Word building

It's possible to build new words in Pandunia. Pandunia has a productive system of word derivation. Most of the suffixes that are used in Pandunia are already in international use. Many of them come from ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Persian.

Word class markers

Pandunia uses vowel endings for quick word derivation. In this system the final vowel of a word indicates its word class. So the root (i.e. stem) of the word indicates a general idea and the vowel endings indicate different manifestations of that idea.

Pandunia uses the following vowel endings to mark parts of speech.

  • -e indicates a noun (a thing)
  • -i indicates an adjective (a description)
  • -o indicates an adverb (a manner or a circumstance)
  • -a indicates an active verb (an action)
  • -u indicates a passive verb (an event)

They are the only true suffixes i.e. bound morphemes in Pandunia. All other suffixes can be used also as independent words. For example paciste (pacifist) is made up of two full words: pace (peace) and iste (proponent).

The designated vowel endings enable easy derivation of one type of word from another. An ending is simply changed to another ending.

  • The ending -e converts the idea into a thing. For example nile means the color blue.
  • The ending -i converts the idea into a description. The resulting modifier describes another idea with the modifying idea. For example nili dome means a blue house.
  • The ending -a converts the idea into an action. The resulting verb is about applying the idea to an object. For example nila dome means "to make the house blue".
  • The ending -u creates an action just like -a. The only difference is that the word order is reversed so that the object comes first. For example dome nilu means "the house becomes blue".

All endings can be applied on all ideas in the same way.

Here are a few examples of different types of ideas.

  • concrete action
    • kitabe a writing (noun)
    • kitabi written, textual (adjective)
    • kitabo by writing
    • kitaba to write (active verb)
    • kitabu to be written (passive verb)
  • abstract action
    • fikre a thought (noun)
    • fikri thinking (adjective)
    • fikro by thinking (adverb)
    • fikra to think (active verb)
    • fikru to be thought (passive verb)
  • description
    • longe length (noun)
    • longi long, lengthy (adjective)
    • longo lengthily (adverb)
    • longa to make long, to lengthen (active verb)
    • longu to get long, to be lengthened (passive verb)
  • tool
    • hamar a hammer (noun)
    • hamari "hammery", hammerlike (adjective)
    • hamaro by/with/like a hammer
    • hamara to hammer, to apply hammer on sth (active verb)
    • hamaru to be hammered (passive verb)

Deriving verbs

-a and -u are the endings for verbs.

  1. If the stem's idea is an action, then its verb form will mean "to do the action". For example from vide (a look) we get vida (to look).
  2. If the idea is a description then its verb form will mean "to turn into that quality". For example from novi (new) we get nova (to make new or to renew).
  3. If the idea is a thing, then its verb form will mean "to apply it to". For example from hamare (hammer) we get hamara (to hammer).

Deriving nouns

-e is the ending for nouns.

If the stem's idea is an action, then its noun form will mean the result or the product of the action. For example from kitaba (to write) we get kitabe (writing or text).

If the idea is a description, then its noun form will mean a concrete instance of that quality. For example from novi (new) we get nove (a novelty i.e. something new).

Additional noun suffixes are presented below.

Deriving adjectives

-i is the ending for adjectives and adjectival verbs.

If the stem's idea is a description, then its adjectival form will mean "that which is in the state of the root". For example from nov- (newness), we get novi (new i.e. that which is new).

If the idea is an action, then its adjectival form will mean the state that is produced by the action. For example from loga (to speak) we get logi (spoken).

If the idea is a thing, an object or a person, then its adjectival form will mean "that which is like the root". For example, from the noun insan (human being), we get the adjective insani (human, having the attributes of a human being).

If the root is a place word, then its adjectival form will mean "that which is from that place".

irania Iran, irani Iranian
pakistan Pakistan, pakistani Pakistani
amerike America, ameriki American
europe Europe, europi European
asia Asia, asi Asian

Words without an ending

Some words in Pandunia don't have a vowel ending. These are the rules:

  • Verbs always have an ending: -a or -u.
  • Modifiers almost always have the ending -i. The most common adjectives are exceptions to the rule: bon, mal, lil, day.
  • Nouns almost always have the ending -e or -ia. Some common nouns and suffixes are exceptions to the rule (ex. cay, maw, hotel, kitaber, helium).

For example we normally use short word insan (human being) instead of insane. Likewise we normally say bon (good) instead of boni. Note that it is always acceptable to use the vowel endings on every word. It is an artistic choice by the authors of Pandunia to not require them on these words.

Compound words

Two or more roots can be put together to make a compound word. The last root is the most meaningful part in the compound and the roots that come before it only modify its meaning.

Compound words are made of bare word stems and a vowel ending.

For example, this is how the word kansuye (tears) is made:

      kan       (eye)
   +  suy       (water)
   +    e       (noun ending)
____________
= kansuye       (eyewater, tear)

And this is how the word andewisti (atheistic) is made:

       an       (negation)
   +  dew       (god)
   +  ist       (proponent, -ist)
   +    i       (adjective ending)

= andewisti (atheistic)

If joining bare stems together would result into a difficult consonant sequence, a padding vowel -o- is inserted between them.

For example, this is how termometer (thermometer) is made:

     term       (temperature)
   +    o       (padding vowel)
   +  met       (measuring)
   +   er       (device)
____________
= termometer    (thermometer)

Common Suffixes

-bli

Indicates possibility. It is attached after the verb root.

vidabli which can be seen, visible
vidubli who/which can see

-er

Creates agent nouns. It denotes a person or a tool which does the action.

loga to speak; loger speaker, the one who speaks
beka to bake; beker baker, the one who bakes
lida to lead; lider leader, the one who leads
filsofa to think deeply; filsofer philosopher
komputa to compute, to process data; komputer computer
morta to kill; morter killer

The derivative can be also more loosely associated with the root.

sapate shoe; sapater shoemaker
muskete musket; musketer musketeer
kase cash desk; kaser cashier

-ia

Creates aggregate nouns. It denotes a group of elements named by the root as a whole.

insan human being; insania humanity, mankind, all the human beings as a group.
kristi Christian, kristia Christianity, all Christians as a group.
filosof view, outlook, life wisdom; filosofia philosophy, the discipline of wisdom.

This ending is often found in place names, especially in country names. However this use is not systematic and it's not required. There are also a lot of country names that do not end in -ia.

arabi Arab, Arabic; arabia Arabia
rusi Russian; rusia Russia
turki Turk, Turkish; turkia Turkey
asia Asia
indonesia Indonesia
italia Italy

Also abstract nouns often end in -ia.

novi new, novia newness, novelty
huri free, huria freedom

When it is added after -er, it means a place of work.

bekeria bakery
fateria factory
sapateria shoemaker's shop

-is-

Causative suffix.

jana to know
janisa to make known, to inform
nota to note
notisa to notify

-ist-

This suffix that denotes a person who tends to behave or think in a certain way or to follow a certain ideology or religion.

dew god
dewiste theist (one who believes in existence of a god or gods)
dewisti theistic
dewistia theism (system of belief in a god or gods)

-ul-

Creates verbs that reverse the meaning of the base verb.

noda to tie; nodula to untie
tapa to plug, to close with a plug; tapula to unplug, to open the plug.

Function Words

Function words are words that help to organize words into more or less complex sentences. It is a closed class i.e. new words are never or only very seldom be added to it. Function words behave by definition differently than content words, which is the open class for words that refer to things in the world outside the structure of the language.

In Pandunia, function words have the following characteristics:

  1. The word is made up of one consonant and one vowel.
  2. The consonant indicates the general idea of the word.
  3. The vowel has a structural meaning, as follows:
    • -e indicates a pronoun
    • -i indicates a determiner or a modifier
    • -o indicates an adverb
    • -a indicates a preposition
    • -u indicates a postposition
Idea -e (noun or pronoun) -i (modifier) -o (manner) -a (preposition) -u (postposition)
1 1st person pronoun me
I
mi
my
2 2nd person pronoun te
you
ti
your
3 3rd person pronoun le
he, she, it
li
his, her, its
4 Reflexive pronoun ze
(him/her)self
zi
(his/her) own
5 Interrogative ke
what?
ki
which?
ko
how?
6 Near demonstrative ye
this one
yi
this
yo
thus
7 Far demonstrative we
that one
wi
that
wo
so
8 Negation / absence ni
no, not any
no
not
na
without
nu
-less
9 Affirmation / presence si
yes
sa
with, by, at
su
-ed, -ful
10 Possession da
of
du
's
11 Destination pa
to, for
pu
-ward, -bound
12 Origin ca
from, since
cu