Tirkunan: A Romance Language

[ Static Lexicon | Scripted Lexicon ]

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 / Mfluitur

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]. /k/ used to be written k, but we're back to c now.

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, Tirkunan has five phonemic vowels: /i e a o u/. Some words show similar sound shifts: omra [ˈomb̥rɐ] < hominem 'man' (compare Spanish 'hombre').

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, spra < 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: l'omra 'the man', 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 Numra

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 Son


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, there is no phonemic /j/, but the vowel i is often pronounced as [j]. Some words, however, particularly monosyllabic words and loan words, have a phonemic /j/.

ja [ja] 'already'
je [je] 'the letter "j"'
Cijiu [kɪˈji͡ʊ̯] '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'
com gen [kom ɡen] 'like people'
lim primeu [lim prɪˈme͡ʊ̯] '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'
gran cap [ɡraŋ kap] 'big head'

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. Depending on dialect, it is either voiced [b d ɡ] or unvoiced [p t k] and is shown here as [b̥ d̥ ɡ̊]. The spelling is completely regular, and it is even applied to clusters where the plosive was historically phonemic, 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 is prefixed to r- or l-. The following table shows the correspondance between phonemic spelling and phonetic pronunciation:[4]

cumra [ˈkumb̥rɐ] 'top'
cinra [ˈkind̥rɐ] 'ash'
ungra [ˈuŋɡ̊rɐ] 'fingernail'
avan lac [ɐˈvan d̥lak] 'in front of the lake'
avan rabul [ɐˈvan d̥rɐˈbul] 'in front of the tree'
fung rau [fuŋ ɡ̊ra͡ʊ̯] 'white mushroom'

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(i) < in- and s(a) < -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(i) and before s for s(a). In the case of s, before voiced plosives, it causes the plosive to become phonetically unvoiced, e.g., sba [spa]. 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 the following vowels, which are pronounced slightly differently in different phonological context, determined by length, stress, and closedness of the syllable. The following is the typical average expected pronunciation of vowels in different contexts.

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

Length is not phonemic.

In unstressed position, only vowels a i u may occur: e is pronounced like i and o is pronounced like u. This is always shown in spelling, i.e., e o never occur in unstressed position in spelling nor in pronunciation.

Some dialects do not distinguish between [a] and [ɐ], but only use [a]. A few dialects that do distinguish the two may have [ə] instead of [ɐ] for unstressed /a/.

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 qualify 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.

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 ro͡ʊ̯] '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
fimra /ˈfim.ra/ [ˈfimb̥rɐ] woman
cetra /ˈke.tra/ [ˈketrɐ] citrus
cenra /ˈken.ra/ [ˈkend̥rɐ] center
angra /ˈan.ɡra/ [ˈaŋɡ̊rɐ] angle
cucra /ˈku.kra/ [ˈkukrɐ] needle
fil /fil/ [fil] son; daughter

Vowel Length

Vowel length is non-phonemic. Yet vowels have different quantity in pronunciation. In stressed, open syllables, a vowel is long. Otherwise, it is short. The quantity changes only slightly, so we do not indicate it in this document except for stressing the slight difference. The quality, however, changes as the above table shows.

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.

Phoneme Educated Spelling Common Pronunciation Common Spelling
/h/ h silent left out
/j/ j /i/ j
/k/ k /k/ k
/q/ q /k/ k
/w/ w /u/ u
/ɨ/ y /i/ i
/z/ z /s/ s
/øˌ œ/ ë /e/ e
/yˌ ʏ/ ï /i/ i
/ə/ ä /a/ a
/ʃ/ x /s/ s
/ʃ/ š /s/ s
/t͡ʃ͡/ tx /ts/ ts
// /ts/ ts
/ʒ/ ž /s/ s
/d͡ʒ͡/ /ts/ ts
/ʎ/ lj /li/ li
/ɲ/ nj /ni/ ni
/c/ cj /ki/ ci
/ɟ/ gj /ɡi/ gi
/xˌ χ/ ch /k/ c
/ɣˌ ʀ/ gh /ɡ/ g
/θ/ th /t/ t
/ð/ dh /d/ d
/ɤ/ o /o/ o
/ɯ/ u /u/ u
/ɨ/ i /i/ i
/ʉ/ u /u/ u
/æ/ e /e/ e

The graphme 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.


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 [m̩b̥re] 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 [ˈdimb̥rɪ].[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 [ˈdimb̥rɪ] + -(a)t becomes dimrit [dɪmˈb̥rit].[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/ [m̩pɪrˈjan] imperial
mpiratur /m.pi.ra.ˈtur/ [m̩pɪrɐˈtur] emperor
racu /ˈra.ku/ [ˈrakʊ] some(one)
aoi /a.ˈo.i/ [ɐˈo͡ɪ̯] today
ariva /a.ˈri.va/ [ɐˈrivɐ] to arrive
arivar /a.ri.ˈvar/ [ɐrɪˈvar] arrival
ustreba /us.ˈtre.ba/ [ʊsˈtrebɐ] to observe
ustribat /us.tri.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/ [jɐˈko͡ʊ̯] Jakob
Iul /i.ˈul/ [jul] Julia
air /a.ˈir/ [ɐˈir] yesterday
aoi /a.ˈo.i/ [ɐˈo͡ɪ̯] today
mre /mre/ [m̩b̥re] fill up
mret /mret/ [m̩b̥ret] filled up
dimri /ˈdim.ri/ [ˈdimb̥rɪ] empty out
dimrit /dim.ˈrit/ [dɪmˈb̥rit] 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/ [a͡ʊ̯] [a͡ʊ̯] [ɐ͡ʊ̯]
eu /eu/ [e͡ʊ̯] [e͡ʊ̯] -
iu /iu/ [i͡ʊ̯] [i͡ʊ̯] [ɪ͡ʊ̯]
ou /ou/ [o͡ʊ̯] [o͡ʊ̯] -
ai /ai/ [a͡ɪ̯] [a͡ɪ̯] [ɐ͡ɪ̯]
ei /ei/ [e͡ɪ̯] [e͡ɪ̯] -
oi /oi/ [o͡ɪ̯] [o͡ɪ̯] -
ui /ui/ [u͡ɪ̯] [u͡ɪ̯] [ʊ͡ɪ̯]
ia /i͡a/ [jaˑ] [ja] []
ie /i͡e/ [jeˑ] [je] -
io /i͡o/ [joˑ] [jo] -
iu /i͡u/ [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 [j͡ɪ], [u͡ʊ̯] do not occur, because they collapsed 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/ [ka͡ɪ̯ˈtan] Caietana a i are unstressed: falling diphthong
Mai /ˈma.i/ [ma͡ɪ̯] 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
briutat /bri.u.ˈtat/ [brjʊˈtat] brevity 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 tɐlˈjan] 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/ [ɐlˈjol] 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)
ultra nic /ˈul.tra nik/ [ˈultrɐ 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 m̩b̥rak] towards Marcus m is syllabic
di Mrac /di mrak/ [dim b̥rak] 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
fimra /ˈfim.ra/ [ˈfimb̥rɐ] woman 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'.

A special interaction happens in verbs that end in vowel plus u when endings -at, -ar, and a few others are added: the a in the ending is not dropped, but shifts to u. E.g., beu + -at = bivut – one could also analyse that beu is an underlying shortened *beWu, which expands when -at is appended.

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.

If vowel2 is weak (e.g., (a)) and a consonant follows that can merge with u (generally a b or v), then u+vowel2 drops. mou + -(a)bra = mobra [mo͡ʊ̯ a bra ˈmobrɐ] 'mobile'
Otherwise, if vowel2 is weak and another vowel and then another vowel or consonant follows, i.e., neither vowel1, connecting u, nor vowel2 will become stressed, then vowel2 drops and u remains u. cau + -(i)tat = cautat [ka͡ʊ̯ i tat ka͡ʊ̯ˈtat] 'cavity'
nou + -(i)tat = nutat [no͡ʊ̯ i tat nʊˈtat] 'news, novelty'
Othrewise, if vowel1 is a and vowel2 is (a) and vowel2 is not at the end of the morpheme, then vowel2 drops and u remains u. cau + -(a)r = caur [ka͡ʊ̯ ar kɐˈur] 'fall, drop'
Otherwise, if vowel1 is o and vowel2 is a, i, e, (a), (e), or (i), then the connecting u drops and vowel2 remains even if weak. Note that a (non-phonemic) diphthong may result due this if the stress does not shift, e.g. oi, but this is tolerated because the original ou is also a (non-phonemic) diphthong, so syllable count is not reduced, and this rule also avoids *uvi if more endings are added. crou + -iu = cruiu [kro͡ʊ̯ i͡ʊ̯ krʊˈi͡ʊ̯] 'raven-black'
prou + -i = proi [pro͡ʊ̯ i pro͡ɪ̯] 'rain'
Otherwise, if vowel2 is (a), then vowel2 becomes u, and u becomes v. The v prevents a syllable collapse from i becoming a glide, e.g., *biur [bjur]. beu + -(a)r = bivur [be͡ʊ̯ ar bɪˈvur] 'drinking'
Otherwise, u becomes v and vowel2 remains even if weak. Again, this prevents phonetic diphthongs from forming like *cai [ca͡i]. beu + ac = bivac [be͡ʊ̯ ak bɪˈvak] 'drunkard, bibulous'

The following tables is a summary of the rules:

+ a$ i$ u$ (a)t$ et$ it$ ot$ ut$ (i)tat (a)bra
au ava avi avu aut avet avit avot avut autat abra
eu eva evi evu ivut ivet ivit ivot ivut iutat ebra
iu iva ivi ivu ivut ivet ivit ivot ivut iutat ibra
ou oa oi ovu uvut uet uit uvot uvut utat obra

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 A

Most endings have been lost compared to Latin, and a has become the least thematic vowel in Tirkunan which drops readily. In older Tirkunan, schwas merged with a and weakened it even more so today, words ending in a are relatively rare, except when they represent a surfaced schwa to avoid an intolerable final consonant (cluster). Some final a does survive, however, 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.

As alread mentioned, final a may represent an older schwa that protects a final vowel or vowel cluster from being exposed to the end of a word, e.g., in apra < aquila 'eagle'.

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

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 -at. 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 bivut '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.

Another final a 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. Although this is really the manifestation of an older schwa, not an inherited thematic vowel from Latin, this most often happens to verbs where the a was indeed thematic, so maybe, again, this is a reflexion of the participle vowel. This happens more often for a voiceless than a voiced plosive, e.g., tenta 'to tempt' where there is tintar 'temptation' that may have prevented the loss of knowledge that the stem is in -nt. Similarly, there is canta 'to sing' and conta 'to count'. This preservation of a does not always happen, e.g., fun 'to found' is without a and the derived word funamen 'foundation' did not prevent the collapse, but instead got remodelled itself and has no d anymore.

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.

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

Derivation happens by prefixing or suffixing. Homophonous affixes may be different in meaning depending on which kind of stem the are attached to, e.g. ni is 'not' when attached to nouns or adjectives, and is 'in-' when attached to verbs.

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

Word class changes are a frequent use for affixes, e.g., -(a)t when attached to a verb will make an adjective.

Prefixes that modify verbs can also be used to denominalise nouns, e.g., ni- '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 used more extensively in Tirkunan than in other Romance language, presumably because Tirkunan has lost all endings to distinguish a verb from a noun, in particular because the thematic vowels of verbs have dropped (except for many -īre verbs). E.g., rot 'wheel', a- + rot = arot 'to rotate'.


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 simpified 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 -atiōnem ending of Latin has not survived in Tirkunan except for opaque borrowings, because it merged with ātus and by this, acquired a strictly passive/perfective meaning, and was then substituted when used in other senses, often by decendents of -amentum or an original infinitive ending (e.g., -āre).

The following derivational affixes are the most frequent in Tirkunan for deriving nouns and adjectives from verbs.

-at Originally the past perfect participle ending. Used for deriving past or passive adjectives and nouns denoting the object of a transitive verb. Comparable to -ed, -ee. gel to freeze
gilat = gel + -at frozen
gilat = gel + -at ice cream
-atitat = -at + -itat Yields a noun of the abstract state of what the passive adjective expresses. Comparable to -ness applied to the passive particple. mbeu to get drunk
mbivut = mbeu + -at drunken
mbivutitat = mbeu + -at + -itat drunkenness
-ar 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 + -ar opening, ouverture
cilebra to celebrate
cilibrar = cilebra + -ar celebration
mou to move
muvur = mou + -ar motion, movement
-atur 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 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 + -atur attractive
atraitur = atrai + -atur attraction
mori to die
muritur = mori + -atur mortal
-atiu = -at + -iu Equivalent to Latin -ivus 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. fur to steal
furat = fur + -at stolen
furatiu = fur + -at + -iu furtive, stealthy
distim to distinguish
distimatiu = distim + -at + -iu distinctive
-amen 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 + -amen payment
vesti to dress
vistimen = vesti + -amen garnment
distim to distinguish
distimamen = distim + -amen 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
-abra Expresses that an act or process is possible. This is the derived Latin ending -abilis, -abilem, and comparable to -able, -ible. distim to distinguish
distimabra = distim + -abra distinguishable
-atai = -at + -ai Yields the (typical) place of the acting or processinng. This is derived from -tōrium and crossed with -ārium, and it probably lost the r due to dialectal pronunciation. lava to wash
lavatai = lava + -atai washing room, lavatory

Derivation is lexicalised and the above is a rough overview, e.g., in some cases, it is not easily predictable when -ar, -amen, or -i are used.


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)-, n(i)-, pi-, pru-, r(i)-, s(a)-, si-, spra-, 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 cresi church > crisian ecclesial
adj. > emphatic -is gran large > granis huge
any > -ism -isma iman magnet > imanisma magnetism
adj. > abstraction -(i)tat putuiu posible > putuiutat posibility
verb > agent -(a)tur am to love > amatur lover
verb > patient -(a)t posi to put > pusit put
verb > ability -abra lava be able > lavabra 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 -a is dropped when adding a vocalic ending, but final -i or -u are not. However, two identical vowels are collapsed into one. Some endings drop the initial vowel after -i and -u.

miracra + -us > miracrus miraculous
istra + -an > istran 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.

Firstly, final 'a' in words and prefixes and initial 'a' in suffixes is always a very weak vowel that is dropped readily, because it derives from an epenthetic [ə].

A final u in words ending in a two-vowel sequence 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.

Adjacent same vowels merge into a single vowel. This is shown in spelling only inside words, but spoken language also exhibits this across words.

Final 'a' is dropped before vowels all words and affixes omra + umla > omr' umla 'humble man'
Final u becomes v between vowels many words deu + -at > divut 'debt'
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 'a' is dropped after vowel all suffixes solu + -amen > sulumen 'solution'
Vowel is dropped after/before same vowel all affixes nreu + -us > nrivus 'nervous

The general 'final "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 + umra > d'umra 'of the shadow'
Initial phoneme is dropped special circumstances individual affixes supril + -itat > supriltat 'superiority'

Special elision rules apply between prepositions that end in a single vowel and articles un and li (but not lur). Here, before un, all such prepositions except a loose their final vowel, and after such prepositions (including a), li looses its vowel. If only consonants remain on either side, no white space is used but an apostrophe is placed between the preposition and the article, otherwise, one whitespace is added. For some of these prepositions, these special rules are actual the normal rules if a vowel follows, shown also in the following table using ap 'water'.

+ un 'a, one' li 'the' ap 'water'
a 'to' a un a'l a ap
di 'of' d'un di'l d'ap
ni 'in' n'un ni'l n'ap
pi 'for' p'un pi'l pi ap
cu 'with' c'un cu'l cu ap
su 'under' s'un su'l su ap
tra 'among' tr'un tra'l tra ap
spra 'over' spr'un spra'l spra ap
sinti 'without' sint un sinti'l sint ap
cutra 'against' cutr un cutra'l cutr ap
furi 'except' fur un furi'l fur ap
vis 'towards' vis un vis li vis ap preposition does not end in a vowel
apui 'after' apui un apui li apui ap preposition ends in two vowels

The elision of preposition and article is preferred in spelling over elision with surrounding words: ni'l ap 'in the water' instead of *ni l'ap.

Article usage has become mostly optional in Tirkunan. Therefore, these forms are not that frequent as in other Romance languages.

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.

A dropped vowel is indicated on the side that causes the drop (i.e., not the side that drops the phoneme): ni'l rin '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 [ˈdimb̥rɪ].

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 rin [ni rin] in a/the kingdom
n'un rin [nun d̥rin] in a kingdom
ni'l rin [nil rin] 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
anra ni mpiri [ˈand̥rɐ nim ˈpirɪ] walk in a/the empire
n'un mpiri [num m̩ˈpirɪ] in an empire
ni'l mpiri [nil m̩ˈpirɪ] in the empire
ni umra [ni ˈumb̥rɐ] in a/the shadow
anra ni umra [ˈand̥rɐ ni ˈumb̥rɐ] walk in a/the shadow
n'un umra [nu ˈnumb̥rɐ] in a shadow
ni'l umra [ni ˈlumb̥rɐ] in the shadow
cu rin [ku rin] 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
cu omra [ku ˈomb̥rɐ] with a/the man
c'un omra [ku ˈnomb̥rɐ] with a man
cu'l omra [ku ˈlomb̥rɐ] with the man
letr-imanisma [let rɪmɐˈnismɐ] electromagnetism

Pronouns / Prunumra

sg. pl.
1. mi no
2.informal ti
2.formal vo
2.representative tro
3. le lur
impersonal se
reflexive se
relative ce

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.[10]

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 he gender distinction lost, Tirkunan often uses noun phrases or demonstrative plus noun instead of a pronoun.

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

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

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'. The plural is used when talking to a group of representatives.

Since tro is 2nd person, for its reflexive, also tro is used, not se.

The 3rd person pronoun se is strictly reflexive. 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.

Mi va ni gradin mi. I (am) walk(ing) in my garden.
Vo va ni gradin vo. 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 / Pusivutiu

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

pau di fimra father of a/the woman
pau d'omra father of a/the man
pau di'l omra father of the man
pau di le his father

Pronouns follows the same pattern.[11] Also not that di may drop, particularly for lexicalised phrases and also for pronouns, so shorter possessives exist:

pau di mi my father
pau mi my father
pau no our father
pau ti your father
pau tro your people's father
pau se his/her (refl.) father
pau le his/her (non-refl.) father

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.[12] 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
ca < *cata determiner, pronoun each, each one, everyone
racu < aliqu(is) un(um) determiner, pronoun some(one), some(thing), any(one), any(thing) (singular)
nisu < ne ipsu(m) un(um) determiner, pronoun no-one, none, nobody, nothing, no
rapan < aliquant- determiner, pronoun, adverb some (amount or plural), somewhat
nimra < 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 nimra and nisu 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 rapan.

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

un bal [um bal] a dance
un cafi [uŋ ˈkafɪ] a cafe; a coffee
un fimra [uɱ ˈfimb̥rɐ] a woman
un mpiri [um m̩ˈpirɪ] an empire
un omra [u ˈnomb̥rɐ] a man

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 [kro͡ʊ̯]
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 masma 'most'. For smaller comparison, min 'less' is used, which has the superlative mimra. The ending -is < -issimus is used for an absolute superlative.

citat gran a/the large town positive
citat pru gran a/the larger town comparative of superiority
citat masma gran the largest town superlativ of superiority
citat min gran a/the less large town comparative of inferiority
citat mimra gran the least large town superlativ of inferiority
citat granis very large town absolute superlative
citat mrut gran very large town adverbial modification: 'very'
citat trop gran a/the town that is too large adverbial modification: 'too'
citat poc gran a/the town that is a bit large adverbial modification: 'bit'
pru bon better
masma bon best
pru mal worse
masma 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.[13]

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)'.[14]

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 gets more and more unimportant, especially in spoken language.

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.'

com < quōmodo 'how'
sim < sīc illō modō 'so, in this way'
tan < tanquam 'so, so much'
crai < crās 'tomorrow'
aoi < ad hōdie 'today'
air < ab herī 'yesterday'
sem < *ad id ipsum tempu 'now'[15]
atung < *ad tunce 'then'[16]
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'

Adjectives can be used as adverbs without modification.[17]

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
sinu but
u or
i ncur and yet
nipi either, neither
si if
i...i... both...and
u...u... either...or
nu sul...sinu ncui... not only...but also, both...and
nipi...nipi... neither...nor
ci that, than ce who, what, that
pi ci because pi ce why, therefore
u where ou where
cum how com how
can as much as can how much
caur when caur when

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 clause can be marked by a cil 'that' demonstrative used cataphorically (i.e., refering forward instead of the usual backward (anaphoric)).[18] Similarly, the conjunction can sometimes be stressed by using a (cataphoric) demonstrative adverb before it: la, sim, etc..[19] Also note that u is two conjunctions, meaning both 'or' and 'where'.[20]

conj. ci that Mi scriu ci ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ ki ti le͡ɪ̯] I write that you read.
pron.rel. ce what Mi scriu ce ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ ke ti le͡ɪ̯] I write what you read.
Mi scriu cil ce ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kil ke ti le͡ɪ̯]
that Mi scriu lebra ce ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ ˈlebrɐ ke ti le͡ɪ̯] I write the book that you read.
conj. pi ci because Mi scriu pi ci ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ pi ki ti le͡ɪ̯] I write because you read.
adv.rel. pi ce why Mi scriu pi ce ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ pi ke ti le͡ɪ̯] I write why you read.
conj. u or Mi scriu u ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ u ti le͡ɪ̯] I write or you read.
conj. u where Mi scriu u ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ u ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (s.t.) where you read.
Mi scriu la u ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ la u ti le͡ɪ̯]
adv.rel. ou where Mi scriu ou ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ o͡ʊ̯ ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (down) where you read.
conj. cum how Mi scriu cum ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kum ti le͡ɪ̯] I write the way you read.
Mi scriu sim cum ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ sim kum ti le͡ɪ̯] I write just like you read.
adv.rel. com how Mi scriu com ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kom ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (down) how you read.
conj. can as much as Mi scriu can ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kan ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (s.t.) as much as you read.
Mi scriu tan can ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ taŋ kan ti le͡ɪ̯]
adv.rel. can how much Mi scriu can ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kan ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (down) how much you read.
conj. caur when Mi scriu caur ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kɐˈur ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (s.t.) when you read.
Mi scriu la caur ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ la kɐˈur ti le͡ɪ̯]
adv.rel. caur when Mi scriu caur ti lei. [mis kri͡ʊ̯ kɐˈur ti le͡ɪ̯] I write (down) when you read.

Prepositions / Pripusit

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
sint(i) without
acas to, at (s.o.'s home, office etc.)
cutra against
spra over, above, about
su under
avan before, in front of
apui after, behind
fe ago
aprup near, close to, next to
fur(i) outside of, except
afin until, up to
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 spra or by using a derivative of sūrsum. In Tirkunan, usually ni is used. E.g. ni tabra 'on the table', ni lun 'on the moon'.

'Weak' consonansts will surface before vowels, 'weak' vowels are dropped before vowels. There are no other phenomena to avoid hiatus, e.g. with a + vowel. As usual, epenthetic phones may emerge, e.g. in n + l.

Tirkunan has a tendency in many dialects to drop the di preposition entirely when expressing a genetive construction or in ordinals, particularly in lexicalised and very common phrases. This is reflected also in standard language and in the lexicon.

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

Numbers / Nobra


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.[21] The numbers 20, 30, ..., 90 are regular also, using 1,...,9+deca.[22]

0 nul
1 un 11 dec' un 10 deca
2 do 12 deca do 20 do deca
3 tre 13 deca tre 30 tre deca
4 patru 14 deca patru 40 patru deca
5 cim 15 deca cim 50 cim deca
6 ses 16 deca ses 60 ses deca
7 set 17 deca set 70 set deca
8 ot 18 dec' ot 80 ot deca
9 nou 19 deca nou 90 nou deca
21 do dec' un 32 tre deca do 43 patru deca tre
100 etu 200 do etu 120 etu do deca
1000 cilu 2000 do 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 do etu nou deca nou mega set etu nou deca do cilu patru etu cim dec' 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 tre deca do.

Negative numbers are prefixed with min 'minus', e.g., '6.62607016·10-34' is read as ses viril ses do ses nul set nul un ses vic deca putur min tre 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.[23]

gen di 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 Do Pope John Paul the Second
Pap Binit Di Deca Ses Pope Benedict the Sixteenth

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 tre vs. gen tre.

There is an irregular ordinal number, marked in the lexicon as word type 'adj.num.':

prim first
gen prim 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 tre a third
tre pi patru three quarters
un pi ot litra vin an eighth of a litre of wine
pi ot litra vin an eighth of a litre of wine
patru dec' ot pi centi gen fu fimra 48% of the people were women

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

mei half
mei litra 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
metra 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

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'. The verb e 'to be' has no participles. All other verbs regularly form one participle as follows, which is used in analytic verb forms, too.

am 'to love' da 'to give' lava 'to wash' lig 'to bind oi 'to hear' solu 'to solve' beu 'to drink'
past passive participle -(a)t amat 'loved' dat 'given' lavat 'washed' ligat 'bound' uit 'heard' sulut 'solved' bivut 'drunken'

The participle ending (a)t suffixes regularly in the way shown: vowels a, i, u are used depending on the ending of the stem. If the stem ends in vowel + u, then it changes to -vu. The stress may shift, which causes the stem vowel to reduce: e becomes i, and o becomes u.

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[24] 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[25] 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[26] 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 coc. May the water cook.
No sa va. Let's go!
Optative Passive sa + verb+(a)t Luc sa fet. Let there be light.
Imperative va + verb Vo va am mi! Love me! (formal)
Va mang pan! Eat the bread!
Vo 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 Vo va mang!, the optative Vo sa mang! is used. Usually, the formal, polite phrases tend to be longer anyway: Vo 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 Omra sa au mangat. May the man 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:

Mood Negation, Emphasis, Other Aux. Tense marker] Aspect marker Passive Marker Verb
sa, va nu, si, ro, ariva, fe, potu, deu, ... 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 coc. 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 umra. I want (some) shadow.
sapi < sapit know how to + verb
sapi < sapit know
mang < *manticat eat
am < amat love
tenu < tenut hold, have
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 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.

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, which is not the case for transitive verbs. 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 can directly precede another verb to modify it.

scriu [skri͡ʊ̯] v.t. to write Ti scriu lebra. [tis kri͡ʊ̯ ˈlebrɐ] You write a book.
nat [nat] v.i. to swim No nat. [no nat] We swim.
mou [mo͡ʊ̯] v.refl. to move (by itself) Ap mou se. [ap mo͡ʊ̯ se] The water moves.
nivic [nɪˈvik] v.i.0s. to snow Aoi nivic. [ɐˈo͡ɪ̯ nɪˈvik] 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 fra͡ʊ̯] 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 lebra '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.[27] 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.[28] 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 jat < *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 strobi strubit 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-[29]
canēre can cane-ō cant *cant-ə canta 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

some indef.
single ce nisu ca racu cium cil cil ca cil la
can tut rapan canum poc mrut tan tan ca tan la
quality cal nisu tal ca tal racu tal calum tal tal ca tal la
manner com ni nisu manir ni ca manir ni racu manir cumum sim com ca com la
ou ni nisu loc ni ca loc ni racu loc uvum la ca la
a ou a nisu loc a ca loc a racu loc a uvum a la a ca a la
source d'ou di nisu loc di ca loc di racu loc d'uvum di la di ca di la
way pur ou pur nisu loc pur ca loc pur racu loc pur uvum pur la pur ca pur la
time caur mai tutur a racu ur atung sem atung
event a cal vic a nisu vic a ca vic a racu vic a calum vic a tal vic a vic ca a vic la
repetition a tut vic
reason pi nisu rati pi ca rati pi racu rati pi cium pi poc rati pi mrut rati pi rati ca pi rati la
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; someone'.

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.[30] This is counted as derivation, because the result is one word with single stress, e.g., cium 'whoever; someone' and uvum 'whereever; somewhere'. Note that indefinite relative and plain versions need two translations, but are a single lexicon entry in Tirkunan.

Indefinite words are often used instead of a phrase from the 'some' column to replace a more complex prepositional phrase when there is no single generic word. Note that infinite word can also be used as relative word, but words from the 'some' column cannot.

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-caur 'when else; at another time' or more often alt-caurum 'when ever else; at some other time'.[31]

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 nisu imply counting. When used with an uncountable noun, portions are counted: racu ap 'some glas/bottle/portion/body of water' vs rapan ap 'some amount of water'. Also ce crivis 'which glas/bottle of beer' vs. cal crivis 'which kind/type/brand of beer'. nisu does not enforce countability: nisu 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', afin 'up to', tra 'between, inside'.

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

Related Small Words

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

singra [ˈsiŋɡ̊rɐ] < singulōs 'one each' Rei cu spus seu ni singra tron. The king and his wife each sit on a throne.
singra implies plural meaning, so singra 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'.

Place and Time / Loc i Tem

Place and time, and sometimes notion, are often combined in one function word.

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

Any location or time noun can also be used to form complex prepositions, adverbs, etc., and the table shows destra, strur, cumra 'right, left, top' as examples. The general pattern is a generic prepostion a, ni, di, ... for a general categorisation plus the specific nouns/adjective. In the adjectival usage of a noun, it is possible to use, not to use, or replace by di the generic preposition.

Preposition Adverb Conjunction Adjective Noun Prefix
in, on, inside ni a ntern ntern ntern ni-
outside, out, except furi furi furi ci stern stern furi-
before, in front of avan avan avan ci di avan pri-
after, behind apui apui apui ci di apui pus-
above, over spra a nrat nrat nrat spra-
below, under su a bas bas bas su-
right a destra di a destra (a, di) destra destra destra-
left a strur di a strur (a, di) strur strur strur-
on top ni cumra di ni cumra (ni, di) cumra cumra

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 ordering, i.e., object and oblique pronouns are put after the verb where also a noun would go: Mi am ti. 'I love you'.

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 lebra! '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'.

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 camra 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 camra 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: ...camra 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 sinu nu potu. 'I want to fly but can't.'.


Questions basically use the same word order as declarative sentences, possible starting with a question word, a pronoun or an adverb. 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.[32]

In colloquial Tirkunan, is is often contracted to s.

Is ti e la? Are you there?
S'ti e la? Are you there?
Ou is ustal prosm' e? Where is the next hostel?
Ou's ustal prosm' e? Where is the next hostel?

Something to Drink

Usually, to use verbs in noun context,Tirkunan requires verbs to be converted formally to nouns, usually be 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.[33]

For 'something to drink', there are several possible ways of expressing this, with cium 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 cium. I want to eat something.
Mi ro cium di beu. I want something to eat.
Mi ro cium di bivur. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to eating'
Mi ro cium bivur. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to eating'
Mi ro cium di bivut. I want something to eat. Lit. 'to be eaten'
Mi ro cium bivut. 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 X the Y" is expressed in Tirkunan as pru X, pru Y. Since pru means more and usually a comperative follows, no additional word to indicate the comperative is used. The comperative is separated in Tirkunan so the normal word order can be used.

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

The One Who ...

The construction "the one who X Y" can be expressed in two ways in Tirkunan: cil ce X, Y or cil Y ce X. The second form can be analysed as a relative clause extraposition, and again, it may cause semantic difficulties if Y ends in a noun phrase.

Cil ce ariva prim, sa cuciri. The one who arrives first shall win.
Cil ce ariva prim, sa cuciri ioc. The one who arrives first shall win the game.
Cil sa cuciri ce ariva prim. ?That one shall win who arrives first.
?Cil sa cuciri ioc ce ariva prim. ?That one shall win the game who arrives first.

Semantics / Spluri Sinicat

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.

One Letter Words / Parol Letra Sul

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

a a
d di
i i
l li
n ni
p pi
s is
u u

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 tempri < 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 / Rapan Numra

Given Names

Aemilia Mili
Alexandra, Alexander Lisanra
Aloysius Alesi
Ambrosius Mrosi
Antonia, Antonius Antun
Arturius Ratul
Benedicta, Benedictus Binit
Caesar Cestra
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 Masmilan
Michaela, Michael Micil
Paula, Paulus Pol
Philippa, Philippus Filip
Richarda, Richardus Ricalda
Sibylla Sivil
Stephana, Stephanus Stefra
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 strat+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
Nascrutatur who does not listen
Umimpreti who raised the price
Sulutot solve-everything
Numampan doesn't eat bread
Udinint 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
Focus like fire
Miracus like an illusion
Ambilus like an eel
Cavalus like a horse
Cavalinus like a small horse
Centanus like a hundred years old
Racunus like someone
Marelus yellowish
Stivar liking the summer
Frumacar liking/dealing with yoghurt
Vecrivisar 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 -ida, -it, and -at.[34]

idru [ˈidrʊ] + -ida hydrogen + ide idrida [ɪˈdridɐ] hydride
osi [ˈosɪ] + -ida oxygen + ide usida [ʊˈsidɐ] 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 into Latin names, but sometimes abbreviated.

citrat [kɪˈtrat] citrate
idrusida [ɪdrʊˈsidɐ] hydroxide
crabusil [krɐbʊˈsil] 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
usida cobra [ʊˈsidɐ ˈkobrɐ] copper oxide
idrusida putasi [ɪdrʊˈsidɐ pʊˈtasɪ] potassium hydroxide
sulfat sodi niapus [sʊlˈfat ˈsodɪ njɐˈpus] anhydrous sodium sulphate
clurida fer(ⅠⅠⅠ) [tre] [klʊˈridɐ fer tre] 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., cetra 'citrus') instead of a derived adjective (e.g., citriu 'citric').

acit sulf [ɐˈkit sulf] sulphuric acid
acit cetra [ɐˈkit ˈketrɐ] citric acid

Texts / Test

Pater Noster

Pau No [pa͡ʊ̯ no] Our Father
Pau no, ce e ni cel, [pa͡ʊ̯ no ke e ni kel] Our father, who is in heaven.
Numra ti sa binit. [ˈnumb̥rɐ ti sa bɪˈnit] Your name be hallowed.
Rin ti sa veni. [rin ti sa ˈvenɪ] Your kingdom come.
Roi ti sa fet, [ro͡ɪ̯ ti sa fet] Your will shall be done.
Com ni cel sim ni ter. [kom ni kel sim ni ter] How in heaven so on earth.
Va dun aoi a no pan pi ca iur. [va du nɐˈo͡ɪ̯ a no pam pi ka jur] Give us today our bread for each day.
I va pidun a no divut no, [i va pɪˈdu na no dɪˈvut no] And forgive us our debts.
Tan com no pidun lur a diutur no. [taŋ kom no pɪˈdun d̥lu ra djʊˈtur no] Like we forgive them of our debtors.
I va nu ndu no ni tintar, [i va nun du no ni tɪnˈtar] And do not lead us into temptation.
Sinu va libra no di mal. [ˈsinʊ va ˈlibrɐ no di mal] But liberate us from evil.
Ca di ti e rin i putur i glur, [ka di ti e ri ni pʊˈtu ri ɡlur] As yours is the kingdom, the power, the glory.
N'itirnitat, [nɪtɪrə̆nɪˈtat] In eternity.
Amin. [ɐˈmin] Amen.


Mi am ti. [mi am ti] I love you.
No sa va! [no sa va] Let's go!
Matin bon! [mɐˈtim bon] Good morning!
Iur bon! [jur bon] Good afternoon!
Siran bon! [sɪˈram bon] Good evening!
Not bon! [not bon] Good night!
Bon vinit! [boɱ vɪˈnit] Welcome!
Salut! [sɐˈlut] Hello!
Aur! [ɐˈur] Bye, bye!
Sa rest nigatiu! [sa rest nɪɡɐˈti͡ʊ̯] Stay negative!
A rivei! [a rɪˈve͡ɪ̯] Good bye!
A pru trar! [a pru trar] See you later!
..., pi pracur. [ pi prɐˈkur] ... , please.
..., pi faur. [ pi fɐˈur] ... , please.
Mrut uligat! [m̩b̥ru tʊlɪˈɡat] Thank you!
Nu pi cil! [nu pi kil] Don't mention it!
Sa nur mi. [sa nur mi] Please ignore me.
Apui mi dilui! [ɐˈpu͡ɪ̯ mi dɪˈlu͡ɪ̯] After me the deluge!
Pi pracur, vo sa ro acepu cudulur sintit mi. [pi prɐˈkur vo sa ro ɐˈkepʊ kʊdʊˈlur sɪnˈtit mi] Please accept my sincere condolences.
Mi cuit, pi tan mi e. [mi kʊˈit pi tam mi e] Cogito ergo sum. / I think, therefore I am.
Cram mi Bond. [kram mi bond] My name is Bond.
Numra mi e Bond. [ˈnumb̥rɐ mi e bond] My name is Bond.
Rei e murit. Rei sa viu long! [re͡ɪ̯ e mʊˈrit re͡ɪ̯ sa vi͡ʊ̯ loŋ] The king/queen is dead. Long live the king/queen!
Is potu prisen a vo spus mi Gai? [is ˈpotʊ prɪˈse na vos pus mi ɡa͡ɪ̯] May I introduce you to my wife/husband Gaia/Gaius?
Cil e amat mi Gai! [ki le ɐˈmat mi ɡa͡ɪ̯] This is my boyfriend/girlfriend Gaia/Gaius!
Ou is ciditai prosm' e? [o͡ʊ̯ is kɪdɪˈta͡ɪ̯ pros me] Where is the next toilet?
Sa ro cium di mang. [sa ro kjum di maŋ] I would like something to eat.
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 caurum spra ce di lur do e pru frot, caur ni cil mumen, viacatur pas mvulut ni mantil crar. [vem bʊˈra li sʊˈlik dɪsˈkus ka͡ʊ̯ˈrum spra ke di lur do e pru frot kɐˈur ni kil mʊˈmen vjɐkɐˈtur pas ɱ̩vʊˈlut ni mɐnˈtil krar] Northwind and sun were discussing somewhen about who of the two is stronger, when in that moment, a traveller passed by wrapped in a warm coat.
Cuveni ci cil eri cusidrat pru frot ce ariva fe viacatur trai mantil. [kʊˈvenɪ ki ki ˈlerɪ kʊsɪˈdrat pru frot ke ɐˈrivɐ fe vjɐkɐˈtur tra͡ɪ̯ mɐnˈtil] They agreed that that one will be considered the one stronger who manages to make the traveller take off the coat.
Ven bural cumin sofla cu tut putur, sinu pru le sofla, pru viacatur tenu friu i strig se ni mantil, i ni fin, ven bural deu risin. [vem bʊˈral kʊˈmin ˈsoflɐ ku tut pʊˈtur ˈsinʊ pru le ˈsoflɐ pru vjɐkɐˈtur ˈtenʊ fri͡ʊ̯ is triŋ se ni mɐnˈtil i ni fin vem bʊˈral de͡ʊ̯ rɪˈsin] 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 tra͡ɪ̯ mɐnˈtil] Then, the sun began to shine in the sky, and immediately, the traveller got warm and took off the coat.
Sem, ven bural deu ricunus supriltat sulic. [sem vem bʊˈral de͡ʊ̯ rɪkʊˈnus sʊprɪlˈtat sʊˈlik] Now, the northwind had to recognise the superiority of the sun.

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 de͡ʊ̯ i pɐˈrol fu de͡ʊ̯] 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 de͡ʊ̯] It was, in the beginning, with God.
Tut e fet pur le, i sinti le, nin e fet ce e fet. [tu te fet pur le i ˈsintɪ le 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 trebla, i trebla nu nregu u cuciri le. [luk bril ni ˈtreblɐ i ˈtreblɐ nun ˈd̥reɡʊ u kʊˈkirɪ le] Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand or defeat it.
Omra fu manat di Deu, i numra se fu Iuan. [ˈomb̥rɐ fu mɐˈnat̚ di de͡ʊ̯ i ˈnumb̥rɐ se fu jʊˈan] A man was sent by God, and his name was John.


Gines [ɡɪˈnes] Genesis
Ni ncipur, Deu cria cel i ter. [niŋ kɪˈpur de͡ʊ̯ ˈkriɐ ke li ter] In the beginning, God made heaven and earth.
Ter fu rem i vot, i trebla fu spra faci avis i sprit Deu livit spra ap. [ter fu re mi vot i ˈtreblɐ fus pra ˈfakɪ ɐˈvi sis prit̚ de͡ʊ̯ lɪˈvit spra 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. [de͡ʊ̯ 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 trebla. [de͡ʊ̯ ve͡ɪ̯ ki luk fu bo ni sɪˈpar luk di ˈtreblɐ] God saw that the light was good and he separated light from darkness.
Deu cram luc «iur» i trebla «not». [de͡ʊ̯ kram b̥luk ju ri ˈtreblɐ 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

Regla d'Or [ˈreɡlɐ dor] Golden Rule
Ce nu ro fet a ti, nu fe a racu! [ke nu ro fe ta ti nu fe a ˈrakʊ] What you don't want done to yourself, don't do to anyone.


Babil [bɐˈbil] Babel
N'un tem, tut ter tenu lim sul i parol pal. [nun tem tut̚ ter ˈtenʊ 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. [na͡ʊ̯ 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
Iur bon! [jur bon] Good Afternoon!
Aoi siran Oda i mi au mangat past fratat di fung cu pestu i singra burata. [ɐˈo͡ɪ̯ sɪˈra ˈnodɐ i mi a͡ʊ̯ mɐŋˈɡat past frɐˈtat̚ di fuŋ ku ˈpestʊ i ˈsiŋɡ̊rɐ bʊˈratɐ] This evening, Uta and I ate pasta filled with mushrooms with pesto and a burrata each.
Si, poc mrut, sinu past fu frisc di mricat, pestu casifet fu ni mfriutur, i burata ni cumr' e tutur bon. [si pok m̩b̥rut ˈsinʊ past fu frisk dim b̥rɪˈkat ˈpestʊ kɐsɪˈfet fu niɱ frjʊˈtur i bʊˈratɐ ni kumb̥ 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 rapan iur pasat mi laur a ser cric tabra mi. [ni rɐˈpan jur pɐˈsat mi lɐˈu ra ser krik ˈtabrɐ mi] During the past few days, I have been working on my table saw.
Tabr' e pres finit i se potu opra ser. [tab re pres fɪˈni ti se ˈpotʊ ˈoprɐ ser] The table is almost done, and you can operate the saw.
Aoi mi au fet peu pi le. [ɐˈo͡ɪ̯ mi a͡ʊ̯ fet pe͡ʊ̯ pi le] Today, I made feet for it.
Vo sa rest nigatiu! [vo sa rest nɪɡɐˈti͡ʊ̯] Stay negative!
A pru trar, Nric [a pru trar n̩d̥rik] 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 pruspla di nort friu, [nɐˈtal fɪˈli ki an no͡ʊ̯ ˈprusplɐ di norə̆t fri͡ʊ̯] Merry Christmas and a happy new year from the cold north,
di Friulter, u no cilebra Natal. Ca nivic [di frjʊlˈter u no kɪˈlebrɐ nɐˈtal ka nɪˈvik] 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. Afin ur, pi frutun, vei [i diɱ faŋ ku frok ɐˈfi nur pi frʊˈtun ve͡ɪ̯] and of children with scissors. Up to now, fortunately, we saw
nisu lesi. Pi cilibrar se mang [ˈnisʊ 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 d̥rik] 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 lɪsˈjun pi kɪlɪbrɐtˈjun 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 [pa͡ʊ̯ ˈastrɐ rɐˈbul]
Mrut popra cuit ci Pau Astra Rabul e ginrat ce viu ni bosc. [m̩b̥rut ˈpoprɐ kʊˈit ki pa͡ʊ̯ ˈastrɐ rɐˈbu le ɡɪnˈd̥rat ke vi͡ʊ̯ 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 ɡɪnˈd̥rat kʊˈfundʊ vjɐkɐˈtur ni bos kin du ˈkelɪ ni prɪˈdutɪ]
N'un irun, cumantur Brinaldi nduc mrutitat miltar [nu nɪˈrun kʊmɐnˈtur brɪˈnaldɪn duk m̩b̥rʊtɪˈtat mɪlˈtar]
cuntra Druci, rei popra bitul. [ˈkuntrɐ ˈdrukɪ re͡ɪ̯ 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 a fricat lamra frac cu pel i dat frac a spus. [ˈdrukɪ a frɪˈkat ˈlamb̥rɐ frak̚ ku pe li dat fra kas pus]
Spus cunus racu camin sicrit i nduc miltar Druci, [spus kʊˈnus ˈrakʊ 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 pa͡ʊ̯ 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 ŋ̩ɡɪnˈjus 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 nɐˈpu͡ɪ̯ a lar i re͡ɪ̯ nɪˈmik fu trɐˈi tɐˈvan ˈdrukɪ]
Brinaldi deu iur a curun i a grai [brɪˈnaldɪ de͡ʊ̯ ju ra kʊˈru ni a ɡra͡ɪ̯]
ci mai pru veni ritron upur nduc miltar cuntra popra bitul. [ki ma͡ɪ̯ 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 Astra Rabul [pa͡ʊ̯ ˈastrɐ rɐˈbul] The Tree Bogy
Mrut popra creu ci Pau Astra Rabul e ginrat ce viu ni bosc. [m̩b̥rut ˈpoprɐ kre͡ʊ̯ ki pa͡ʊ̯ ˈastrɐ rɐˈbu le ɡɪnˈd̥rat ke vi͡ʊ̯ ni bosk] Many people think that the Tree Bogy is a creature that lives in the forest.
Sutenu se ni do per i tenu man com gen, [sʊˈtenʊ se ni do pe ri ˈtenʊ maŋ kom ɡen] It stands upright on two legs and has hands like a human,
sinu tenu faci i pang com us. [ˈsinʊ ˈtenʊ ˈfakɪ i paŋ ko mus] but it has a face and a belly like a bear.
Cil ginrat cufonu viacatur ni bosc i ndu lur ni pridur. [kil ɡɪnˈd̥rat kʊˈfonʊ vjɐkɐˈtur ni bos kin du lur ni prɪˈdur] This creature confounds travellers in the forest and leads them into perdition.
N'un iur, cumantur Biraldi ndu mrutitat miltar [nun jur kʊmɐnˈtur bɪˈraldɪn dum b̥rʊtɪˈtat mɪlˈtar] One day, commander Brinaldi led a multitude of solders
cutra Drut, rei popra bitul. [ˈkutrɐ drut re͡ɪ̯ ˈpoprɐ bɪˈtul] against Druci, the ruler of the Birch People.
Drut temu Biraldi pi ci Biraldi tenu pru miltar ci Drut. [drut̚ ˈtemʊ bɪˈraldɪ pi ki bɪˈraldɪ ˈtenʊ pru mɪlˈtar ki drut] Druci feared Brinaldi because Brinaldi had more soldiers.
Cumum, spus Drut e griman Biraldi, i bosc e aprup pais Drut. [kʊˈmum spus dru te ɡrɪˈmam bɪˈraldɪ i bos ke ɐˈprup̚ pɐˈis drut] However, Druci's spouse was a sibling of Brinaldi's, and the forest was close to Druci's land.
Drut a fricat lamra frac cu pel i dat frac a spus. [dru ta frɪˈkat ˈlamb̥rɐ frak̚ ku pe li dat fra kas pus] Druci rubbed the blade of a scythe with hide and gave it to the spouse.
Spus cunus racu camin sicrit i ndu miltar Drut, [spus kʊˈnus ˈrakʊ kɐˈmin sɪˈkri tin du mɪlˈtar drut] The spouse knew secret paths and led Druci's soldiers,
ce copri ocra se cu tisut, furi pais Drut, i aprup nimic. [ke ˈkoprɪ ˈokrɐ se ku tɪˈsut ˈfurɪ pɐˈis drut i ɐˈprup nɪˈmik] who covered their eyes with a cloth, out of the country and close to the enemy.
La, Drut leva se i diclar: [la drut ˈlevɐ se i dɪˈklar] There, Druci arose and declared:
"Ocra Biraldi va diveni craut! [ˈokrɐ bɪˈraldɪ va dɪˈvenɪ krɐˈut] Brinaldi's eyes shall be closed!
Va ndu li i miltar ni bosc a Pau Astra Rabul ce sa cufonu tut! [van du li i mɪlˈtar ni bos ka pa͡ʊ̯ ˈastrɐ rɐˈbul ke sa kʊˈfonʊ tut] Lead them with their soldiers into the forest to the Tree Bogy who shall confuse them all!
Va veni! No va cupas pais nimic!" [va ˈvenɪ no va kʊˈpas pɐˈis nɪˈmik ] Come! We will crush the land of the enemy!
I sim aveni. Miltar Biraldi fu tintat ni bosc u predu anurtar. [i si mɐˈvenɪ 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 avan Drut. [i mɪlˈtar fu mɐˈnat nɐˈpu͡ɪ̯ a lar i re͡ɪ̯ nɪˈmik fu trɐˈi tɐˈvan 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 de͡ʊ̯ ju ra kʊˈru ni a ɡra͡ɪ̯] Brinaldi had to swear an oath on the cross and on the sword
ci mai pru veni tor u ndu miltar cutra popra bitul. [ki ma͡ɪ̯ pru ˈvenɪ to run du mɪlˈtar ˈkutrɐ ˈpoprɐ bɪˈtul] that never again will they return or lead soldiers against the birch people.

Vocabulary: a anurtar aprup astra avan aveni bitul bosc Biraldi camin ce ci com copri craut cu cufonu creu cil cumantur cumum cunus cupas curun dat deu di diclar diveni do Drut e faci frac fricat fu fur furi gen ginrat grai griman i iur iur la lamra lar leva li lur mai man manat miltar mrut mrutitat n napui ndu nginus ni nimic no ocra pais pang pau pel pi popra predu per pridur pru rabul racu ram rei ritor sa se sicrit sim sinu spus sutenu temu tenu tintat tisut trait tut u un us va veni viacatur viu

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 comra caval cu sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkomb̥rɐ kɐˈval ku sel]
Vacar comra caval i sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkomb̥rɐ kɐˈva li sel]
Vacar comra caval iumbit cu sel. [vɐˈkar ˈkomb̥rɐ kɐˈval jʊmˈbit ku sel]
We are with you in this task. No sutenu ti ni cil divur. [no sʊˈtenʊ ti ni kil dɪˈvur]
No sutenu vo ni cil divur. [no sʊˈtenʊ vo ni kil dɪˈvur]
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 man with the beard. Tiul mi e omra cu brau. [tjul mi e ˈomb̥rɐ ku bra͡ʊ̯]
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 tra͡ɪ̯ kɐˈrek]
Let's get up tomorrow morning with the sun. Sa leva no crai matin cu sulic. [sa ˈlevɐ no kra͡ɪ̯ mɐˈtiŋ ku sʊˈlik]
The women trembled with fear when they saw the bear. Fimra tremla di paur caur vei us. [ˈfimb̥rɐ ˈtremb̥lɐ di pɐˈur kɐˈur ve͡ɪ̯ us]
The girl had to be satisfied with the last prize. Nicol deu e satisfit cu premi rutis. [nɪˈkol de͡ʊ̯ e sɐtɪsˈfit ku ˈpremɪ rʊˈtis]
Serve the Lord with gladness. Va strebi Sinur cu pracur. [vas ˈtrebɪ sɪˈnur ku prɐˈkur]


a amic batu brau carec caur caval comra crai crutel crutic cu cubatu cil deu di divur e fimra griman i iumbit las le letr leva matin mi mitis ni nicol no nu omra paur potu pracur premi putur rutis sa satisfit se sel sinur strebi sulic sutenu tali ti tiul trai tremla tut us va vacar vei veni vigratur vo

Copula Polysemy

1. That man is my father. Cil omr' e pau mi. [ki lomb̥ re pa͡ʊ̯ mi]
2. That man is my friend. Cil omr' e amic mi. [ki lomb̥ re 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 lo͡ʊ̯ nu flar tam ma lɐˈir]
16. Two plus two equals four. Do pru do e pal a patru. [do pru do e pa la ˈpatrʊ]
17 His statement proved incorrect. Diclaramen le risult nicurit. [dɪklɐrɐˈmen d̥le rɪˈsult nɪkʊˈrit]
19. The hare remained still and the fox didn't see it. Lepra rest paciu i rup nu vei le. [ˈleprɐ rest pɐˈki͡ʊ̯ i rup nu ve͡ɪ̯ le]
20. We lit a fire and stayed warm. No acinra foc i rest crar. [no ɐˈkind̥rɐ fo ki rest krar]


a acinra air amic crar cil diclaramen diveni do e flar foc ful i le lepra mal maron mi n nicurit no nu omr 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. No dun a ti al pi prin ti cu no a l'ar. [no du na ti al pi prin ti ku no a lar]

Course / Curs

Ce is mi e?

Croi: Salut Flur, com is cos e? [kro͡ɪ̯ 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? [kro͡ɪ̯ ŋ̩ku͡ɪ̯ bon o sɐˈlut jul ˈprakʊ ki ve͡ɪ̯ ti o͡ʊ̯ is ti va]
Iul: Salut Croi! Mi va a Tracunis. I ti? [jul sɐˈlut kro͡ɪ̯ mi va a trɐkʊˈnis i ti]
Croi: Mi va ncui a Tracunis. [kro͡ɪ̯ mi vaŋ ku͡ɪ̯ a trɐkʊˈnis]
Iul: Is cil e amic ti? [jul is ki le ɐˈmik ti]
Croi: Si, no studi iumbit a univisitat. [kro͡ɪ̯ si nos ˈtudɪ 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 do͡ʊ̯ is ti e]
Iul: E di Cair, i ti? [jul e di kɐˈir i ti]
Flur: E di Atin sinu studi a Tracunis. I ce is ti fe? [flur e di ɐˈtin ˈsinʊs ˈtudɪ a trɐkʊˈnis i ke is ti fe]
Iul: Mi e ncui studitur. Can an is ti tenu? [jul mi eŋ ku͡ɪ̯ stʊdɪˈtur ka na nis ti ˈtenʊ]
Flur: 22 [do deca do]. I mitis? [flur do ˈdekɐ do i mɪˈtis]
Iul: Mi tenu 23 [do deca tre]. [jul mi ˈtenʊ do ˈdekɐ tre]

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 com cos cram Croi cil d deca di do e fe Flur i is Iul iumbit mi mitis ncui no o ou pracu pracur salut si sinu studi studitur tenu ti Tracunis tre uligat univisitat va vei vinti

Ce is vo ro mang?

Croi: Mi tenu famra. Flur, no sa mang ni risturan! [kro͡ɪ̯ mi ˈtenʊ ˈfamb̥rɐ flur no sa maŋ ni rɪstʊˈran]
Flur: Ur e ses, i mi tenu ncui famra. Cuvinit! [flur u re ses i mi ˈtenʊŋ ku͡ɪ̯ ˈfamb̥rɐ kʊvɪˈnit]
A rapan minut pru trar, Croi i Flur seu ni risturan. [a rɐˈpam mɪˈnut pru trar kro͡ɪ̯ i flur se͡ʊ̯ ni rɪstʊˈran ]
Camrar: Siran bon i bon vinit acas! [kɐmˈb̥rar sɪˈram bo ni boɱ vɪˈni tɐˈkas]
Croi i Flur: Siran bon! [kro͡ɪ̯ i flur sɪˈram bon]
Camrar: Ce is vo ro mang? [kɐmˈb̥rar ke is vo ro maŋ]
Croi: Prin nsalat pumber pi pracur. [kro͡ɪ̯ prin n̩sɐˈlat pʊmˈber pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Mrut bon, i no? Ncui nsalat? [kɐmˈb̥rar m̩b̥rut bon i no ŋ̩ku͡ɪ̯ n̩sɐˈlat]
Flur: Nu, prin alt-cium. Mi sa ro catric proc cu fung, pi pracur. [flur nu pri nalt kjum mi sa ro kɐˈtrik prok̚ ku fuŋ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Rigur bon! Is sa ro ncur cium di beu? [kɐmˈb̥rar rɪˈɡur bon is sa roŋ kur kjum di be͡ʊ̯]
Croi: Si, prin crivis, pi pracur. [kro͡ɪ̯ si priŋ krɪˈvis pi prɐˈkur]
Flur: Pi mi vin robi, pi pracur. [flur pi mi vin ˈd̥robɪ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: Mrut uligat, le eri prun ca. [kɐmˈb̥rar m̩b̥ru tʊlɪˈɡat le ˈerɪ pruŋ ka]
Croi i Flur mang i beu. [kro͡ɪ̯ i flur maŋ ɡi be͡ʊ̯ ]
Flur: Camrar, conti, pi pracur. [flur kɐmˈb̥rar ˈkontɪ pi prɐˈkur]
Camrar: E iumbit 20 € [do dec' Iuru]. [kɐmˈb̥rar e jʊmˈbit̚ do dek ˈjurʊ]
Flur: Fu dilitus! Sa tenu 22 [do deca do]. [flur fu dɪlɪˈtus sa ˈtenʊ do ˈdekɐ do]
Camrar: Mrut uligat. A rivei! [kɐmˈb̥rar m̩b̥ru tʊlɪˈɡat a rɪˈve͡ɪ̯]
Croi i Flur: A rivei! [kro͡ɪ̯ i flur a rɪˈve͡ɪ̯]

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

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

New Vocabulary:

acas alt-cium beu ca camrar catric cium conti crivis cu cuvinit dilitus eri famra fu fung iuru le mang minut mrut ncur ni nsalat nu pi prin proc pru prun pumber rapan rigur risturan rivei ro robi sa ses seu siran trar ur vin vinit vo

Sound Changes / Camir Son

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.
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.
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 particularly similar to Tirkunan: Ligurian 'mi, ti, lê, noî, voî, lô' vs. Tirkunan 'mi, ti, le, no, vo, lur', although the ti, vo 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 Italian adesso and Ladin śëm.
Like Romanian atunci.
Like in Romanian or Sardinian, and similar to many special circumstances in other Romance languages.
Similar to Italian quello in 'Scrivo quello che scrivi.' and Spanish lo 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.
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.
Just like French est-ce que.
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.
This is different from Romance languages here, which use -uro (or -eto) or similar instead of -ide.
like many dialects of Catalan


August 19th, 2023
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