs and adjectives is also very weak in Tirkunan, which does not require adverbs to be marked explicitly, e.g. with some reflex of mentem, but instead, adjectives can be used as adverbs directly.[21] .

Some adverbs may also function as prepositions. Syntactically, in this case, the phrase of preposition + noun could also be interpreted as an adverb + noun used as an adverb. Semantics determine what can be used how, and the lexicon often lists such words as both adverb and preposition. Examples for adverbs that can function also as prepositions are avan, apui, furi, abas, nrat, desre, srur, i.e., adverbs that define a spatial relation. These often require prepositions in other Romance languages, particularly the equivalent of di, but that preposition is easily dropped in Tirkunan, and semantics also does not block their usage as a preposition, so they can be. Examples:

Crivisai e abas cinu. 'The brewery is below the cinema.'
Crivisai e avan cinu. 'The brewery is before the cinema.'
Crivisai e desre cinu. 'The brewery is right of the cinema.'

For time/space words, the distinction of motion/direction vs. location is typically not made in the function word itself, but is expressed or implied by context.

The following is a list of a few examples.

Numbers / Nobre


The basic digits 0,..,9, as well as 20,..,90 and the larger numbers 100, 200, 1000, 2000, etc., are typical for a Romance language.

Tirkunan has very simply constructed numbers for 11,..,19, by using deca+1,...,9.[22] The numbers 20, 30, ..., 90 are regular also, using 1,...,9+deca.[23]

0 nul
1 un 11 deca un 10 deca
2 dui 12 deca dui 20 dui deca
3 tri 13 deca tri 30 tri deca
4 patru 14 deca patru 40 patru deca
5 cim 15 deca cim 50 cim deca
6 sis 16 deca sis 60 sis deca
7 set 17 deca set 70 set deca
8 ot 18 deca ot 80 ot deca
9 nou 19 deca nou 90 nou deca
21 dui deca un 32 tri deca dui 43 patru deca tri
100 etu 200 dui etu 120 etu dui deca
1000 cilu 2000 dui cilu
1e6 mega
1e9 giga
1e12 tera
1e15 peta
1e18 esa
1e21 seta
1e24 iota

The number un 'one' also acts as the indefinite article.

Longer numbers are stringed together with the largest exponent first. Powers of thousands are grouped together.

Tirkunan has abandoned an older system of numbers that was similar to Latin (with tens using the suffix -inti < -gintā, -ginti), and also abandoned a confusing system of long and short scale (billion vs. milliard), and instead adopted the SI prefixes as names for numbers, which is effectively the short scale, but internationally harmonised. E.g., '299 792 458' is dui etu nou deca nou mega set etu nou deca dui cilu patru etu cim deca ot.

For numbers larger than 1e24, scientific base 10 notation is used, using viril for the decimal point, vic for 'times', and putur 'power' for exponentiation. For example '1.417·1032' is un viril patru un set vic deca putur tri deca dui.

Negative numbers are prefixed with min 'minus', e.g., '6.62607016·10-34' is read as sis viril sis dui sis nul set nul un sis vic deca putur min tri deca patru.

Addition 'plus' is pru used as a conjunction, and 'minus' is min. 'Is equal to' or 'equals' is expressed as e pal a. E.g. '5 + 3 = 8' is read as cim pru patru e pal a nou.


The original synthetic ordinal number of Latin have been lost. Ordinal numbers in Tirkunan are formed analytically by using di + cardinal.[24] The use of di is optional and often left out, particularly in colloquial speech, because it sounds like counting and meaning roughly the same, basically like 'third person' vs. 'person no. three': gen di tri vs. gen tri.

gen di deca a/the tenth man/woman/person
gen deca a/the tenth man/woman/person
li gen di deca the tenth man/woman/person
un gen di deca a tenth man/woman/person
Pap Iuan Pol Di Dui Pope John Paul the Second
Pap Binit Di Deca Sis Pope Benedict the Sixteenth
Pap Binit Deca Sis Pope Benedict the Sixteenth
li di tri the third one
li tri the third one

There is an irregular ordinal number, marked in the lexicon as word type 'det.', a determiner, which is equivalent to d'un.

prim first
prim gen ni lun first person on the moon
gen d'un ni lun first person on the moon
gen un ni lun first person on the moon


Fractions in Tirkunan are similar to ordinals, but they usually use a connecting pi. I.e., the formation of fractionals is completely analytic. Fractions are also used to express 'percent' pi etu or just centi (from the SI fraction prefix), and 'per mille' pi cilu or mili, and 'ppm' pi mega or micru, etc. Fractions behave syntactically like normal numbers, i.e., as a quantifier, they precede the noun. If it is a single unit, the un is sometimes dropped in colloquial speech.

un pi tri a third
tri pi patru three quarters
un pi ot litre vin an eighth of a litre of wine
pi ot litre vin an eighth of a litre of wine
patru deca ot pi centi gen fu braut 48% of the people were bearded

There is an irregular fraction, marked in the lexicon simply as word type 'num.' like cardinal numerals:

mei half
mei litre vin half a litre of wine


The prefixes are based on SI numeric prefixes. Following the SI guidance, the prefix abbreviations are exactly as in SI. However, the pronunciation is adapted to Tirkunan phonology.

All SI prefixes are also numerals in Tirkunan and can be used in isolation just like any other numeral.

Numeric prefixes are attached with a hyphen because they retain a secondary stress, i.e., they form compounds with the modified unit noun. Sometimes, the hyphen is dropped because of the prefixes also function as numerals. With SI units, the hyphen is meant to be used, because the prefix and the unit form a new unit in the SI system.

iota- 1e24 Y yotta-
seta- 1e21 Z zetta-
esa- 1e18 E exa-
peta- 1e15 P peta-
tera- 1e12 T tera-
giga- 1e9 G giga-
mega- 1e6 M mega-
cilu- 1e3 k kilo-
etu- 1e2 h hecto-
deca- 1e1 da deca-
deci- 1e-1 d deci-
centi- 1e-2 c centi-
mili- 1e-3 m milli-
micru- 1e-6 µ micro-
nanu- 1e-9 n nano-
picu- 1e-12 p pico-
fentu- 1e-15 f femto-
atu- 1e-18 a atto-
setu- 1e-21 z zepto-
iotu- 1e-24 y yocto-


The units are based on SI.

sicun s second tem time
metre m metre lungitat length
cilu-gram kg kilogramme mas mass
amper A ampere crugumen current
cilvin K kelvin temri temperature
mol mol mole cantat sustanti amount of substance
candela cd candela ntinititat luc luminous intensity

Some derived units:

gram g gram mas mass
volt V volt tinir voltage
om Ω ohm risisti resistance
erts Hz hertz fripintat frequency
tsul J joule inergi energy
grau celsi °C degrees centigrade/Celsius temri temperature

Verbs / Vreu

Verbs in Tirkunan only have one morphological form, i.e., they are not inflected, but some derivational forms exist, most notably -at, which forms a past passive participle. This is used in analytic verb forms. It is also often used to enrich the lexicon with adjectives (e.g. sicat 'dry') and nouns (e.g. riput 'receipt').

When an ending is added to a verb, like in any derivation, a possible final -a drops if the ending starts with a vowel. Likewise, an initial a- of endings drops after a possible i or u vowel on the verb stem.

A verb can be nominaliser, i.e., made into nouns or adjectives, in many ways using suffixes. The gerund or noun of process is formed by suffixing -ar: Mangar e bon 'Eating is good', Mi am mangar 'I like to eat' (lit. 'I love eating'), Mi e cansat di mangar 'I am tired of eating.'

Plain verb forms carry no tense information, i.e., the plain verb can be used for present, past, or future tense, and the meaning will be inferred from context. There are auxiliary verbs for marking tense. The only exception is the verb e, which expresses present tense and which has irregular past and future tense forms fu and eri, resp.


Participles are adjectives that derive from verbs. They can be used as nouns in Tirkunan with the meaning 'the ... one'. Some verbs have no participle: e 'to be', fu 'past passive auxiliary', eri 'future passive auxiliary', sa 'optative auxiliary', and au 'past tense auxiliary'. All other verbs regularly form one participle by appending -(a)t as follows.

base form -(a)t
am [am] to love amat [ɐˈmat] loved
da [da] to give dat [dat] given
fe [fe] to do fet [fet] done
lava [ˈlavɐ] to wash lavat [lɐˈvat] washed
crea [ˈkreɐ] to create criat [krjat] created
cante [ˈkantə] to sing cantat [kɐnˈtat] sung
lig [liŋ] to bind ligat [lɪˈɡat] bound
mang [maŋ] to eat mangat [mɐŋˈɡat] eaten
oi [oj] to hear uit [wit] heard
solu [ˈsolʊ] to solve sulut [sʊˈlut] solved
crau [kraw] to close craut [krɐˈut] closed
scriu [skriw] to write scriut [skrjut] written
beu [bew] to drink biut [bjut] drunken
mou [mow] to move mut [mut] moved
lei [lej] to read lit [lit] read
coi [koj] to cook cuit [kwit] cooked

The participle ending (a)t suffixes regularly in the way shown: vowels a, i, u are used depending on the ending of the stem: the unstressed schwa drops, any other vowel replaces a in the ending. If the stem ends in -iu, -eu, -ou, then the -u changes to -vu. The stress shifts except in monosyllabic verbs, which causes the stem vowel to reduce: e becomes i, and o becomes u, and this may cause a diphthong ei to collapse to i.

Tirkunan likes to replace short ce relative clauses (typically V or V+Obj) by participle constructions: gen amat bin 'the man/woman/person very much loved' for gen ce e amat bin.

The participle present, the gerund, and the gerundive of Latin have merged into a single suffix -an, but this is pure derivation and does not survive in verb forms in Tirkunan.

Analytical Forms

The following table lists the verb forms of Tirkunan.

Plain Mi mang. I eat. / I ate. / I will eat.
Present Tense mo + verb[25] Mi mo mang. I eat.
Past Tense au + verb+(a)t Mi au mangat. I ate. / I have eaten. (Lit. 'I have eaten.')
Mi au tinut friu. I was cold. / I felt cold.
Future Tense veni + verb[26] Mi veni mang. I will eat. (Lit. 'I come eat.')
Mi veni veni. I will come.
Negation nu + verb Mi nu mang. I don't eat.
Positive Emphasis si + verb Mi si mang. I do/did eat.
Present Passive e + verb+(a)t Mi e mangat. I am eaten.
Past Passive fu + verb+(a)t Mi fu mangat. I was eaten.
Future Passive eri + verb+(a)t Mi eri mangat. I will be eaten.
Progressive sta + verb Mi sta mang. I am/was/will be eating. (Lit. 'I stand to eat.')
Prospective sta pi + verb Mi sta pi mang. I am/was/will be about to eat. (Lit. 'I stand for eating.')
Interrogative is + phrase[27] Is ti mang? Do/Did/Will you eat?
Is cil e gen ce am ti? Is this the person who loves you?
Optative 'to be' sa Mar sa crar. Let the ocean be warm.
Optative Active sa + verb Ap sa coi. May the water cook.
Nui sa va. Let's go!
Optative Passive sa + verb+(a)t Luc sa fet. Let there be light.
Imperative va + verb Vui va am mi! Love me! (formal)
Va mang pan! Eat the bread!
Vui va mang! Eat! (formal)
drop S and O Mang! Eat!

For formal addressing, the optative is prefered over the imperative, as it is felt less direct and less rude. E.g., instead of Vui va mang!, the optative Vui sa mang! is used. Usually, the formal, polite phrases tend to be longer anyway: Vui sa mang pan, pi pracur! 'Please, try the bread.'

A corollary is that the passive imperative cannot be formed with a non-empty subject, because the passive never has an object. Passive imperatives seem to have limited usefulness anyway.

The progressive form has evolved from an earlier form with a, e.g., mi sta a mang. The preposition in this construction was lost and is not used anymore today. In some cases, the old construction may be easier to understand intuitively by speakers of other Romance languages, e.g., Mi sta a e mangat instead of modern Mi sta e mangat for 'I am being eaten.'

More analytical forms can be combined into longer forms. The following is a selection.

Present Progressive Mi mo sta mang. I am eating.
Past Progressive Mi au stat mang. I was eating. / I have been eating.
Future Progressive Mi veni sta mang. I will be eating. (Lit. 'I come stand eating.')
Present Progressive Passive Mi sta e mangat. I am being eaten.
Present Prospective Passive Mi sta pi e mangat. I am about to be eaten.
Past Progressive Passive Mi au stat e mangat. I was being eaten.
Future Progressive Passive Mi veni sta e mangat. I will be being eaten.
Interrogative Future Progressive Is mi veni sta mang? Will I be eating?
Optative Past Gen sa au mangat. May the people have eaten.
Optative Progressive Passive Car sa sta e mangat. May the meat be being eaten.
Negation + Anything Mi nu sta mang. I am not eating.
Mi nu au mangat. I did not eat. / I have not eaten.
Is mi nu veni sta mang? Will I not be eating?
Nu mang! Don't eat (that)!

The general order of the verb phrase is as follows:

Negation, Emphasis Mood Other Auxiliaries Tense Aspect Passive Verb
nu, si sa, va ro, ariva, fe, potu, deu, cumin, ncepu, sepi, ... mo, au, veni sta, sta pi e, fu, eri V, V+(a)t

The order may be different if logic is different, e.g., the negation may be after 'other auxiliaries', as in 'I like not to read.' vs. 'I do not like to read.'. This group also allows multiple auxiliaries and nu to be stringed together.

Also, not the full sequence is possible: a tense marker is not used right before e, fu, eri is used, because that already contains the tense. Combining of analytical forms is further limited as the forms get longer. Especially spoken language does not like long sequences of auxiliaries and may leave things underspecified.

Also, the combination sta sta is usually not used. This will probably not hurt, because sta, as a stative verb, cannot really form the progressive (there is no progress while standing).

The interrogative particle is is not part of the syntactic verb phrase, but starts a YN-question and directly follows a fronted question pronoun or adverb.

Note that no participles of e or au are necessary for any verb forms. The irregular verb e and all its irregular derivatives (fu, eri, sa) have no participles.

Irregular Verb

The following irregular synthetic verb forms exist of the verb e 'to be'. e has no past passive participle.

sa optative auxiliary (derives from e)
sa optative passive auxiliary
fu was, were (past of e)
eri will be (future of e)

Some Verbs and Auxiliaries

e < est are, am, is Mi e panar. I am a baker.
fu < fuit was, were Le fu panar. He/she was a baker/bakers.
eri < erit will be Ti eri panar. Your will be a baker.
sa < *siat forms optative + verb Ap sa coi. Let the water cook.
e, fu, eri, sa   form passive + ppp Ti fu amat. You were loved.
mo < modo forms present tense + verb Mi mo mang. I eat (now).
au < hābet forms past tense + ppp Mi au vinit. I came.
veni < venit forms future tense Mi veni va. I will go.
va < vādit forms imperatives Va mang pan! Eat (the) bread!
potu < potest be able to Mi potu mang. I can eat.
ro < vult want to + verb Mi ro am ti. I want to love you.
ro < vult want Mi ro umre. I want (some) shadow.
sci < scit know how to + verb
sci < scit know
mang < *manticat eat
am < amat love
tenu < tenut hold, have
au < aut have, possess
fe < *fait make, create; do; forms causative
va < vādit go
veni < venit come
di < dīcit say
deu < dēbet owe, be in debt, must
ariva < *arripat manage to do s.t. Mi ariva veni. I manage to come.
ariva < *arripat arrive at Mi ariva Tali. I arrive in Italy.

Note that tense and aspect are not mandatory categories. They are often derived from context. This is especially true in narratives, which generally use the plain verb instead of au+VERB--at. An exceptional verb is fu, the only synthetical past tense, which is used in narratives frequently.

Transitivity, Reflexivity

Verbs in Tirkunan can be either transitive (marked v.t. in the lexicon) or intransitive (v.i.), depending on whether they take an object or not. Further, the object may be se 'oneself' in which case the verb is said to be reflexive, marked (v.refl.) in the lexicon if a separate entry is necessary because the meaning is different from the transitive meaning.

Transitive verb can have theobject prapal 'each other' in which case the verb usage is reciprocal. This is normal usage of a transitive verb and never has special meaning, so there are no lexicon entries for reciprocal verbs.

Verbs that have no subject are marked additionally with '0s.' in the lexicon. This can happen both for transitive verbs and for intransitive verbs.

Verbs that make verbal phrases, i.e., stand-ins for intransitive verbs, from a following nouns or adjective, are called 'copula' and marked 'v.cop.' in the lexicon. Syntactically, they are identical to transitive verbs if a noun follows, but adjectives may also directly follow. Also, these verbs have no passive voice and cannot be used intransitively, though an intransitve homonymic verb may exist and will have a separate lexicon entry.

There also exist reflexive verbs that act similar to a normal copula, but do not allow nouns to follow, but only adjectives. These are marked as 'v.refl.cop.'.

Finally, auxiliary verbs are marked 'v.aux.' in the lexicon. These verbs precede another verb to modify it.

scriu [skriw] v.t. to write Ti scriu lebre. [tis kriw ˈlebrə] You write a book.
nat [nat] v.i. to swim Nui nat. [nuj nat] We swim.
mou [mow] v.refl. to move (by itself) Ap mou se. [ap mow se] The water moves.
niva [ˈnivɐ] v.i.0s. to snow Aoi niva. [ɐˈoj ˈnivɐ] It is snowing today.
e [e] v.t.0s. to there be Ni cap e capil. [ni ka pe kɐˈpil] On the head, there is hair.
diveni [dɪˈvenɪ] v.cop. to become Mi diveni frot. [mi dɪˈvenɪ frot] I become strong.
senti [ˈsentɪ] v.refl.cop. to feel Senti mi mal. [ˈsentɪ mi mal] I feel bad.
ro [ro] v.aux. to want Le ro e frau. [le ro e fraw] He/she wants to be a blacksmith.

In many cases, transitive verbs can be used intransitively, by just dropping the object. E.g. scriu 'to write' can be used both as mi scriu lebre 'I write a book' and as mi scriu 'I write (something'). In this general case, the subject is semantically the same in the transitive and intransitive verbs.

Many reflexive verbs simply express that the object is the same as the subject, i.e., the subject acts upon the object. E.g. Lava mi. 'I wash myself.'

Reflexive verbs may also express an effect on the subject of the verb when the subject is semantically not an agent, but the patient of the homonymic transitive, usually causative, verb. E.g. for a transitive verb that implies causation like mou 'to move s.t.', the reflexive verb mou se means 'to move (by itself)', literally 'to move oneself', i.e., the effect of moving works on the subject, although the subject of mou se is not the semantical agent. These verbs are called uncausative verbs, and they are reflexive in Tirkunan quite consistently.

On the other hand, there are pairs of homonymic transtive and intransitive verbs, where again the subject of the intransitive verb corresponds with the object of the transitive verb, i.e., it is not the agent. If a (causative) effect is missing, then these intransitive verbs are usually not reflexive. E.g. flar v.t. 'to sense the smell of' vs. flar v.i. 'to emit smell'. The transitive verb is not causative here, so the intransitve one is not uncausative, so no reflexive se is used here. The reflexive verb, in these cases, corresponds with the transitive verb, e.g., flar se 'to sense the smell of oneself'.


From the verbs we see today in Tirkunan, it appears that Old Tirkunan often used frequentative verbs instead of the original Classical Latin verbs, e.g. we have vei, probably from vīsāre instead of *vid from vidēre.[28] Many Latin verbs have not survived into Tirkunan, often only the compound verbs survived. Probably for this reason, Tirkunan has a tendency to preserve the compound stem of verbs rather than the original stem.[29] From the compound forms, the isolated verb was often reconstructed by analogy (e.g. *ficere instead of facere), so we even find many original compound stem in isolated verbs in Tirkunan.


To model what has happend during the history of Tirkunan, I use the following simulation in the hope that the result is a plausible, also and especially for compound verbs and derived words like the participle or the actor noun.

The focus on derived words instead of the plain Latin present stem was chosen because the supine stem and the compound verbs are often more likely to have survived in existing Romance languages, were often frequentives have survived by not the plain verb (e.g. Italian cantare but not canere), and in loans, e.g. in English, which has receipt, deceive, occupy but no verb derived directly from capere. This means that generally, the one stem that Tirkunan choses is likely more recognisable and will feel more natural when it is derived from the supine stem of a compound verb stem.

All the rules in this section are not strict. Research into what non-reborrowed verb forms survived in modern Romance (I will particularly, but not exclusively, look at Catalan and Romanian) is necessary for most verbs.

Generally, in Tirkunan, verbs are usually derived from the present stems 3sg form with some influence from the supine stem. If mostly compound verbs have survived, then the compound verb stems are used, also for the isolated verb in Tirkunan. I.e., the isolated verb is then regularised from the original Latin compound stem, e.g. cepu < -cipere < capere because of compounds like incipere. This verb also shows the effect of the supine: for consonantal supines like -ceptum, the supine is often restructured into *-utum, and so the stem ends in u. Sometimes, the supine is the main stem, mainly if the frequentative is the main form that survived, e.g., in iat < *jectare < jacere.

Manual care is needed, e.g., final consonants may drop irregularly, or vowels or consonants may be added irregularly, e.g., taken from context in common usage. Common and short verbs usually need most of the manual care to derive a good stem.

In order to get a plausible participle, the thematic vowel or a final stem glide may be retained, e.g., solu < solvere and oi < audīre. There are some basic rules: i-conjugation and stems with i-glide retain 'i'. Stems with u-glide retain 'u'. Verbs that form the supine with -atum retain no thematic vowel.

Stressed or unstessed 'e' stems without a final glide are not consistently derived. Typically, but not always, verbs with stressed -ēre infinitive and pres.1sg. in -eō should only end in 'i' if the supine in Latin is -itum and modern Romance language commonly have a perfect participle in 'i'. Modern Romance ofte has a perfect participle in 'u' here (the perfect in Latin is often in -uī), so an 'u' is feasible for these verbs, too. Also Catalan, Romanian, and Italian often have '-ut-' participles. E.g.: pracu < placēre, placitum, mou < movēre. mōtum.

Verbs in unstressed -ere are similar to stressed -ēre, but should have a slightly stronger tendency to retain 'i'. And they should be unlikely to have an 'u' stem. Retaining 'i' may be chosen if modern Romance has 'i' commonly, and/or of Latin has a pres.1sg. in -iō instead of plain , or a perfect in īvī, or if the supine stem is different from the present stem and ends in -itum, e.g. posi < pōnere, ponō, positum (irr. supine stem), beu < bibere, bibō, bibitum.

Generally, verbs with infinitives in -ere or -ēre need to be checked in modern Romance languages to see which conjugation the verb usually ended up in (e.g. check whether Spanish has '-er' or '-ir') and what the perfect participle is and often also the actor noun should be checked.

In some cases, it may be that the original isolated stem is lost, particularly if it is very short, and if the stem vowel is easily reanalysed as a thematic vowel, e.g., esi < exīre. Also, if in latin, the thematic and stem vowels have fused, e.g. mre < implēre.

Sometimes, the present stem should be chosen over the supine stem, e.g. if modern Romance is chaotic (so using the supine stem does not help make the verb more recognisable) or shows very different forms from Latin. E.g. ciri < (con)quirere, (con)quīsī, (con)quisītum, e.g., Romanian cere, cerut; cuceri, cucirit. Also, if the compound stem is a different conjugation as the isolated stem, choices may be reconsidered, e.g., quaerere, quaestum but inquirere, inquisītum or capere, captum and recipere, receptum but occupō, occupātum.

To sound shift the verb, a proto-verb stem is constructed according to the above principles, and then /ə/ or // or // is added to that stem, which is then sound-shifted to simulate the stem extension.

Some examples:

present stem Tirkunan
infinitive isolated compound 1sg. supine stem input for GMP base perf.part. comment
amāre am am-ō am-āt *am-ə am amat
solvere solv solv-ō sol-ūt *solv-ə solu sulut
audīre aud audi-ō aud-īt *aud-iə oi uit
timēre tim time-ō tim-it *tim-uə temu timut cat., it., rom. have perf.part. in -ut-
sorbēre sorb sorbe-ō sorb-it *sorb-iə srobi srubit it., rom. have perf.part. in -it-, probably became *sorbīre
gaudēre gaud gaude-ō gāvīs *gaud-ə goi guit supine stem did not survive; no clear reason for -it- or -ut-
audēre aud aude-ō aus *aus-ə vus vusat intrusive v-[30]
canēre can cane-ō cant *cant-ə cante cantat
facere fac fic fici-ō fec-t *fic-ə fe fet no -c so we get perf.part. right
discutere quat cut cuti-ō cuss *cuss-ə discus discusat

Correlatives / Curilatiu

conj. no
some indef.
nic+X casc+X rac+X X+um Y Y ca Y la
ce ci ci casci raci cium cil cil ca cil la
can racan canum poc mrut tan tan ca tan la
quality nical cascal racal calum tal tal ca tal la
manner com cum cum nicom cascom racom cumum cai cai ca cai la
reason car car car nicar cascar racar carum
time cur atung
ou u nicou cascou racou uvum
event ci vic nici vic casci vic raci vic cium vic cil vic vic ca vic la
repetition tut vic
order di can di tan

The table conflates the interrogative and the relative usages, because they are always the same words in Tirkunan. This is the same as in the translations in that column.

The table also conflates the indefinite relative and plain versions, because Tirkunan uses the same words for them. This requires two translations, which are usually given and separated with a semicolon. The relative one contains a question word and is usually given first, e.g., 'whoever; anyone'.

Additional to the words in the table, phrasal versions can be formed by preposition + noun phrase, using the nouns listed. This way, longer and more specific ideas can be conveyed. E.g., instead of nicou 'nowhere', one could use ni nici loc 'in no place', and similarly, nicar and di nici rati are both 'for no reason'.

For form more complex phrases, prepositions and adverbials may be added, too, e.g., nicar cunut 'for no known reason' or dis racou 'starting from somewhere'.

Indefinite words (pronouns and adverbs) are regularly formed by suffixing -um to the plain relative word, corresponding to appending the word um 'ever', the indefinite adverb of time.[31] This is counted as derivation, because the result is one word with single stress, e.g., cium 'whoever; anyone' and uvum 'whereever; anywhere'. Note that indefinite relative and plain versions need two translations, but are a single lexicon entry in Tirkunan.

Words expressing 'other' are regularly formed by compounding with the prefix alt, most frequently to indefinite words, although to can also be used with the plain relatives, e.g., alt cur 'when else; at another time' or alt curum 'when ever else; at any other time' or alt racur 'sometime else'[32] Linked to the near complete loss of number (except in articles), Tirkunan usually does not distinguish between amount and count, hence 'number' and 'quantity' are on the same row. E.g. a countable noun tan vic is translated as plural 'so many times' while an uncountable tan ap is 'so much water'. These words can also be applied to adjectives and adverbs: tan gran 'so large' and tan suin 'so often'.

Tirkunan usually does distinguish amount vs. count in the 'single' column, where all words except nici imply counting. When used with an uncountable noun, portions are counted: raci ap 'some glas/bottle/portion/body of water' vs racan ap 'some amount of water'. Also ce crivis 'which glas/bottle of beer' vs. cal crivis 'which kind/type/brand of beer'. nici does not enforce countability: nici ap 'no water' is perfectly fine for amounts of water and equivalent to nin ap or nul ap (which is somewhat rarer).

The 'reason' row has prepositional, analytical expressions for each column, and it can be used as a template for other noun based constructions when a single word or special term is missing.

In Tirkunan, adverbs or conjunctions cannot be noun phrases, but they always need a preposition, so complex correlatives derived from nouns always start with a preposition, most often a, ni, di.

The 'source' and 'destination' rows also show how prepositions are used. This can be applied to other prepositions, too, like dis 'starting from', fin 'up to', tra 'between, inside'.

There is no special set of words for handling two things or persons. E.g., 'both' is lur dui. If this is to be expressed, then some version of di lur dui is used, e.g., ce di lur dui 'who of the two'.

Tirkunan can specialise questions by using nouns, e.g., cal cos 'what, which thing' vs. cal gen 'who, which person'. This works with question words and also with nici, casci, raci, racan, cal, tal, cil, ..., e.g., tal cos 'such a thing' or di cil urig 'from this origin'.

There is a difference between ce 'who, what' vs. cal 'which' and correspondingly between cil 'this/that (one)' vs. tal 'such a': ce, cil are generic while cal, tal select from a specific group or imply some selection criterion. This is reflected in the translations 'who' vs. 'which'. Often, this distinction is blurry, especially if a word of selection follows, in which case usually cal, tal is preferred although ce, cil may be correct, too: di cal urig 'from which origin' would strictly ask to select from some group of origins already mentioned or ask to give a specification of the kind of origin, while di ce urig 'from what origin' would just generically ask for some origin. In practice, the former is used regularly in both semantic cases.

Generally, Tirkunan has more regularly formed correlatives than other modern Romance languages. Notably the 'why' row is available where other Romance language typically use a preposition plus a demonstrative. And also, the car 'why' and cur 'when' have spred to be usable as a preposition ('because of' and 'at the time of') based on the pattern of the com 'how' line. Other words not in this table have done that, too, e.g., minre < dum interim which was originally just an adverb 'meanwhile', but is now also a conjunction 'while' and a preposition 'during'. Also, the prefixed and suffixed indefinites (with nic-, casc-, rac-, -um) are more regular (and complete) than in other modern Romance languages.

Related Small Words

Tirkunan has a few more words that do not fit the categories in the previous section, but should be mentioned here.

singri [ˈsiŋɡrɪ] < singulōs 'one each' Rei cu spus seu ni singri tron. The king and his wife each sit on a throne.
singri implies plural meaning, so singri tron is more than one throne, which may be confusing as the word is cognate to 'single'. But it derived from the Latin plural form which could already be used in the modern meaning, and the word was probably retained because Tirkunan needed some expressiveness for singular/plural distinctions in a few places when the plural endings disappeared. Compare Spanish 'sendos'.

One Letter Words / Parol Letre Sul

This section lists some words that reduce to only one letter in some phonological contexts.

a a 'at, to', a 'but'
d di 'of, from'
e e 'be, am, is, are'
i i 'and'
l li 'the'
n ni 'in, at, on'
p pi 'for'
s is 'question'
u u 'or', u 'where'

Syntax / Spluri Fras

General Word Order

Tirkunan is mainly SVO except in special cases discussed below.

In contrast to other Romance languages, pronouns have no special role in the word order, i.e., there are no unstressed object and oblique pronouns and these pronouns are placed after the verb where just like a noun: Mi am ti. 'I love you'.[33] Tirkunan is pro-drop for subjects, so the subject pronoun is often dropped. Object pronouns cannot usually be dropped except maybe in very short answers to questions or other special circumstances. A subject pronoun is more likely to be dropped on a reflexive verb, because then the object pronoun echos the subject.

Some verbs do not have a subject at all, so none surfaces: Prou. 'It rains.'.

Oblique objects are placed after the direct objects: Mi da lebr' a ti. 'I give the book to you.'. For stylistic reasons or for stressing, they can be fronted: A ti mi da lebre! 'To you I gave the book!'. Oblique objects generally behave like adjuncts (see following section).

Auxilaries precede the verb: Mi ro mang 'I want to eat'.


Most modifiers follow the noun: prepositional constructions: mpiri ni Lustani, adjectives: mpiri gran, participles: pan mangat, relative clauses: mpiri ce e ni Lustani, possesives: pau mi, just like prepositional possessives: pau di mi.

In contrast to other Romance languages, adjectives cannot be fronted.

Adverbs to a verb can go at the beginning of the sentence, or after the verb: Aoi mi va a Lustani 'Today, I go to Lustany' or Mi va aoi a Lustani 'I go to Lustany today'.

Adverbs to adjectives and nouns precede the modified phrase: com cat 'like a cat', mrut gran 'very big'.


Tirkunan does not have negative concord like many other modern Romance languages, but like Latin, uses only one negation. For negative imperatives, Tirkunan prefers a nu va construction (or more politely, nu sa), and instead of using negative indefinites like nici, nican, nicur, ..., it uses nu va plus the rac- prefixed indefinites, e.g., Nu va beu racan alcul! 'Do not drink any alcohol!'. Other patterns like Va beu nican alcul! are not necessarily wrong, but uncommon. Nu va beu nican alcul! means 'Do not drink no alcohol!', i.e., 'Do drink some alcohol!'.

Relative Clauses

Relative clauses are introduced with the relative pronoun ce or with a prepositional phrase with that pronoun: di ce.

Relative clauses follow the modified noun phrase: Gen ce beu crivis e tiul mi. 'The person who drinks bear is my aunt/uncle'.

The relative clause itself uses a modified word order in that the reference pronoun ce is fronted and is not mentioned later in the sentence in the position it would normally appear. I.e., Tirkunan uses a gap construction instead of a resumptive pronoun. In the following sentence, the gap is marked with X (which is not pronounced): Gen ce te vei X e tiul mi 'The person you see X is my aunt/uncle'.

Relative clauses may be extrapositioned across adjuncts or even full clauses: Gen ni camre ce beu crivis e tiul mi 'The person in the room who drinks beer is my aunt/uncle', or in some cases, Gen e ni camre ce e tiul mi 'The person who is my aunt/uncle is in the room'. Note that for extrapositioned relative clauses, it is possible that another noun precedes ce to which ce does not refer: ...camre ce..., while the reference is gen. This leads to syntactic ambiguities which are resolved only by semantics. Such constructions are generally only used if the context and the stressing disambiguates the construction clearly.


Conjunctions are used to join to sentences, either on the same level, or in main clause + subordinate clause relationship. Conjunctions start a conjoined clause: Mi ro svol a nu potu. 'I want to fly but can't.'.


Questions use the same basic word order as declarative sentences, possibly starting with a question word or phrase, a fronted pronoun, or an adverb. I.e., the question word, regardless of word class and function, is fronted.

Interrogative mood is marked in Tirkunan with the particle is. This particle starts yes-no questions, and is used after a question pronoun or adverb before the subject and verb.[34]

In colloquial Tirkunan, is is often contracted to s.

Is ti e a la? Are you there? yes-no question
S'ti e a la? Are you there? yes-no question
Ou is ustal prons e? Where is the next hostel? fronted question word
Ou's ustal prons e? Where is the next hostel? fronted question word
Ce is ti di? What do you say? fronted object pronoun
Ce's mang sracuit? Who eats stew? fronted subject pronoun
Ce's mang? What do we/you/they eat? fronted object pronoun, subject dropped
Ce's mang raci? Who eats (something)? fronted subject pronoun, explicit object
A ce is ti dun lebre? To who do you give the book? fronted adverbial

Something to Drink

Usually, to use verbs in noun context,Tirkunan requires verbs to be converted formally to nouns, usually by either appending the generic nominaliser -ar, or the passive suffix -at, or the agent suffix -atur. For constructions like 'something to drink' or 'something to eat' or 'something to read', the preposition di plus the plain verb may be used, and is the default way of expressing this. In this case, di cannot be dropped. This way of using the plain verb after a preposition is generally possible and the default prepositional structure with verbs in Tirkunan.

Nominalisation of the verb is also possible, if the nominalisation is semantically sensible. With a noun, the di may then be dropped as usual in noun + di + noun constructions.[35]

For 'something to drink', there are several possible ways of expressing this, with raci di beu being the most frequent and the default. The same holds for expressions like 'goodbye', which is literally 'to see again', like in many languages:

Mi ro beu raci. I want to eat something.
Mi ro raci di beu. I want something to eat.
Mi ro raci di biur. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to eating'
Mi ro raci biur. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to eating'
Mi ro raci di biut. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to be eaten'
Mi ro raci biut. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to be eaten'
A rivei. Goodbye! Lit. 'to re-see'
A rivir. Goodbye! Lit. 'to re-seeing'

The (more) ... the (more) ...

The construction "the (more/less) X, the (more/less) Y" is expressed in Tirkunan as com X, cai Y. Word order stays the same in the X and Y parts, with pru and min is placed in its normal position.[36]

Com ti prot pru, cai ti da pru. The more you carry the more you give.
Com le e pru vec, cai le e pru greu. The older he is, the more serious he is.

The One Who ...

The construction "the one who X Y" can be expressed using ce, usually preceded with a definite article, e.g.: li ce X Y.

Li ce ariva prim sa cuciri. The one who arrives first shall win.
Li ce ariva prim sa cuciri ioc. The one who arrives first shall win the game.
Ce ariva prim sa cuciri. The one who arrives first shall win.

The parts can be switched, but it requires a demonstrative cil used cataphorically, making this use uncommon, but possible for pragmatic reasons. The definite article is less common in this case, but again.

Cil sa cuciri li ce ariva prim. The one who arrives first shall win.
Cil sa cuciri ce ariva prim. The one who arrives first shall win.

The construction can also be used with a preposition: preposition + article + ce.

Pais e avitat pur lur ce ni lim se e cramat 'celt'. The country is inhabited by those who in their own language are called 'Celts'.

Semantics / Spluri Singicat

FIXME: This chapter is missing. It is all done intuitively like in typical Romance languages...

Whitespace / Spatimen

Generally, whitespace is inserted after . ! ? , ; :, but not before.

For whitespace around apostrophes, please refer to the elision rules.

Language Purity / Purtat Lim

The official Tirkunan language is supervised by the Istitut Puricar Lim (IPL), lit. 'Institute of Language Purifying'. The institute proposes neologisms for new concepts and often tries to find Latin based words. The institute is publically funded and performs independent research, but it has no official status wrt. to the language, i.e., it does not control the 'correctness' of Tirkunan. However, it is highly regarded and, therefore, influential.

Scolars with different backgrounds work for the institute to find good solutions for new words. The institute is often tasked to align Tirkunan with international nomenclature, e.g., the IUPAC chemitry nomenclature was adapted to Tirkunan by the IPL. Linguistically, Latin based neologisms are tried to be fitted with typical sound changes, without distorting the word too much, or are recalqued, e.g., fripen < frequentem, sirciti < exercitium (but not *striceti), or temri < temperatūra.

The institute is often successful in establishing words rooted in Latin, and also in modernizing the language. E.g., the replacement of the larger number words like miluni 'million' by the SI prefix based mega was proposed by the Istitut Puricar, and accepted by scolars, education, and media, and is now the standard system of numbers.

The replacement of Greek based internationally recognised words by Latin based ones (e.g. spluri fras for sintasi 'syntax') is also a result of the influential character of the institute. The institute tries not to overdo the purification, but some think it sometimes does.

Names / Racan Numre

Given Names

Aemilia Mili
Alexandra, Alexander Lisanre
Aloysius Alesi
Ambrosius Mrosi
Antonia, Antonius Antun
Arturius Ratul
Benedicta, Benedictus Binit
Caesar Cesre
Caietana, Caietanus Caitan
Cecilia Cicil
Christina Cristin
Christus Crist
Claudia, Claudius Croi
Clemens Crimen
Dulcia Drut
Felix Filic
Flora Flur
Francisca, Franciscus Francisc
Gaia, Gaius Gai
Hadriana, Hadrianus Dran
Helena Ilin
Henrik Nric
Hieronyma, Hieronymus Irom
Isabella Savel
John Iuan
Jake Iacou
Jesus Isu
Julia, Julius Iul
Judia Iui
Clara Clar
Laura Lor
Marcus Mrac
Marcella, Marcellus Mracel
Maria, Marius Mari
Martina, Martinus Mratin
Maximilianus Mansil
Michaela, Michael Micil
Paula, Paulus Pol
Philippa, Philippus Filip
Richarda, Richardus Ricalde
Sibylla Sivil
Stephana, Stephanus Stefre
Suetonius Sviton
Tulia, Tulius Tul
Victoria, Victorius Vitur
Vincentius Vincenti
Walter Balteri
Werhard, Wernhard Biraldi


Surnames in Tirkunan are often combinations of a verb and an object or adject.

Often the fused proper noun will show additional elision or fusion or morpheme/word variants, like Stratinlac from srat+ni+lac. The fused proper noun will bear only one stress at the end (last or penultimate syllabel), resulting in all vowels before that to collapse to a i u as for any unstressed syllables, like Numampan from nu+mang+pan.

Other typical surname formations derive from nouns using -us to express 'the one who is like...'.

Further, -ar to express 'the one who believes in/practices/works with/deals with/likes...'. Apart from names, this ending is often used for the dealer of the suffixed thing. Accordingly, any profession or generic agent may be a surname, too. These often end in the same -ar, or in the simple agent ending -atur. These verb based forms carrying a nominaliser cannot incorporate any object or adject -- only the non-suffixed verbs can do that.

Adjectives may be used as is for surnames. Also for adjectives, a -us ending, which may seem redundant, is frequent.

Tirkunan surnames are often very colourful, even borderline ridiculous to speakers of other languages.

Ritrunatur returner
Diutur who had to
Sucricatur who searched alone
Niscrutatur who does not listen
Umimpreti who raised the price
Sulutot solve-everything
Numampan doesn't eat bread
Uinint who heard nothing
Saltinlac who jumped into the lake
Nucuntan not telling
Iacatinlac thrown into the lake
Pridat lost
Nipanus like there is no bread
Fucus like fire
Ambilus like an eel
Cavalus like a horse
Cavalinus like a small horse
Cintanus like a hundred years old
Racunus like someone
Marilus yellowish
Stivar liking the summer
Frumacar liking/dealing with yoghurt
Vicrivisar liking/dealing with old beer
Casiar cheese monger
Baltur dancer

Chemistry / Cimi

This section gives a very brief overview how the IUPAC naming of chemical compounds was adapted into Tirkunan.

Anion and anionic ligand names are derived from atom names by adding an ending in the normal way done in Tirkunan morphology, considering that all atom names that end in a vowel drop that vowel. Possible endings are -ide, -it, and -at.[37]

idru [ˈidrʊ] + -ide hydrogen + ide idride [ɪˈdridə] hydride
osi [ˈosɪ] + -ide oxygen + ide uside [ʊˈsidə] oxide
nitru [ˈnitrʊ] + -it nitrogen + ite nitrit [nɪˈtrit] nitrite
sulf [sulf] + -at sulphur + ate sulfat [sʊlˈfat] sulphate
bor [bor] + -at boron + ate burat [bʊˈrat] borate

Special molecule names are derived in the same way, possibly with more endings and using compounding. Note that Tirkunan atom names are usually not replaced by Latin names, but some do get abbreviated.

citrat [kɪˈtrat] citrate
idruside [ɪdrʊˈsidə] hydroxide
crab-usil [kra bʊˈsil] carboxyl

In compounds, the derived ion name is used before the plain ion, usually without an optional di.

citrat di calci [kɪˈtrat̚ di ˈkalkɪ] calcium citrate
citrat calci [kɪˈtrat ˈkalkɪ] calcium citrate
uside cobre [ʊˈsidə ˈkobrə] copper oxide
idruside putasi [ɪdrʊˈsidə pʊˈtasɪ] potassium hydroxide
sulfat sodi niapus [sʊlˈfat ˈsodɪ njɐˈpus] anhydrous sodium sulphate
cluride fer(ⅠⅠⅠ) [tri] [klʊˈridə fer tri] iron(ⅠⅠⅠ) cloride

Traditional names also use the normal head-first order in naming. Just like normally in Tirkunan, there is no big difference between noun and adjective in formatives of lexicalised compound phrases, so traditional chemical names usually use the base noun as modifier (e.g., citre 'citrus') instead of a derived adjective.

acit sulf [ɐˈkit sulf] sulphuric acid
acit citre [ɐˈkit ˈkitrə] citric acid

Texts / Test

Pater Noster / Pren Nui

Pren Nui [pren nuj] Our Parent
Pren nui, ce e ni cel, [pren nuj ke e ni kel] Our parent, who is in heaven.
Numre ti sa binit. [ˈnumbrə ti sa bɪˈnit] Your name be hallowed.
Ring ti sa veni. [riŋ ti sa ˈvenɪ] Your kingdom come.
Roi ti sa fet, [roj ti sa fet] Your will shall be done.
Com ni cel cai ni ter. [kom ni kel kaj ni ter] How in heaven so on earth.
Va dun aoi a nui pan pi casci iur. [va du nɐˈoj a nuj pam pi ˈkaskɪ jur] Give us today our bread for each day.
I va pidun a nui diut nui, [i va pɪˈdu na nuj djut nuj] And forgive us our debts.
Tan com nui pidun lur a diutur nui. [taŋ kom nuj pɪˈdun dlu ra djʊˈtur nuj] Like we forgive them of our debtors.
I nu va ndu nui ni tintar, [i nu van du nuj ni tɪnˈtar] And do not lead us into temptation.
Sinu va libre nui di mal. [ˈsinʊ va ˈlibrə nuj di mal] But liberate us from evil.
Car di ti e ring i putur i glur, [kar di ti e riŋ ɡi pʊˈtu ri ɡlur] As yours is the kingdom, the power, the glory.
N'itern, [nɪˈterə̆n] In eternity.
Amin. [ɐˈmin] Amen.

Phrases / Fras

Mi am ti. [mi am ti] I love you.
Nui sa va! [nuj sa va] Let's go!
Matin bon! [mɐˈtim bon] Good morning!
Di bon! [di bon] Good afternoon!
Siran bon! [sɪˈram bon] Good evening!
Not bon! [not bon] Good night!
Vinit bon! [vɪˈnit bon] Welcome!
Salut! [sɐˈlut] Hello!
Aur! [ɐˈur] Bye, bye!
San! [san] Cheers!
Sa rest nigatiu! [sa rest nɪɡɐˈtiw] Stay negative!
A rivei! [a rɪˈvej] Good bye!
A pru trar! [a pru trar] See you later!
..., pi faur. [ pi fɐˈur] ... , please.
..., pi pracur. [ pi prɐˈkur] ... , please.
..., pi futur. [ pi fʊˈtur] ... , fuck you very much.
Mrut uligat! [m̩bru tʊlɪˈɡat] Thank you!
Nu pi cil! [nu pi kil] Don't mention it!
Sa ngur mi. [saŋ ɡur mi] Just ignore me.
Apui mi dilui! [ɐˈpuj mi dɪˈluj] After me the deluge!
Pi pracur, vui sa ro acepu cudulur sintit mi. [pi prɐˈkur vuj sa ro ɐˈkepʊ kʊdʊˈlur sɪnˈtit mi] Please accept my sincere condolences.
Mi cuit, dum mi e. [mi kwit dum mi e] Cogito ergo sum. / I think, therefore I am.
Cram mi Bonde. [kram mi ˈbondə] My name is Bond.
Numre mi e Bonde. [ˈnumbrə mi e ˈbondə] My name is Bond.
Rei e murit. Rei sa viu long! [rej e mʊˈrit rej sa viw loŋ] The king/queen is dead. Long live the king/queen!
Is potu prisen a vui spus mi Gai? [is ˈpotʊ prɪˈse na vuj spus mi ɡaj] May I introduce you to my wife/husband Gaia/Gaius?
Cil e amat mi Gai! [ki le ɐˈmat mi ɡaj] This is my boyfriend/girlfriend Gaia/Gaius!
Ou's ciditai prons e? [ows kɪdɪˈtaj pron se] Where's the next toilet?
Ce's ro? [kes tro] What do you want?
Sa ro raci di mang. [sa ro ˈrakɪ di maŋ] I would like something to eat.
Cur is au plurat rutis vic? [ku ri saw plʊˈrat rʊˈtis vik] When was the last time you cried?
Crugutur crutic cil crucutec cu crutel. [krʊɡʊˈtur krʊˈtik̚ kil krʊkʊˈtek̚ ku krʊˈtel] The runner cuts that courgette with a knife. {tongue twister}

The Northwind and the Sun

Ven Bural i Sulic [vem bʊˈra li sʊˈlik] Northwind and Sun
Ven bural i sulic discus racur sra ce di lur dui e pru frot, cur viacatur pas mvulut ni mantil crar. [vem bʊˈra li sʊˈlik dɪsˈkus trɐˈkur stra ke di lur duj e pru frot kur vjɐkɐˈtur pas ɱ̩vʊˈlut ni mɐnˈtil krar] Northwind and sun were discussing somewhen about who of the two is stronger, when a traveller passed by wrapped in a warm coat.
Cuveni ci li ce ariva fe viacatur trai mantil eri cusidrat pru frot. [kʊˈvenɪ ki li ke ɐˈrivɐ fe vjɐkɐˈtur traj mɐnˈti ˈlerɪ kʊsɪˈdrat pru frot] They agreed that he who manages to make the traveller take off the coat will be considered stronger .
Ven bural cumin sofle cu tut putur, a com le sofle pru, cai viacatur au pru friu i srig se ni mantil, i ni fin, ven bural deu rising. [vem bʊˈral kʊˈmin ˈsoflə ku tut pʊˈtur a kom ble ˈsoflə pru kaj vjɐkɐˈtu raw pru friw is triŋ se ni mɐnˈtil i ni fin vem bʊˈral dew rɪˈsiŋ] The northwind began to blow with all strength, but the more he blew, the more the traveller felt cold and nuzzled into the coat, and in the end, the northwind had to give up.
Atung, sulic cumin bril ni cel, i prun, viacatur repu crar i trai mantil. [ɐˈtuŋ sʊˈlik̚ kʊˈmim bril ni kel i prun vjɐkɐˈtur ˈrepʊ kra ri traj mɐnˈtil] Then, the sun began to shine in the sky, and immediately, the traveller got warm and took off the coat.
Amou, ven bural deu riconu supril sulic. [ɐˈmow vem bʊˈral dew rɪˈkonʊ sʊˈpril sʊˈlik] Now, the northwind had to recognise the superiority of the sun.

De Bello Gallico / Litei Gali

Litei Gali [lɪˈtej ˈɡalɪ] De Bello Gallico
Gali Nter e divisat ni tri pratit, di ce un e avitat pur bilgan, alt pur apitan, li tri pur lur ce ni lim se e cramat 'celt', ni lim nui 'gali'. [ˈɡalɪn te re dɪvɪˈsat ni tri prɐˈtit di ke u ne ɐvɪˈtat pur bɪlˈɡan alt pu rɐpɪˈtan li tri pur lur ke ni lim se e krɐˈmat kelt ni lim nuj ɡɐˈli] Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua 'Celtae', nostra 'Galli' appellantur.
Tut cil difri di prapal ni lim, custumr' i lei. [tut kil ˈdifrɪ di prɐˈpal ni lim kʊsˈtumb ri lej] Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt.

Iuan 1:1

Iuan [jʊˈan] John
Ni ncipur fu parol, i parol fu cu Deu, i parol fu Deu. [niŋ kɪˈpur fu pɐˈrol i pɐˈrol fu ku dew i pɐˈrol fu dew] In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
Le fu, ni ncipur, cu Deu. [le fu niŋ kɪˈpur ku dew] It was, in the beginning, with God.
Tut e fet pur le, i sin le, nin e fet ce e fet. [tu te fet pur le i sin dle ni ne fet ke e fet] All is made by him, and without him, nothing is made that is made.
Vit fu ni le, i vit fu luc d'uman. [vit fu ni le i vit fu luk dʊˈman] Life was in him, and life was the light of humans.
Luc bril ni treu, i treu nu tralei u cuciri le. [luk bril ni trew i trew nu trɐˈlej u kʊˈkirɪ le] Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand or defeat it.
Gen fu manat di Deu, i numre se fu Iuan. [ɡeɱ fu mɐˈnat̚ di dew i ˈnumbrə se fu jʊˈan] A person was sent by God, and their name was John.


Gines [ɡɪˈnes] Genesis
Ni ncipur, Deu crea cel i ter. [niŋ kɪˈpur dew ˈkreɐ ke li ter] In the beginning, God made heaven and earth.
Ter fu rem i vot, i treu fu sra fat avis i sprit Deu livit sra ap. [ter fu re mi vot i trew fus tra fa tɐˈvi sis prit̚ dew lɪˈvit stra ap] The earth was desolate and empty, and darkness was above the surface of the abyss, and the spirit of God floated above the water.
Deu di: «luc sa fet»! I luc fu fet. [dew di luk sa fet i luk fu fet] God said: Let light be made! And light was made.
Deu vei ci luc fu bon i sipar luc di treu. [dew vej ki luk fu bo ni sɪˈpar luk di trew] God saw that the light was good and he separated light from darkness.
Deu cram luc «di» i treu «not». [dew kram bluk di i trew not] God called the light `day' and the darkness `night'.
I fu siran i fu matin: iur un. [i fu sɪˈra ni fu mɐˈtin ju run] And it was evening and it was morning: day one.

Golden Rule

Regle d'Or [ˈreɡlə dor] Golden Rule
Ce nu ro fet a ti, nu va fe a raci! [ke nu ro fe ta ti nu va fe a ˈrakɪ] What you don't want done to yourself, don't do to anyone.


Babil [bɐˈbil] Babel
N'un tem, tut ter au lim sul i parol pal. [nun tem tut̚ te raw lim su li pɐˈrol pal] Once upon a time, all earth had a single language and the same word.

Hovercraft of Eels

Nau cusin ar mi e prin d'ambil. [naw kʊˈsi nar mi e prin dɐmˈbil] My hovercraft is full of eels.


Mangar siran i ser cric [mɐŋˈɡar sɪˈra ni ser krik] Dinner and Circular Saw
Di bon! [di bon] Good Afternoon!
Aoi siran Oda i mi au mangat past fratat di fung cu pestu i singri burata. [ɐˈoj sɪˈra ˈnodɐ i mi aw mɐŋˈɡat past frɐˈtat̚ di fuŋ ku ˈpestʊ i ˈsiŋɡrɪ bʊˈratɐ] This evening, Uta and I ate pasta filled with mushrooms with pesto and a burrata each.
Si, poc mrut, a past fu frisc di mricat, pestu casifet fu ni mfriutur, i burata ni cumr' e tutur bon. [si pok m̩brut a past fu frisk dim brɪˈkat ˈpestʊ kɐsɪˈfet fu niɱ frjʊˈtur i bʊˈratɐ ni kumb re tʊˈtur bon] Yes, a bit much, but the pasta was fresh from the market, home-made pesto was in the fridge, and burrata on top is always good.
Ni racan iur pasat mi laur a ser cric tol mi. [ni rɐˈkan jur pɐˈsat mi lɐˈu ra ser krik tol mi] During the past few days, I have been working on my table saw.
Tol e pres finicat i se potu opre ser. [to le pres fɪnɪˈka ti se ˈpotʊ ˈoprə ser] The table is almost done, and you can operate the saw.
Aoi mi au fet peu pi le. [ɐˈoj mi aw fet pew pi le] Today, I made feet for it.
Vui sa rest nigatiu! [vuj sa rest nɪɡɐˈtiw] Stay negative!
A pru trar, Nric [a pru trar n̩drik] See you later, Henrik

Christmas Card Exchange 2009

Hjalri Nátli! The foreside reads 'Hjalri Nátli eð þælkt nó önn', which is Þrjótrunn, meaning 'Merry Christmas and a happy new year'. Our family is on holiday in Þrjótur, sending a card back to their friends at home in Tarragona, Lusitania.

Modern Version

Salut caris ... [sɐˈlut kɐˈris] Hello dear ...
Natal Filic i an nou prusple di nort friu, [nɐˈtal fɪˈli ki an now ˈprusplə di norə̆t friw] Merry Christmas and a happy new year from the cold north,
di Friulter, u nui cilebre Natal. Eu ca niva [di frjʊlˈter u nuj kɪˈlebrə nɐˈtal ew ka ˈnivɐ] from Iceland, where we celebrate Christmas. Here, it snows
custan i tut citat e prin d'Arit Sulic [kʊsˈta ni tut kɪˈta te prin dɐˈrit sʊˈlik] constantly and the whole city is full of Sun-Rams
i di mfan cu froc. Fin amou, pi frutun, vei [i diɱ faŋ ku frok fi nɐˈmow pi frʊˈtun vej] and of children with scissors. Up to now, fortunately, we saw
nici lesi. Pi cilibrar se mang [ˈnikɪ ˈlesɪ pi kɪlɪˈbrar se maŋ] no injury. For the celebration, people eat
pisc apistur. [pis kɐpɪsˈtur] stinking fish.
A pru trar, [a pru trar] See you later,
Oda i Nric [ˈodɐ in drik] Uta and Henrik

Original Version

The language has changed since 2009. The original version was as follows:
Salu kar ... [ˈsalʊ kar]
Natal Filik id an nova pruspla di nort frida, [nɐˈtal fɪˈli ki dan ˈnovɐ ˈprusplɐ di norə̆t ˈfridɐ]
di Friglater, ova nos kilebra Natal. Ka nivik [di frɪɡlɐˈter ˈovɐ nos kɪˈlebrɐ nɐˈtal ka nɪˈvik]
kustantament i tot kiutat es prin d'Aret Sular [kʊstɐntɐˈmen ti tot kjʊˈta tes prin dɐˈret sʊˈlar]
i di nfant ku frok. Fin akur, pi frutun, vis [i diɱ fant ku frok fi nɐˈkur pi frʊˈtun vis]
nisu' lisiun. Pi kilibratiun se manga pisk [nɪˈsu lɪˈsjun pi kɪlɪbrɐˈtjun se ˈmaŋɡɐ pisk]
apistan. [ɐpɪsˈtan]
A pru trada, [a pru ˈtradɐ]
Oda id Indrik [ˈodɐ i dɪnˈdrik]

There are some minor variations to the text sometimes -- I wrote it by hand and sometimes changed a few words slightly (e.g. nu vis racu' lisiun ('we did not see any injury') instead of vis nisu' lisiun ('we saw no injury')).

When addressing a group of people (e.g., a family), I used Salu lis ..., where lis (modern lur) is the definite article in plural, which is used for vocatives (as in French usage).

LCC 10 Relay: The Tree Bogy

Original Version

This is the LCC10 Relay text in Tirkunan, presented as The 10th Language Creation Conference (LCC10).

You can listen to the text and read Tirkunan and interlinears subtitles.

My successor in the relay, Alex Hailman, made a near perfect translation of my text! (Except for one mix-up of no 'we, us' and nu 'not' in No va cupas 'let us smash'.)

Pau Astra Rabul [paw ˈastrɐ rɐˈbul]
Mrut popra cuit ci Pau Astra Rabul e ginrat ce viu ni bosc. [m̩brut ˈpoprɐ kwit ki paw ˈastrɐ rɐˈbu le ɡɪnˈdrat ke viw ni bosk]
Suteni se ni do pren i tenu man com gen, [sʊˈtenɪ se ni do pre ni ˈtenʊ maŋ kom ɡen]
sinu tenu faci i panc com us. [ˈsinʊ ˈtenʊ ˈfakɪ i paŋk̚ ko mus]
Cul ginrat cufundu viacatur ni bosc i nduc eli ni priduti. [kul ɡɪnˈdrat kʊˈfundʊ vjɐkɐˈtur ni bos kin du ˈkelɪ ni prɪˈdutɪ]
N'un irun, cumantur Brinaldi nduc mrutitat miltar [nu nɪˈrun kʊmɐnˈtur brɪˈnaldɪn duk m̩brʊtɪˈtat mɪlˈtar]
cuntra Druci, rei popra bitul. [ˈkuntrɐ ˈdrukɪ rej ˈpoprɐ bɪˈtul]
Druci temu Brinaldi pi ci Brinaldi tenu pru miltar ci Druci. [ˈdrukɪ ˈtemʊ brɪˈnaldɪ pi ki brɪˈnaldɪ ˈtenʊ pru mɪlˈtar ki ˈdrukɪ]
Cumum, spus Druci e griman Brinaldi, i bosc e aprup pais Druci. [kʊˈmum spus ˈdrukɪ e ɡrɪˈmam brɪˈnaldɪ i bos ke ɐˈprup̚ pɐˈis ˈdrukɪ]
Druci au fricat lamra frac cu pel i dat frac a spus. [ˈdrukɪ aw frɪˈkat ˈlambrɐ frak̚ ku pe li dat fra kas pus]
Spus cunus racu camin sicrit i nduc miltar Druci, [spus kʊˈnus ˈtrakʊ kɐˈmin sɪˈkri tin duk mɪlˈtar ˈdrukɪ]
ce copri ocra se cu tisut, furi pais Druci, i aprup nimic. [ke ˈkoprɪ ˈokrɐ se ku tɪˈsut ˈfurɪ pɐˈis ˈdrukɪ i ɐˈprup nɪˈmik]
La, Druci leva se i diclar: [la ˈdrukɪ ˈlevɐ se i dɪˈklar]
"Ocra Brinaldi va diveni crusat! [ˈokrɐ brɪˈnaldɪ va dɪˈvenɪ krʊˈsat]
Va nduc eli i miltar ni bosc a Pau Astra Rabul ce sa cufundu tut! [van du ˈkelɪ i mɪlˈtar ni bos ka paw ˈastrɐ rɐˈbul ke sa kʊˈfundʊ tut]
Va veni! No va cupas pais nimic!" [va ˈvenɪ no va kʊˈpas pɐˈis nɪˈmik ]
I sim aveni. Miltar Brinaldi fu tintat ni bosc u predu anurtar. [i si mɐˈvenɪ mɪlˈtar brɪˈnaldɪ fu tɪnˈtat ni bos ku ˈpredʊ ɐnʊrə̆ˈtar]
I gen nginius di Druci fur tut ram di miltar nimic, [i ɡen ŋ̩ɡɪˈnjus di ˈdrukɪ fur tut ram di mɪlˈtar nɪˈmik]
i miltar fu mandat napui a lar, i rei nimic fu trait avan Druci. [i mɪlˈtar fu mɐnˈdat nɐˈpuj a lar i rej nɪˈmik fu trɐˈi tɐˈvan ˈdrukɪ]
Brinaldi deu iur a curun i a grai [brɪˈnaldɪ dew ju ra kʊˈru ni a ɡraj]
ci mai pru veni ritron upur nduc miltar cuntra popra bitul. [ki maj pru ˈvenɪ rɪˈtro nʊˈpur n̩duk mɪlˈtar ˈkuntrɐ ˈpoprɐ bɪˈtul]

Modern Version

Tirkunan has changed since the relay was run. This is the modern version of the previous text.

Pau Asre Rable [paw ˈastrə ˈrablə] The Tree Bogy
Mrut popre creu ci Pau Asre Rabl' e ginrat ce viu ni bosc. [m̩brut ˈpoprə krew ki paw ˈastrə rab le ɡɪnˈdrat ke viw ni bosk] Many people think that the Tree Bogy is a creature that lives in the forest.
Sutenu se ni dui per i au man cum gen, [sʊˈtenʊ se ni duj pe ri aw maŋ kum ɡen] It stands upright on two legs and has hands like a human,
a au fat i pang cum us. [a aw fa ti paŋ ku mus] but it has a face and a belly like a bear.
Cil ginrat cufonu viacatur ni bosc i ndu lur ni pridur. [kil ɡɪnˈdrat kʊˈfonʊ vjɐkɐˈtur ni bos kin du lur ni prɪˈdur] This creature confounds travellers in the forest and leads them into perdition.
Un di, cumantur Biraldi ndu mrutumre miltar [un di kʊmɐnˈtur bɪˈraldɪn dum brʊˈtumbrə mɪlˈtar] One day, commander Brinaldi led a multitude of solders
cutre Drut, rei popre bitul. [ˈkutrə drut rej ˈpoprə bɪˈtul] against Druci, the ruler of the Birch People.
Drut temu Biraldi car Biraldi au pru miltar ca Drut. [drut̚ ˈtemʊ bɪˈraldɪ kar bɪˈraldɪ aw pru mɪlˈtar ka drut] Druci feared Brinaldi because Brinaldi had more soldiers.
Cumum, spus Drut e griman Biraldi, i bosc e prup pais Drut. [kʊˈmum spus dru te ɡrɪˈmam bɪˈraldɪ i bos ke prup̚ pɐˈis drut] However, Druci's spouse was a sibling of Brinaldi's, and the forest was close to Druci's land.
Drut au fricat lamre frac cu pel i dat frac a spus. [dru taw frɪˈkat ˈlambrə frak̚ ku pe li dat fra kas pus] Druci rubbed the blade of a scythe with hide and gave it to the spouse.
Spus conu raci camin sicrit i ndu miltar Drut, [spus ˈkonʊ ˈrakɪ kɐˈmin sɪˈkri tin du mɪlˈtar drut] The spouse knew secret paths and led Druci's soldiers,
ce copri ocre se cu tisut, furi pais Drut, i prup nimic. [ke ˈkoprɪ ˈokrə se ku tɪˈsut ˈfurɪ pɐˈis drut i prup nɪˈmik] who covered their eyes with a cloth, out of the country and close to the enemy.
Eu la, Drut leva se i diclar: [ew la drut ˈlevɐ se i dɪˈklar] There, Druci arose and declared:
"Ocre Biraldi va diveni craut! [ˈokrə bɪˈraldɪ va dɪˈvenɪ krɐˈut] Brinaldi's eyes shall be closed!
Va ndu li cu miltar ni bosc a Pau Asre Rable ce sa cufonu tut! [van du li ku mɪlˈtar ni bos ka paw ˈastrə ˈrablə ke sa kʊˈfonʊ tut] Lead them with their soldiers into the forest to the Tree Bogy who shall confuse them all!
Va veni! Nui va cupas pais nimic!" [va ˈvenɪ nuj va kʊˈpas pɐˈis nɪˈmik ] Come! We will crush the land of the enemy!
I cai aveni. Miltar Biraldi fu tintat ni bosc u predu anurtar. [i kaj ɐˈvenɪ mɪlˈtar bɪˈraldɪ fu tɪnˈtat ni bos ku ˈpredʊ ɐnʊrə̆ˈtar] And so it happened. Brinaldi's soldiers were lured into the forest and lost orientation.
I gen nginus di Drut fur tut ram di miltar nimic, [i ɡen ŋ̩ɡɪˈnus di drut fur tut ram di mɪlˈtar nɪˈmik] Druci's ingenious people stole all the weapons from the enemy soldiers,
i miltar fu manat napui a lar, i rei nimic fu trait ni avan Drut. [i mɪlˈtar fu mɐˈnat nɐˈpuj a lar i rej nɪˈmik fu trɐˈit ni ɐˈvan drut] and the soldiers were sent back home, and the enemy ruler was pulled before Druci.
Biraldi deu iur a curun i a grai [bɪˈraldɪ dew ju ra kʊˈru ni a ɡraj] Brinaldi had to swear an oath on the cross and on the sword
ci mai pru veni tor u ndu miltar cutre popre bitul. [ki maj pru ˈvenɪ to run du mɪlˈtar ˈkutrə ˈpoprə bɪˈtul] that never again will they return or lead soldiers against the birch people.

Vocabulary: a anurtar asre au avan aveni Biraldi bitul bosc ca cai camin car ce ci cil copri craut creu cu cufonu cum cumantur cumum conu cupas curun cutre dat deu di diclar diveni Drut dui e eu fat frac fricat fu fur furi gen ginrat grai griman i iur la lamre lar leva li lur mai man manat miltar mrut mrutumre napui ndu nginus ni nimic nui ocre pais pang pau pel per popre predu pridur pru prup rable raci ram rei sa se sicrit sinu spus sutenu temu au tintat tisut tor trait tut u un us va veni viacatur viu

Priscriut: Fasulat / Recipe: Bean Stew

'Fasulat' e sracuit cu fasul i car ce e mfurat i amarunat pur long. [fɐsʊˈla tes trɐˈkwit ku fɐˈsu li kar ke eɱ fʊˈra ti ɐmɐrʊˈnat pur loŋ] 'Feijoada/cassoulet' is a stew with beans and meat that is baked and browned for a long time.
Ni cil prat crar i dilitus, se va mpric uniu aiumbit iculugiu pi gust mans bon, pi sutinubre, i pi filic nimal. [ni kil prat kra ri dɪlɪˈtus se vam pri kʊˈniw ɐjʊmˈbi tɪkʊlʊˈɡiw pi ɡust mans bon pi sʊtɪˈnubrə i pi fɪˈlik nɪˈmal] In this warm and delicious dish, use exclusively organic ingredients for the best taste, for sustainability, and for the happiness of the animals.

Aiumbit / Ingredients

1000g cilu gram [ˈkilʊ ɡram] col proc [kol prok] pork neck
200g dui etu gram [duj ˈetʊ ɡram] pang proc afumat [paŋ pro kɐfʊˈmat] smoked pork belly
150g etu cim deca gram [ˈetʊ kim ˈdekɐ ɡram] srasit afumat [strɐˈsi tɐfʊˈmat] smoked sausage
70g set deca gram [set̚ ˈdekɐ ɡram] gras oc u natri [ɡra so ku ˈnatrɪ] goose or duck fat
700g set etu gram [se ˈtetʊ ɡram] fasul rau sic [fɐˈsul draw sik] dried white beans
200g dui etu gram [duj ˈetʊ ɡram] carut [kɐˈrut] carrots
100g etu gram [ˈetʊ ɡram] pirsin raic [pɪrə̆ˈsin drɐˈik] parsley root
100g etu gram [ˈetʊ ɡram] api raic [ˈapɪ rɐˈik] celery root
200g dui etu gram [duj ˈetʊ ɡram] cipul [kɪˈpul] onions
30g tri deca gram [tri ˈdekɐ ɡram] den al [de nal] cloves garlic
30g tri deca gram [tri ˈdekɐ ɡram] ol uliu [o lʊˈliw] olive oil
20g dui deca gram [duj ˈdekɐ ɡram] pulre piproi afumat [ˈpuldrə pɪˈproj ɐfʊˈmat] smoked paprika powder
20g dui deca gram [duj ˈdekɐ ɡram] sal [sal] salt
piprel a gust [pɪˈpre la ɡust] chili to taste
ap [ap] water

Nsruit / Instructions

Se rimoli fasul ni dui litr' ap minre nu min ca un ur. [se rɪˈmolɪ fɐˈsul ni duj lit rap ˈmindrə nu miŋ ka u nur] Soak beans in 2L of water for no less than one hour.
Se tali aspre col proc ni pratit gras i pratit pru macre. [se ˈtalɪ ˈasprə kol prok ni prɐˈtit ɡra si prɐˈtit pru ˈmakrə] Roughly cut the pork neck into a fatty part and a leaner part.
Se tali u pic pratit gras a bucat sutil, casci nu pru ca mei centi-metre. [se ˈtalɪ u pik prɐˈtit ɡra sa bʊˈkat sʊˈtil ˈkaskɪ nu pru ka mej ˈkentɪ ˈmetrə] Cut or chop the fatty part into fine pieces, each of them no more than half a cm.
Se tali pratit macr' a dat di patru centi-metre. [se ˈtalɪ prɐˈtit mak ra dat̚ di ˈpatrʊ ˈkentɪ ˈmetrə] Cut the lean part into cubes of 4cm.
Se tali pang proc a fasci di mei vic mei vic tri centi-metre. [se ˈtalɪ paŋ pro ka ˈfaskɪ di mej vik mej vik tri ˈkentɪ ˈmetrə] Cut the pork belly into strips of half by half by three cm.
Se tali srasit a bucat d'un centi-metre. [se ˈtalɪs trɐˈsi ta bʊˈkat̚ duŋ ˈkentɪ ˈmetrə] Cut the sausage into pieces of 1cm.
Se tali carut, pirsin, api i cipul a bucat d'un centi-metr' u pru nic. [se ˈtalɪ kɐˈrut pɪrə̆ˈsin ˈapɪ i kɪˈpu la bʊˈkat̚ duŋ ˈkentɪ met ru pru nik] Cut the carrot, parsley, celery, and onion into pieces of 1cm or smaller.
Se pic sutil al. [se pik sʊˈti lal] Finely chop the garlic.
Se posi ni gran craroi pratit car gras cu ol. [se ˈposɪ ni ɡraŋ krɐˈroj prɐˈtit kar ɡras ku ol] Put into a large pot the fatty meat part with the oil.
Sra foc mei, se sfonu gras di car. [stra fok mej ses ˈfonʊ ɡras di kar] Over medium heat, render the fat from the meat.
Se sepi coi minre cumou car ni gras fluiu fin ci car e amarunat bon. [se ˈsepɪ koj ˈmindrə kʊˈmow kar ni ɡras flwiw fiŋ ki ka re ɐmɐrʊˈnat bon] Continue to cook while stirring the meat in the liquid fat until the meat is well browned.
Se aiumbi pang. Se coi fin ci car ncepu amaron. [se ɐˈjumbɪ paŋ se koj fiŋ ki kar ŋ̩ˈkepʊ ɐmɐˈron] Add the belly. Cook until the meat starts to brown.
Se aiumbi carut, pirsin i api. Se coi pur racan minut. [se ɐˈjumbɪ kɐˈrut pɪrə̆ˈsi ni ˈapɪ se koj pur rɐˈkam mɪˈnut] Add the carot, parsley, and celery. Cook for a few minutes.
Se aiumbi cipul, al i gras ucel. Se coi pur racan minut. [se ɐˈjumbɪ kɪˈpul a li ɡra sʊˈkel se koj pur rɐˈkam mɪˈnut] Add the onion, garlic, and bird fat. Cook for a few minutes.
Se aiumbi i miscu piproi, piprel i sal. [se ɐˈjumbɪ i ˈmiskʊ pɪˈproj pɪˈpre li sal] Add and stir in the paprika, chili, and salt.
Se fe boli ap cu fasul. [se fe ˈbolɪ ap ku fɐˈsul] Bring to a boil the water with beans.
Se aiumbi fasul cu ap ni gran craroi. Se miscu bon. [se ɐˈjumbɪ fɐˈsul ku ap ni ɡraŋ krɐˈroj se ˈmiskʊ bon] Add the beans with the water into the big pot. Stir in well.
Se mfur a 160 [centi sis deca] grau celsi sin cupric pur 5 [cim] ur. [seɱ fu ra ˈkentɪ sis ˈdekɐ ɡraw ˈkelsɪ siŋ kʊˈprik pur ki mur] Bake at 160°C without lid for 5h.
Minre tan tut 40 [patru deca] minut, se miscu lamre maron su srafat. Casci vic, se cuproa ci nu e trop sic. Si e ricirit, se aiumbi ap bulitur. [ˈmindrə tan tut ˈpatrʊ ˈdekɐ mɪˈnut se ˈmiskʊ ˈlambrə mɐˈron sus trɐˈfat ˈkaskɪ vik se kʊˈproɐ ki nu e trop sik si e rɪkɪˈrit se ɐˈjumbɪ ap̚ bʊlɪˈtur] During that time every 40 minutes, stir in the brown layer under the surface. Each time, check that it is not too dry. If necessary, add boiling water.
Se srebi cu u sin pan. [ses ˈtrebɪ ku u sim pan] Serve with or without bread.


a afumat aiumbi aiumbit al amaron amarunat ap api aspre boli bon bucat bulitur ca car carut casci ce celsi centi centi-metr centi-metre ci cil cilu cim cipul coi col crar craroi cu cumou cupric cuproa d dat deca den di dilitus dui e etu fasci fasul fasulat fe filic fin fluiu foc gram gran gras grau gust i iculugiu lamre litr long macr macre mans maron mei mfur mfurat min minre minut miscu mpric natri ncepu ni nic nimal nsruit nu oc ol pan pang patru pi pic piprel piproi pirsin posi prat pratit proc pru pulre pur racan raic rau ricirit rimoli sal se sepi set sfonu si sic sin sis sra sracuit srafat srasit srebi su sutil sutinubre tali tan tri trop tut u ucel uliu un uniu ur va vic

Exercises / Sirciti

'With' Polysemy

He was fighting with his brother. Le batu se cu griman. [le ˈbatʊ se ku ɡrɪˈman]
Le cubatu griman. [le kʊˈbatʊ ɡrɪˈman]
He came with his friends. Le veni cu amic se. [le ˈvenɪ ku ɐˈmik se]
The cowboy bought the horse (along) with the saddle. Vacar comre caval cu sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkombrə kɐˈval ku sel]
Vacar comre caval i sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkombrə kɐˈva li sel]
Vacar comre caval iumbit cu sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkombrə kɐˈval jʊmˈbit ku sel]
We are with you in this task. Nui sutenu ti ni cil diur. [nuj sʊˈtenʊ ti ni kil djur]
Nui sutenu vui ni cil diur. [nuj sʊˈtenʊ vuj ni kil djur]
Cut that with a knife. Va crutic cil cu crutel. [va krʊˈtik̚ kil ku krʊˈtel]
Va tali cil cu crutel. [va ˈtalɪ kil ku krʊˈtel]
My uncle is the person with the beard. Tiul mi e gen cu brau. [tjul mi e ɡeŋ ku braw]
I will leave this letter with the guard. Mi las cil letr' a vigratur. [mi las kil let ra vɪɡrɐˈtur]
With all its strength the horse could not pull the wagon. Mitis cu tut putur, caval nu potu trai carec. [mɪˈtis ku tut pʊˈtur kɐˈval nu ˈpotʊ traj kɐˈrek]
Let's get up tomorrow morning with the sun. Sa leva nui crai matin cu sulic. [sa ˈlevɐ nuj kraj mɐˈtiŋ ku sʊˈlik]
The people trembled with fear when they saw the bear. Gen tremle di paur cur vei us. [ɡen ˈtremblə di pɐˈur kur vej us]
The girl had to be satisfied with the last prize. Nicel deu e satisfit cu rutis premi. [nɪˈkel dew e sɐtɪsˈfit ku rʊˈtis ˈpremɪ]
Serve the Lord with gladness. Va srebi Sinur cu pracur. [vas ˈtrebɪ sɪˈnur ku prɐˈkur]


a amic batu brau carec caval cil comre crai crutel crutic cu cubatu cur deu di diur e gen griman i iumbit las le letr leva matin mi mitis ni nicel nu nui paur potu pracur premi putur rutis sa satisfit se sel sinur srebi sulic sutenu tali ti tiul trai tremle tut us va vacar vei veni vigratur vui

Copula Polysemy

1. That person is my father. Cil gen e pau mi. [kil ɡe ne paw mi]
2. That person is my friend. Cil gen e amic mi. [kil ɡe ne ɐˈmik mi]
7. In the autumn the leaves turn red and brown. N'utum, ful diveni robi i maron. [nʊˈtum ful dɪˈvenɪ ˈrobɪ i mɐˈron]
10. This egg didn't smell this bad yesterday. Cil ou nu flar tan mal air. [ki low nu flar tam ma lɐˈir]
16. Two plus two equals four. Dui pru dui e pal a patru. [duj pru duj e pa la ˈpatrʊ]
17 His statement proved incorrect. Diclaramen le risult nicurit. [dɪklɐrɐˈmen dle rɪˈsult nɪkʊˈrit]
19. The hare remained still and the fox didn't see it. Lepre rest paciu i rup nu vei le. [ˈleprə rest pɐˈkiw i rup nu vej le]
20. We lit a fire and stayed warm. Nui acinre foc i rest crar. [nuj ɐˈkindrə fo ki rest krar]


a acinre air amic cil crar diclaramen diveni dui e flar foc ful gen i le lepre mal maron mi n nicurit nu nui ou paciu pal patru pau pru rest risult robi rup tan utum vei


We give you wings to take you with us to the air. Nui dun a ti al pi prin ti cu nui a l'ar. [nuj du na ti al pi prin ti ku nuj a lar]

Course / Curs

Ce is mi e?

Croi: Salut Flur, com is cos e? [kroj sɐˈlut flur ko mis ko se]
Flur: E bon, uligat. I cos ti? [flur e bon ʊlɪˈɡat i kos ti]
Croi: Ncui bon. O, salut Iul! Pracu ci vei ti! Ou is ti va? [kroj ŋ̩kuj bon o sɐˈlut jul ˈprakʊ ki vej ti ow is ti va]
Iul: Salut Croi! Mi va a Tracunis. I ti? [jul sɐˈlut kroj mi va a trɐkʊˈnis i ti]
Croi: Mi va ncui a Tracunis. [kroj mi vaŋ kuj a trɐkʊˈnis]
Iul: Is cil e amic ti? [jul is ki le ɐˈmik ti]
Croi: Si, nui studi iumbit a univisitat. [kroj si nuj ˈstudɪ jʊmˈbi ta ʊnɪvɪsɪˈtat]
Iul: Pracur, mi e Iul. I com is cram ti? [jul prɐˈkur mi e jul i ko mis kram ti]
Flur: Pracur, cram mi Flur. D'ou is ti e? [flur prɐˈkur kram mi flur dow is ti e]
Iul: E di Cair, i ti? [jul e di kɐˈir i ti]
Flur: E di Atin a studi a Tracunis. I ce is ti fe? [flur e di ɐˈti nas ˈtudɪ a trɐkʊˈnis i ke is ti fe]
Iul: Mi e ncui studitur. Can an is ti au? [jul mi eŋ kuj stʊdɪˈtur ka na nis ti aw]
Flur: 22 [dui deca dui]. I mitis? [flur duj ˈdekɐ duj i mɪˈtis]
Iul: Mi au 23 [dui deca tri]. [jul mi aw duj ˈdekɐ tri]

Normal sentences use subject-verb-object (SVO) word order.

A very important verb is e 'to be, is, am, are', the existential copula.

Subject pronouns may be dropped, if they are obvious from context.

Questions use the same word order as normal sentences, with the question marker is placed after the question word or phrase, or at the beginning for yes-no questions. Elliptic questions without a verb can be posed without is.

New Vocabulary:

a amic an Atin bon Cair can ce ci cil com cos cram Croi d deca di dui e fe Flur i is Iul iumbit mi mitis ncui nui o ou pracu pracur salut si a studi studitur au ti Tracunis tri uligat univisitat va vei

Ce is vui ro mang?

Croi: Mi au famre. Flur, nui sa mang ni risturan! [kroj mi aw ˈfambrə flur nuj sa maŋ ni rɪstʊˈran]
Flur: Ur e sis, i mi au ncui famre. Cuvinit! [flur u re sis i mi aw ŋ̩kuj ˈfambrə kʊvɪˈnit]
A racan minut pru trar, Croi i Flur seu ni risturan. [a rɐˈkam mɪˈnut pru trar kroj i flur sew ni rɪstʊˈran ]
Camrar: Siran bon i vinit bon acas nui! [kɐmˈbrar sɪˈram bo ni vɪˈnit bo nɐˈkas nuj]
Croi i Flur: Siran bon! [kroj i flur sɪˈram bon]
Camrar: Ce is vui ro mang? [kɐmˈbrar ke is vuj ro maŋ]
Croi: Prin nsalat pumber pi pracur. [kroj prin n̩sɐˈlat pʊmˈber pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Mrut bon, i vui? Ncui nsalat? [kɐmˈbrar m̩brut bon i vuj ŋ̩kuj n̩sɐˈlat]
Flur: Nu, prin alt raci. Mi sa ro catric proc cu fung, pi pracur. [flur nu pri nalt ˈrakɪ mi sa ro kɐˈtrik prok̚ ku fuŋ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Silit bon! Is sa ro ncur raci di beu? [kɐmˈbrar sɪˈlit bon is sa roŋ kur ˈrakɪ di bew]
Croi: Si, prin crivis, pi pracur. [kroj si priŋ krɪˈvis pi prɐˈkur]
Flur: Pi mi vin robi, pi pracur. [flur pi mi vin ˈdrobɪ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Mrut uligat, le eri prun eu. [kɐmˈbrar m̩bru tʊlɪˈɡat le ˈerɪ pru new]
Croi i Flur mang i beu. [kroj i flur maŋ ɡi bew ]
Flur: Camrar, conti, pi pracur. [flur kɐmˈbrar ˈkontɪ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: E iumbit 20 € [dui deca Iuru]. [kɐmˈbrar e jʊmˈbit̚ duj ˈdekɐ ˈjurʊ]
Flur: Fu dilitus! Sa tenu 22 [dui deca dui]. [flur fu dɪlɪˈtus sa ˈtenʊ duj ˈdekɐ duj]
Camrar: Mrut uligat. A rivei! [kɐmˈbrar m̩bru tʊlɪˈɡat a rɪˈvej]
Croi i Flur: A rivei! [kroj i flur a rɪˈvej]

'Please!', 'Thank you', 'Here you are!'

'Good evening!', 'Welcome!', 'Good bye!'

New Vocabulary:

acas alt beu camrar catric conti crivis cu cuvinit dilitus eri eu famre fu fung iuru le mang minut mrut ncur ni nsalat nu pi prin proc pru prun pumber racan raci risturan rivei ro robi sa seu silit siran sis trar ur vin vinit vui

Sound Changes / Camir Soni

This section lists the key aspects of the Tirkunan sound shifts that derived words from Vulgar Latin into Tirkunan.



The distinction is not specific to Tirkunan. Other Romance languages have often developped a different preposition for this use, e.g., da in Italian.
Like Sardinian, e.g., Nuorese ollu < oleum
Obviously from Latin Lūsitānia, which was in the area of today's Portugal in Roman times. Some things seem to have gone differently, since 'Tarragona' is not in Portugal here, but in Spain, in Catalonia. Also, obviously neither 'Portugal' nor 'Spain' is named after the Latin Lūsitānia, but 'Lustani' seems to be a country there. And also, the city seems to be larger than here, provided that 'Tirkunis' is really our 'Tarragona', i.e. Tarracō in Roman times.
Other Romance languages consistently spell these out, e.g. Spanish ombre and Catalan cendra, where the plosive also emerged epenthetically between nasal and r. Note that for the velar nasal, a g is spelled out, because ng is the orthographic representation of the velar nasal.
This is like in Latin, e.g. rē + dare becomes reddere, stressed on the antepenult (this verb also completely changes conjugation), and similarly with ab + ferre, which becomes aufere also stressed on the antepenult. This is unlike Italian, which has ri + dare as ridare with the 3.sg. form ridà, stressed on the last syllable, as Italian does not move stress to the prefix.
This is like in Latin: once a prefixed stem changes, it stays that way, e.g., in reddere, the a of the original stem of dare does not reemerge in conjugated forms.
Like in Romanian: spărgător de nuci 'nutcracker'.
This shift can be found in (Old) Occitan, e.g. oelha < ovicula, Romanian oaie < ovem, bou < bovem, Sardinian proai < probare, Romansh pruar < probare, or Italian bue < bovem. It is also found in unrelated languages like Greenlandic.
This phenomenon is also seen in languages like Dutch, where erg may be seen spelled as errug for this reason.
For 'sweetness', there is: Catalan dolçor, Italian dolcezza, Spanish dulzura, dulcedumbre, Romanian dulceață, Latin dulcitās
The strong simplifications of pronouns and case system of Tirkunan can be observed in other Romance languages, too. E.g. the collapse of cases in pronouns into the accusative in ego, tu can be found also in Ligurian, Piemontese, Venetian, and Lombard, which have 'mi, ti', and to a lesser degree and into the nominative in Catalan, which has 'jo, tu' (and also 'mi' in some contexts); in particular, Ligurian pronouns are very similar to Tirkunan: Ligurian 'mi, ti, lê, noî, voî, lô' vs. Tirkunan 'mi, ti, le, nui, vui, lur', although the ti, vui distinction in Tirkunan is used differently (it contrasts formality instead of number).
Compare Portuguese: 'dêle, dela, dêles', dialectal Spanish: 'de mi, de ellos', Galician: 'de noso', Valencian Catalan: 'de nosaltres, de vosaltres'.
This preference is in contrast to Romanian: Spărgătorul meu de nuci este rupt. 'My nutcracker is broken.' where spărgător de nuci is 'nutcracker'.
Like in Romanian: mai bună 'best'.
Like in Romanian nemuritor 'immortal', and sometimes Portuguese: assustador 'frightening'
Like in Romanian or Sardinian, and similar to many special circumstances in other Romance languages.
Like Romanian atunci.
Similar to Spanish lo que, el que, la que, los que, las que, e.g. in 'Escribo lo que escribes.'.
Similar to French la in 'là où' or Spanish tan in 'tan como'.
Similar to French: 'ou' vs. 'où', which are pronounced the same.
Like in Romanian.
Similar to Romanian, which uses 1,..,9+sprezece, e.g., cincisprezece '15' lit. 'five over ten'.
Again like Romanian, which uses 2,...9+zeci, e.g. trezeci '30' lit. 'three tens'.
Like in Sardinian.
Cognate to Italian: mo' 'now'.
Like Rumansch: vegn a offrir 'he will offer'.
Cognate to French: est-ce que.
Compare Italian 'acquistare', 'conquistare', 'diventare', 'voltare', and Catalan 'gausar', French 'oser', Portuguese 'ousar', Spanish 'osar', Italian: 'osare' < audēre, ausum. If Tirkunan has creole-like traces, English verbs might also be relevant for comparison as many are loaned from the Latin supine stem: 'discuss', 'prevent'.
Compare Romance here: Quatere has not survived, but discutere has survived in Italian 'discùtere' and Spanish 'discutir'
Like Catalan uses -g- in gosar
Like Italian '-unque', and similarly to Italian '-siasi', Romanian '-va', Spanish '-qier(a)', Portuguese '-quer', Sardinian '-sisiat, -casiat'.
Like in Romanian altceva, and also like Italian altrove.
This is similar to Sursilvan Romansh: Jeu carezel tei. 'I love you.' and Jeu hai viu el. 'I have seen him'.
Just like French est-ce que. Fronting an object pronoun can be done as is. Fronting an interrogative subject pronoun of a transitive verb requires the object to be explicitly mentioned, otherwise, the fronted interrogative is understood to be an object pronoun.
Most other Romance language use the infinitive, corresponding to -ar. Romanian also allows the passive participle in some contexts, corresponding to -at: ceva de băut.
The structure is similar to Romanian where both sentences are marked with cu câ...cu atât... and word order does not change. The first introductory word is like Catalan com, but unlike Spanish/Portuguese/Romanian which use cuanto, and unlike French/Italian, which use no introductory word.
This is different from Romance languages here, which use -uro (or -eto) or similar instead of -ide.
like many dialects of Catalan


January 16th, 2024
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