1. Overview

1.1. Introduction

This grammar deals with the types of words and word order patterns in Pandunia. However, it's possible to learn Pandunia without reading this grammar, for example with the help of a phrasebook and a dictionary.

All language teachers know that a language becomes more difficult to learn when the student must learn to make distinctions that they are not used to making. That's why students have difficulties with things like irregular spelling, case-inflection, mandatory tenses, tones, noun/adjective agreement, honorific inflection, consonant and vowel harmony, mandatory gender distinctions and so on.

Pandunia is not a difficult language to learn. It doesn't have any of the previously mentioned complexities. Instead, it has a simple and regular grammar, a relatively simple vocabulary, and a simple phonetic spelling.

1.2. Word classes

A word class is a group of words that have similar forms and similar use in sentences. In Pandunia, the word class is often indicated by the ending, especially the last vowel, of a word. For example, most words that end in -a are used as verbs in sentences.

The two major families of word classes are content words and function words. Content words convey most of information and meaning. Function words are the necessary words for grammar. You can't say anything meaningful without content words, but you need function words to put content words together, especially in long sentences.

In Pandunia, the main classes of content words are: nouns, verbs and modifiers; and the main classes of function words are: pronouns, determiners, prepositions and postpositions.

The vowel endings indicate the classes of content words as follows:

  • -e indicates a noun
  • -i indicates a modifier
  • -a indicates a forward verb
  • -u indicates a backward verb

For example, log- is the stem for the noun loge (speech), the modifier logi (spoken or oral or orally), the forward verb loga (to speak), and the backward verb logu (to be spoken).

The same vowel endings are used also in function words, and they indicate the classes of function words as follows:

  • -e indicates a pronoun
  • -i indicates a determiner
  • -a indicates a preposition
  • -u indicates a postposition

For example, m- is the stem for the pronoun me (I) and the determiner mi (my).

Cardinal numerals don't have any vowel ending.

Proper names are considered to be independent of the stem-and-suffix system in Pandunia. That's why they don't always have the normal word class endings. For example, the name of a person called Marie can be mari in Pandunia, and the word shall function as a noun and not as a modifier unlike the form of the word indicates. Obviously, this can be confusing. That's why it is recommended that names are modified to use the normal noun endings or to take the honorary suffix san as in mari-san.

1.3. The basic rules

These are the ten basic rules of Pandunia language. They are described in more detail later in this document.

  1. The spelling follows the pronunciation exactly.
  2. The stress is placed on the syllable before the last consonant of the word.
  3. Words consist of a stem and one or more suffixes. The last suffix indicates the word class to which the word belongs.
    • Modifiers end in -i, ex. novi = new.
    • Forward verbs end in -a, ex. me loga = I speak.
    • Backward verbs end in -u, ex. le logu = It is spoken.
    • Nouns end in -e, -ia or zero.
  4. Nouns have a single, unchanging form.
  5. The adjectives and the adverb have the same form. Together they are called modifiers. They come before the word that they modify. All modifiers, except the most common few, end in -i.
    • ex. 1. rapi loge = A fast talk.
    • ex. 2. te rapi loga. = You talk fast.
  6. The verb ending -a indicates that the agent of the action is immediately before the verb.
    • ex. me niama aple. = I eat apples.
  7. The verb ending -u indicates that the recipient of the action is immediately before the verb.
    • ex. aple niamu. = Apples are eaten.
  8. In the pivot structure, the object of the transitive verb functions as the subject of the next verb.
    • ex. me plisa te dona pes. = I ask you to give money.
  9. Pronouns can be left out when they are obvious and redundant.
    • me eska te baxa pandunia? β†’ eska te baxa pandunia? = Do you speak Pandunia?
    • me plisa te loga ming. β†’ plisa loga ming. = Please speak clearly.
  10. Compound words are created by putting the element words side by side. The linking vowel -o- is inserted between the elements.
    • ex. poste (mail) + sanduke (box) β†’ postosanduke (mailbox)

2. Nouns

2.1. Uninflected

A noun is a word that names a thing. Like all words in Pandunia, nouns are invariant. So the same form is used in singular and plural, in definite and indefinite, etc.

petre – a stone, stones, the stone or the stones
meze – a table, tables, the table or the tables
kurse – a chair, chairs, the chair or the chairs
suy – water

Number and definiteness are often known because they were specified earlier in the discussion or because they are general knowledge. For example, normally the word sol refers to the sun and lun refers to the moon, our only sun and moon.

2.2. Number

Nouns are unaffected by number, i.e. nouns have the same form in singular and plural. Number can be mentioned with number words when it is needed.

kurse – a chair or chairs
un kurse – one chair
dul kurse – two chairs
tin kurse – three chairs
pol kurse – many chairs; chairs

2.3. Gender

Pandunia doesn't have grammatical gender (i.e. masculine, feminine and/or neuter categories).

Some words have natural gender. For example fem (woman) is feminine and man (man) is masculine.


3. Modifiers

A modifier is a word that adds some quality or description to another word, for example good, bad, big, and fast.

3.1. Modifying a noun

An adjective is a word that adds a particular quality for a noun. In Pandunia, an adjective is a modifier that is before a noun.

novi kar – new car(s)
rapi kar – fast car(s)
day meze – big table(s)
gaw meze – high table(s)
bon kurse – good chair(s)

When adjective can be also after the noun. Often this type of phrases can be read as complete sentences, where the verb to be is implied.

kar novi. – The car is new.
bagre rapi. – The tiger is fast.

Naturally there can be modifiers on both sides of the noun as well.

novi kar rapi. – The new car is fast.

3.2 Modifying a verb

An adverb is a word that modifies a verb or another modifier.

In Pandunia an adverb is a modifier that is before a verb or at the end of the sentence.

me bon sona. – I well sleep.
me sona bon. – I sleep well.
te baxa pandunia bon. – You speak Pandunia well.

3.3. Modifying another modifier

A modifier can modify also another modifier. For example day (big) and lil (little) can be used as intensifying adverbs.

day ren – a big person
lil ren – a little person
sundar ren – a beautiful person

day sundar ren – very beautiful person
lil sundar ren – somewhat beautiful person

The modifiers can be separated by using e (and).

lil e sundar ren – a little and beautiful person

3.4. Comparison

Modifiers can be compared.

  • max (more) indicates comparison of superiority
  • maxim (most) indicates the superlative of superiority
  • min (less) indicates comparison of inferiority
  • minim (least) indicates the superlative of inferiority
  • sam (as) indicates the comparison of equality

Particle ka relates the adverbs of comparison to the point of comparison.

me si max bon ka te. = I am better than you.
te loga sam bon ka me. = You speak as well as me.

3.6. Modifier ending

Adjectives end in -i by default. The ending is used always with words that are derived from action roots and thing roots. Ex. logi oral, spoken, suki happy, kitabi written, textual.

The ending is not used in a handful of description roots that end in a single consonant that is easy to pronounce. Ex. bon (good), day (big), and lil (small).


4. Numerals

Quantity can be expressed with numerals and other quantity-words. They are put before the word or phrase that they qualify.

un xing – one star
dul xing – two stars
tin xing – three stars
xaw xing – few stars
pol xing – many stars

un day kurse – one big chair
dul day kurse – two big chairs
tin bon kurse – three good chairs

Ordinal numbers come after the word that they modify.

fen un – the first part (part one) fen dul – the second part (part two) fen tin – the third part (part three)

The basic number words are:

  • 0 nol
  • 1 un
  • 2 dul
  • 3 tin
  • 4 car
  • 5 lim
  • 6 sis
  • 7 sem
  • 8 bal
  • 9 naw

Greater numbers are simply made by putting one digit after another – exactly like they are written in the universal numerical language of mathematics.

  • 10 un nol or des
  • 11 un un
  • 12 un dul
  • 13 un tin
  • 20 dul nol
  • 21 dul un
  • 22 dul dul
  • 100 un nol nol or hon
  • 101 un nol un or hon un
  • 200 dul nol nol or dul hon

Numbers that are greater than 999 may use the multiples from the International System of Units. So for example kilo denotes a multiple of a thousand.

  • 1000 kil
  • 1 000 000 megi
  • 1 000 000 000 gigi
  • 1 000 000 000 000 teri
  • 1015 peti
  • 1018 eksi
  • 1021 zeti
  • 1024 yoti

Sometimes it is known from the context how many objects are spoken about. For example, the word sol (sun) normally refers to just one sun because there is only one.

5. Pronouns

5.1. Personal pronouns

Pronouns can substitute nouns and noun phrases.

me – I, me
te – you
le – he, she, it
mome – we
tote – you all
lole – they

5.2. Reflexive pronoun

The reflexive pronoun is used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject.

ze – self

Note! The reflexive pronoun ze is used for all persons, so it corresponds to English myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves_ and themselves all at once.

me vida ze – I see myself.
le vida ze – She sees herself. / He sees himself. / It sees itself.
mome vida ze. – We see ourselves.

5.3. Demonstrative pronouns

The demonstrative pronouns are:

we – this one
we – that one

me wana ye. – I want this one.
le wana we. – He/she wants that one.

They end in -i when they function as modifiers i.e. when they come before a noun.

yi maw – This cat
wi maw – That cat

5.4. Interrogative pronouns

ke is a general-purpose interrogative pronoun. It does the job of English words who and what.

ke? – Who or what?

The adjectival interrogative pronoun is ki and it means the same as English which and how.

ki xey? – What? (Which thing?)
ki ren? – Who? (Which person?)
ki zaman? – When? (What time?)
ki yang? – How? (What manner?)

Also adjectives are questioned with ki.

ki pol? – How many?
ki long? – How long?
ki day? – How big?
ki lil? – How small?

ki day du maw te tena? – How big cat do you have?


6. Verbs

6.1. Introduction

A verb denotes an action or an occurence, ex. to eat, to speak, to look and to think.

A verb can involve an agent and a recipient. The agent performs or "causes" an action, and the recipient receives or "experiences" the action.

Pandunia has two types of verb: verbs that end in -a and verbs that end in -u. The endings decide the order of the agent and the recipient of the action in the sentence. So the sentence structure depends on the type of the verb.

Simply put, the ending -a means:
If there is anything right before the verb, it is the agent.
If there is anything right after the verb, it is the recipient.

And the ending -u means:
If there is anything right before the verb, it is the recipient.
If there is anything right after the verb, it is the agent.

Consider the following examples:
me safa. – I clean.
me safa kamar. – I clean a room.
kamar safu. – Room is cleaned.
kamar safu me. – Room is cleaned by me.

As you can see, -a and -u indicate word orders that are opposite to each other. That's why verbs with -a are called forward verbs and verbs with -u are called backward verbs.

What follows is a theoretical explanation of how verbs work in Pandunia. It is not necessary to understand the triangular patterns completely. You can even skip them at first and go directly to chapter 7.

6.2. Forward verbs

Verbs that end in -a are called forward verbs because the word orders go forward from the agent via the verb to the recipient.

Verbs that end in -a use this triangular pattern.

Word order triangle for verbs that end in -a

  V
 β†— β†˜
A ← R

6.2.1. Order A1: Agent, verb and recipient

The most common word order in Pandunia is agent-verb-recipient. In this sentence structure the agent comes first, the verb second, and the recipient third.

agent-verb-recipient

  V
 β†— β†˜
A   R

Examples:
te vida ke? – You see what?
me vida lole. – I see them.
te beka pang. – You bake bread.

6.2.2. Order A2: Recipient, agent and verb

The second structure in this triangle is recipient-agent-verb. It is frequent in dependant clauses.

recipient-agent-verb

  V
 β†— 
A ← R

Examples:
ke te vida? – What do you see?
me niama pang, da te beka. – I eat bread that you baked.

6.2.3. Order A3: Verb, recipient and agent

The third structure of this triangle is the verb-recipient-agent, which is rarely used. It is described here only for the sake of completeness.

verb-recipient-agent

  V
   β†˜
A ← R

6.3.Backward verbs

Verbs that end in -u are called backward verbs because the word orders go backward from the recipient via the verb to the agent.

Verbs that end in -u use this triangular pattern.

Word order triangle for verbs that end in -u

  V
 β†— β†˜
R ← A

6.3.1. Order U1: Recipient, verb and agent

The recipient-verb-agent order is common in sentences where the subject is a passive recipient.

recipient-verb-agent

  V
 β†— β†˜
R   A

Often they can be translated to English by using the passive voice or an intransitive verb but sometimes a transitive verb can be used too.

Examples:
pang beku te. – Bread is baked by you.
pakse domu arbe. – Birds live (in) trees.
te suku me. – You are pleased by me. (Or: You like me.)

6.3.2. Order U2: Agent, recipient and verb

The agent-recipient-verb order is commonly used alternative for the agent-verb-recipient order.

agent-recipient-verb

  V
 β†— 
R ← A

Examples:
me lole vidu. - I them see.
te pang beku. - You bread bake.

6.3.3. Order U3: Verb, agent and recipient

The verb-agent-recipient order is very rare but possible. It is described here only for the sake of completeness.

verb-agent-recipient

  V
   β†˜
R ← A

6.4. Summary of word orders

In theory there are six possible word orders for transitive verbs. In practice, all of them are possible in Pandunia. They are made possible by the two verb endings, which decide the order of the agent and the recipient.

Different orders put the focus on different constituents: the agent, the recipient or the verb. The focus or emphasis is on the first constituent in the sentence.

1. With the verb ending in -a
    - recipient–agent–verb : musike me auda.
    - agent–verb–recipient :        me auda musike.
    - verb–recipient–agent :           auda musike me.
2. With the verb ending in -u
    - agent-recipient-verb : me musike audu.
    - recipient-verb-agent :    musike audu me.
    - verb-agent-recipient :           audu me musike.

The constituent, which is further away from the verb, can be left out. So for example musike me auda can be truncated to me auda. Likewise me musike audu can be truncated to musike audu. Then it is possible to say something about either the agent or the recipient only.


7. Sentences

7.1. Observations

Observations are the simplest sentence type. They may consist of only one word, which draws the listener's attention.

maw! – A cat!
barxa! – (It) rains!

7.2. Stative Sentences

7.2.1. With noun or pronoun subject

Normally a sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. In the simplest sentences, the subject is a noun or a pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.

me bon. – I am good.
le novi. – It is new.
le sarah. – She is Sarah.
sarah bon. – Sarah is good.
petre day. – The stone is big.
meze novi. – The table is new.

The word ni is added to form the negative.

me ni bon. – I'm not good.
le ni novi. – It's not new.
le ni sarah. – She is not Sarah.

It is possible to add the word si (yes) before the predicate in positive sentences, for style or for convenience. Then the structure is similar like in negative sentences.

sarah si bon. – Sarah is good.
petre si day. – The stone is big.
meze si novi. – The table is new.
meze ni law. – The table is not old.

Also two personal pronouns can be combined with si and ni.

me si le. – I am he/she.
me ni te. – I'm not you.

7.2.2. With adjective subject

The same rule applies also for two adjectives.

jowan si sundar. – Young is beautiful.
novi ni purani. – New is not old.

7.2.3. With verb subject

A verb can't be subject as such. So the verb is first, use ye to start a comment about the verb.

canta, ye bon. – Singing, that is good. (Singing is good.)

7.2.4. To be

Pandunia doesn't use a verb like "to be" in English.

7.3. Active Sentences

In predicates of action, the main word in the predicate is a verb (i.e. an action-word). In Pandunia, verbs are easy to identify because all of them end in -a or -u.

In Pandunia, two word orders are commonly used in active sentences: subject-verb-object (SVO) and subject-object-verb (SOV). A subject can be the agent or the recipient of the action.

The following sentences are in SVO order.

me niama aple. – I eat apples.
me vida te. – I see you.
me suku musike. – I like music.

The following sentences are in SOV order. They can't be translated word-by-word into English becaues English doesn't really support the SOV word order.

me aple niamu. – I apples eat.
me te vidu. – I at you look.

Pandunia supports both SVO and SOV word orders. The are the most common word orders in the languages of the world. SOV is used in many languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Turkish, Japanese and Korean. SVO is used in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian and Modern Arabic among others.

7.4. Passive Sentences

In the passive voice the focus of the sentence is on a subject that is a passive recipient that undergoes the action. So the recipient is the subject of the sentence. Often the agent is not mentioned at all.

Normally the passive is expressed with the verb ending in -u and the recipient-verb word order.

te vidu. – You are seen.
musike audu. – Music is heard.
pang beku. – Bread is baked.
kupe kaputu. – Cup breaks. (Cup gets broken.)

The agent can be mentioned after the verb with or without the preposition da.

te vidu me. - You are seen by me.
te vidu da me. - You are seen by me.

7.6. Pivot structure

7.6.1. Basic pivot structure (SVOVO)

In the pivot structure the word order is:
subject – verb 1 – object 1 – verb 2 – object 2.

Object 1 functions has dual role. It is at the same time the object for verb 1 and the subject for verb 2.

me wana te niama sabze. – I want you eat vegetables.

In the example above, me wanta has te as its object. At the same time, te functions as the subject of the following predicate, niama sabze. So te is the pivot of the entire sentence.

7.7. Serial verbs

There can be two, three or even more verbs in a series, and all of them are about the same subject

  1. me gowa dom. – I go home.
  2. me abla gowa dom. – I can go home.
  3. me wana abla gowa dom. – I want to be able to go home. (Word for word: I want can go home!)

7.8. Pronoun dropping

In certain types of expressions the pronouns get dropped for brevity. This is done especially in commands and requests.

7.8.1. Short pivot structure (VOVO)

me eska te baxa pandunia. – I ask do you speak Pandunia.
eska te baxa pandunia? – Do you speak Pandunia.

7.8.2. Short pivot structure (VVO)

me plisa te laya dom. – I ask you to come home.
plisa laya dom! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)


8. Conjunctions

8.1. Basic conjunctions

  1. e and (connects two similar words or phrases)
  2. o or (connects two alternative words or phrases)
  3. a - but (introduces a word or phrase that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding word or phrase)

me suku maw e waf. – I like cats and dogs.
me suku maw o waf. – I like cats or dogs.
me suku maw a ni waf. – I like cats but not dogs.


9. Particles

9.1. Affirmation and Negation

9.1.1. Affirmative

Particle si is affirmative and ni is negative. si affirms the existence of something, whereas ni denies it. In other words si means "to be" or "there is" and ni means "not to be" or "there is not".

Expressions are affirmative by default, so the word si is not always necessary. However it is especially convenient in expressions of state.

me si ren. – I am a person.
le si novi meze. – It is a new table.

9.1.2. Negative

Such sentences can be simply negated with ni.

me ni ren. – I'm not a person.
le ni novi meze. – It's not a new table.

The word ni is used for denying anything. It affects always the next word. Different scopes of negation may result depending on the location of the negative word.

me vida te. – I see you.
me ni vida te. – I don't see you.
me vida ni te a lole. – I see, not you, but them.

me plisa te safa kamar. – I ask you to clean the room.
me ni plisa te safa kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
me plisa te ni safa kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.

The particles si and ni are used also for answering questions.

eska te vida me? – Do you see me?
si. (me si vida te.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
ni. (me ni vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Negative questions are answered so that si and ni apply to the verb, not the whole question.

eska te ni vida me? – Don't you see me?
si. (me si vida te.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
ni. (me ni vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)

9.2. Modifier particles

Particles du and da are used to link a noun, an adjective or a verb phrase to a noun to modify it. du connects the modifying word or phrase to the main noun word. da works in the opposite direction, it connects the main noun to the modifying word or phrase.

9.2.1. Possession

The modifier particle can be used for any possessive noun or pronoun.

With regards to possession, du works like the apostrophe-s ('s) in English. It indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.

maria du mame – Maria's mother
maria du mame du dom – Maria's mother's house

da works like "of" in English. It indicates that the next word has possession of the previous one.

mame da maria – the mother of Maria
dom da mame da maria – the house of the mother of Maria

It's possible to use da and du with personal pronouns too, so one can say things like dom da me (the house of mine) but it's better to use the short possessive pronouns and say simply mi dom (my house).

9.2.2. Modification with adjectives

With da it's possible to move a modifier after the noun.

novi idey – a new idea
idey da novi – an idea of new

9.2.3. Modification with noun phrases

Another way to use these particles is to connect an adjective or other words with a noun. It gives us more information about the noun, and the particle makes it clear in which end the main noun is.

The modifier particles are useful for creating complex adjectives that consists of two or more words.

rozi rang du labe – rose-colored lips
samani rang du kan – sky-colored eyes

Or in the opposite order:

labe da rozi rang – lips of the rose-color
kan da samani rang – eyes of the sky-color

The particles help in creating measure words too.

un sake du patate – one sack of potatos
dul sake du patate – two sacks of potatos
max sake du patate – more sacks of potatos

Note that du and da connect phrases together. So a modifier phrase with and without du can mean a different thing.

max sundar pul – more beautiful flowers
max du sundar pul – more of beautiful flowers

9.2.4. Modification with verb phrases

Verbs and verb phrases are turned into modifiers by placing da or du immediately next to the verb. The places of the agent and the recipient stay the same in modifying phrases as in declarative phrases.

A declarative phrase:
maw vidu me. – A cat is seen by me.

The corresponding modifying phrase:
maw da vidu me – the cat that is seen by me

Note! Although da seems to have a similar role here as English relative pronouns which, that, who and whom, it's still nothing more than a particle connecting a modifier (in this case: a verb phrase) to the modified.

The opposite word order is made with du and the verb ending in -a.

A declarative phrase:
me vida maw. – I see a cat.

The corresponding modifying phrase:
me vida du maw – My seen cat i.e. the cat that I see

Pay attention to the final vowels! They are crucial for the meaning!

maw da vidu man – the cat that is seen by the man
maw da vida man – the cat that sees the man
maw vida du man – the cat-seen man
maw vidu du man – the cat-seeing man

Note! In Pandunia, words can be put in many different orders. That's why some translations sound clumsy in English although the original phrases are perfectly natural in Pandunia.

9.2.5. Modification with adposition phrases

The modified noun can be part of an adposition phrase too.

me safara pa du site si teli. – My destination city is far away.

With the modified noun at the beginning, we need to call into action the otherwise rarely used postpositions nu, yu, su, and pu.

site da pu me safara si teli. – The city I’m traveling to is far away.
yi kalam da su me zay kitaba si novi. – This pen, with which I’m writing now, is new.

9.3. Modal Particles

Modal particles indicate what the speaker thinks about s/he says in relation to the listener. Modal particles are commonly used in many languages. East Asian languages, including Chinese and Japanese, use famously sentence-final particles.

In Pandunia, a modal particle modifies the subsequent word, or the whole sentence, when the modal particle is the last word in the sentence.

The particle plus (also) is a good example because it functions much like in English.

le niama bir plus. – S/he drinks beer, also.
le niama plus bir. – S/he drinks also beer.
le plus niama bir. – S/he also drinks beer.
plus le niama bir. – Also s/he drinks beer.

Modal particles can modify all kinds of words, including pronouns and numerals, which adjectives can't modify.

9.4. Tense and Aspect Particles

In Pandunia, tense can be expressed with time words and time phrases if needed. The general time words are pas (past), zay (present) and wil (future, upcoming). They function like adjectives and adverbs, so typically their place is before the verb.

me pas tena maw. – I had cats.
a me ni zay tena maw. – But I now don't have cats.
abli me wil tena maw. – Maybe I will have cats.

It's also possible to say it in a longer way like sa pase (in the past) etc.

me tena maw sa pase. – I had cats in the past.
a me ni tena maw sa zaye. – But I don't have cats at present.
munkin me tena maw sa wile. – Maybe I will have cats in the future.

Note! Verbs are not conjugated. So the verb tena stayed the same in all tenses in the examples above.

Naturally time words are used only when they are necessary. Usually it is enough to mention the time just once at the beginning of the text and not in every single sentence, if the tense doesn't change.


10. Prepositions

10.1. Prepositions of place and time

Pandunia has four prepositions of place and time.

  1. sa - presence, location or moment (in general): with, at, in, on, by, during, while
  2. na - absence or lack: without
  3. ya - origin, beginning or cause: from, since, because
  4. pa - destination, end or purpose: to, till, until, for, then

A preposition begins a prepositional phrase. In a simple prepositional phrase the preposition is complemented by a pronoun or a noun phrase.

me sa hotel. - I'm in the hotel.
me sona sa hotel. - I sleep in the hotel.
me sona ya xam pa sube. - I sleep since evening until morning.
me safara du london pa paris. - I travel from London to Paris.

Prepositions can be complemented also by a verb phrase. Then they refer to time.

me denga ya te gowa. - I have waited since you left.
me denga pa te laya dom. - I wait until you come home.
me denga sa te sona. - I wait while you sleep.

10.1.2. sa

sa is an all-purpose preposition. Its basic meaning is "with".

me libu sa dom.
I stand with house.
I stand by the house.

me loga sa pandunia.
I speak with Pandunia.
I speak in Pandunia.

me loga sa doste sa pandunia sa fon.
I speak with friends with Pandunia with telephone.
I speak with friends in Pandunia in telephone.

10.1.3. Verbs as prepositions

In Pandunia some verbs function like prepositions do in English.

me kata pang. - I cut bread.
me kata pang, uza caku. - I cut bread, use a knife. (I cut bread with a knife.)

me denga dura dul hor. - I wait, (it) lasts two hours. (I wait during/for two hours.)

Here are some verbs that are usable as prepositions:

bada - to follow; after, behind
dura - to last; during, for the time/duration of
jungu - to be centered; amid, amidst, in the middle, in the center
loka - to occupy, to be located; at
sirka - to surround; around
supra - to surpass; over, above

10.1.4. Verbs without prepositions

Prepositions are not used as frequently in Pandunia as in English. In many phrases, the verb says enough alone.

me laya dom. - I come home.
te sida kurse. - You sit (on) the chair.
le lala sofa'. - S/he lies (on) the sofa.
fix nata daria. - Fish swim (in) the sea.
jenger marca daw. - Warriors march (on) the road.

10.2. Preposition of relation

Preposition ka indicates manner or style. It corresponds to English prepositions like, than, as and as if.

me jana pandunia ka gur. - I know Pandunia like a master.

ka relates the verb or the adjective to a point of comparison. In the above example jana (know) is the verb and gur (master) is the point of comparison.

ka is also used when adjectives are compared.

bace si min day ka pape. - The child is smaller than the father.
law pape si sam day ka pape. - Grandfather is as big as father.

ka relates the adverbs of comparison – max (more), min (less) and sam (same) – to the point of comparison, which is pape (father) in the examples above.

11. 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 hem come from ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Persian.

11.1. Part of speech markers

Pandunia uses vowel endings for quick word derivation. In this system the final vowel of a word indicates its word class. So the stem of the word indicates a general idea and the vowel endings indicate different manifestations of that idea: a thing (noun), a description (modifier) and an action (verb).

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

  • -e marks nouns that are derived from action roots and description roots
  • -i indicates modifiers
  • -a indicates forward verbs
  • -u indicates backward verbs

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 blue color.
  • The ending -i converts the idea into a description. The resulting modifier describes another idea with the modifying idea. For example nili dom 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 dom means to apply blue on the house i.e. to make the house blue.
  • The ending -u creates an action just like -a. The only difference is that the word order is reversed.

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 (modifier)
    • kitaba to write (forward verb)
    • kitabu to be written (backward verb)
  • abstract action
    • fikre a thought (noun)
    • fikri thinking (modifier)
    • fikra to think (forward verb)
    • fikru to be thought (backward verb)
  • description
    • longe length (noun)
    • longi long (modifier)
    • longa to make long, to lengthen (forward verb)
    • longu to get long (backward verb)
  • tool
    • hamar a hammer (noun)
    • hamari "hammery", hammerlike (modifier)
    • hamara to hammer, to apply hammer on sth (forward verb)
    • hamaru to be hammered (backward verb)

11.1.2. 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 hamar (hammer) we get hamara (to hammer).

11.1.3. 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.

11.1.4. Deriving modifiers

-i is the ending for modifiers that include adjectives, adverbs and 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".

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

11.1.5. 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 have the ending after hard consonants (ex. supe, pede, yuke) and consonant groups (ex. cante, poste, zebre) but not after soft consonants (ex. cay, maw, man, fem, hotel).

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 noun stems that end in soft vowels.

11.2. Compound words

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

Compound words are created by putting two words together and by inserting the linking vowel -o- between them (in place of the original word class marker).

Example: Creating termometer from terme and meter.
First the word class marker -e is removed from terme, leaving term. Then the linking vowel -o- is added and then the second word meter, resulting into term-o-meter i.e. termometer.

     terme      (temperature)  
   + meter      (measuring device)
____________
= termometer    (thermometer)

The linking vowel -o- is not used when the second word begins with a vowel. (So there is the so called null morpheme -βˆ…- instead.)

      dew       (god)  
   + iste       (proponent, -ist)
____________
=  dewiste      (theist)

11.3. Common Suffixes

11.3.1. -bli

Indicates possibility. It is attached after the verb root.

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

11.3.2. -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

11.3.3. -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

11.3.4. -is-

Causative suffix.

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

11.3.5. -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)

11.3.6. -ul-

Creates verbs that reverse the meaning of the base verb.

liga to tie; ligula to untie
ziba to plug, to close with a plug; zibula to unplug, to open the plug.

11.4. 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
    • -a indicates a preposition
    • -u indicates a postposition
Idea -a (preposition) -e (noun or pronoun) -i (modifier) -u (postposition)
11st person pronoun me
I
mi
my
22nd person pronoun te
you
ti
your
33rd person pronoun le
he, she, it
li
his, her, its
4Reflexive pronoun ze
(him/her)self
zi
(his/her) own
5Interrogative ke
what?
ki
which?
6Near demonstrative ye
this/that one
yi
this/that
7Far demonstrative we
this/that one
wi
this/that
8Negation / absence na
without
ni
not
nu
-less
9Affirmation / presence sa
with, by, at
si
yes
su
-ed, -ful
10Possession da
of
du
's
11Destination pa
to, for
pu
-ward, -bound
12Origin ca
from, since
cu

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