0. 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 he is 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 grammar, a relatively simple vocabulary, and a simple phonetic spelling.

One thing to keep in mind as you learn Pandunia is that it is not a strict, rule-oriented language where there is a "right way" and a "wrong way" to say things. The important thing is to make yourself understood. Consequently, much of the language involves the lexical items (words that have meaning, like "book" or "eat"), and very little involves purely grammatical ideas (like singular vs. plural and tenses).

1. The basic rules

These are the 11 basic rules of Pandunia language.

  1. The spelling follows the pronunciation exactly.
  2. The stress is placed on the syllable before the last consonant of the word.
  3. Nouns have a single, unchanging form.
  4. The adjectives and the adverb have the same form. They come before the word that they modify. Frequently adjectives end in -i.
    • ex. 1. bon pang = Good bread.
    • ex. 2. te bon loga. = You speak well.
  5. Compound words are formed by putting words side by side. Linking vowel -o- is inserted between the elements.
    • ex. poste (mail) + sanduke (box) → postosanduke (mailbox)
  6. Verbs that end in -a indicate subject-verb-object word order.
    • ex. me niama pang. = I eat bread.
  7. Verbs that end in -u indicate object-verb-subject word order.
    • ex. pang niamu. = The bread is eaten.
  8. The verbs do not change for person or number.
  9. In the pivot structure, the object of the transitive verb functions as the subject of the next verb.
    • ex. me plisa te dona pese. = I ask you to give money.
  10. Pronouns can be left out when they are obvious and redundant.
    • me eska te baxa pandunia?eska te baxa pandunia? = Do you speak Pandunia?
    • me plisa te loga ming.plisa loga ming. = Please speak clearly.
  11. Derived words carry an ending. Adjectives end in -i, nouns end in -e, and verbs end in -a or -u.

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

Quite often number and definiteness is known because it was specified earlier or because it is general knowledge. For example, normally the word sol refers to the sun and lun refers to the moon, our only sun and our only 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 carry 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 the thing denoted by another word, ex. good, bad, big, 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.

day petre - big stone bari petre - heavy stone
day meze - big table
gaw meze - high table
bon kurse - good chair

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.

petre day. - The stone is big.
meze gaw. - The table is high.

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

day meze gaw. - Big table is high.

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 - big person
lil ren - little person
sundar ren - beautiful person

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

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

lil i 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 applied to description roots that end in a single consonant that is easy to pronounce. Ex. bon good, sundar beautiful.

4. Numerals

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.

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

5. Pronouns

5.1. Personal pronouns

Pronouns can substitute thing-words and phrases of thing-words.

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 wida ze - I see myself. le wida ze - She sees herself. / He sees himself. / It sees itself. mome wida ze. - We see ourselves.

5.3. Demonstrative pronouns

The demonstrative pronoun is:

ce - this/that one

me wanta ce. - I want this one.
le wanta ce. - He/she wants that one.

It ends in -i when it functions as an adjective i.e. when it comes before a noun.

ci maw - This 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 da maw te tena?

  • How big cat do you have?

6. Verbs

6.1. General

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

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 object in the sentence. So the sentence structure depends on the type of the verb.

6.2. Verbs that end in -a

Verbs that end in -a use this triangular pattern.

Word order triangle for verbs that end in -a

 ↗ ↘
A ← O

6.2.1. AVO order

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


 ↗ ↘
A   O

me wida lole. - I see them.
te beka pang. - You bake bread.

6.2.2. OAV order

The second structure in this triangle is OSV. It is frequent in dependant clauses.


A ← O

ke te wida? - What do you see?
me niama pang, du te beka. - I eat bread that you baked.

6.2.3. VOA order

The third structure of this triangle is VOA, which is rarely used.


A ← O

6.3. Verbs that end in -u

Verbs that end in -u use this triangular pattern.

Word order triangle for verbs that end in -u

 ↗ ↘
O ← A

6.3.1. AOV order

AOV order is commonly used alternative for AVO order.


O ← A

me lole widu. - I them see.
te pang beku. - You bread bake.

6.3.2. OVA order

OVA order is common in "passive" sentences.


 ↗ ↘
O   A

pang beku te. - Bread is baked by you.
te suku me. - You are pleased by me.

6.3.3. VAO order

VAO order is very rare but possible.


O ← A

6.4. Summary of word orders

Note that even if these triangular patterns explained above might seem unusual at first, in practice they result in two simple rules to follow:

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

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

7. Sentences

7.1. Observations

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

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 nowi. - It is new.
le sarah. - She is Sarah.
sarah bon. - Sarah is good.
petre day. - The stone is big.
meze nowi. - The table is new.

The word ni is added to form the negative.

me ni bon. - I'm not good.
le ni nowi. - 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 nowi. - 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.
nowi ni law. - New is not old.

7.2.3. With verb subject

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

canta, ce 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.

Active sentences that use a verb ending in -a have the agent–verb–object word order (AVO).

me niama aple. - I eat apples.
me auda musike. - I hear music.
me wida te. - I see you.

Verbs ending in -u are used in the agent–object–verb word order (AOV).

me aple niamu. - I apples eat.

Agent–verb–object and agent–object–verb are basically the same as subject–verb–object (SVO) and subject–object–verb (SOV) word orders, which are the two most common word orders in the languages of the world. SOV is used in languages like Hindi-Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Turkish, Japanese and Korean. SVO is used in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian and Modern Arabic among others.

7.4. Passive Sentences

7.4.1. OV order

In the passive voice there is no agent in the sentence. There is only the object and the verb. Normally the passive is expressed with object–verb (OV) word order with the verb ending in -u.

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

Here the focus is on the object, which is the first word in the sentence. The object is a passive actor that undergoes the action.

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

te widu me. - You are seen by me.
te widu du me. - You are seen by me.

7.4.2. VO order

In verb–object (VO) order the focus is on the verb.

wida te. - Seeing you.
auda musike. - Listening music.
beka pang. - Baking bread.

7.5. All Possible Word Orders

There are six possible word orders for transitive sentences. 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 object.

Different orders put the focus on different constituents: the agent, the object or the verb. The focus or emphasis is on the first part of a sentence.

1. With the verb ending in -a
    - object–agent–verb (OAV) : musike me auda.
    - agent–verb–object (AVO) :        me auda musike.
    - verb–object–agent (VOA) :           auda musike me.
2. With the verb ending in -u
    - agent-object-verb (AOV) : me musike audu.
    - object-verb-agent (OVA) :    musike audu me.
    - verb-agent-object (VAO) :           audu me musike.

The constituent, which is further away from the verb, can be left out. So for example musike me auda (OAV) can be truncated to me auda (SV). Likewise me musike audu (AOV) can be truncated to musike audu (OV).

The typical word orders in everyday Pandunia are AVO, AOV and OAV. The other word orders can be heard in poetry and in other forms of literary language.

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 wanta 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

All action-words (verbs) that come one after another are activated by the subject. There can be two, three or even more action-words in series.

  1. me gowa dom. - I go home.
  2. me abla gowa dom. - I can go home.
  3. me wanta abla gowa dom. - I want to be able to go home. (Lit. 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! (Literally: Request come home!)

8. Conjunctions

8.1. Basic conjunctions

  1. i and (connects two similar words or phrases)
  2. u 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 i waf. - I like cats and dogs.
me suku maw u 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 nowi 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 nowi 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 wida te. - I see you.
me ni wida te. - I don't see you.
me wida 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 wida me? - Do you see me?
si. (me si wida te.) - Yes. (I do see you.)
ni. (me ni wida 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 wida me? - Don't you see me?
si. (me si wida te.) - Yes. (I do see you.)
ni. (me ni wida te.) - No. (I don't see you.)

9.2. Modifier particles

Particles da and du are used to mark possession and modification. da connects the modifying word or phrase to the modified word. du works in the opposite direction. It connects the modified word to the modifier.

9.2.1. Possession

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

With regards to possession, da works like apostrophe-s ('s) in English.

maria da mame - Maria's mother
me da dom - my house
me da pape da dom - my father's house

du works like "of" in English.

mame du maria - the mother of Maria
dom du me - the house of mine
dom du pape du me - the house of the father of mine

9.2.2. Attribution with adjectives

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.

roze rang da labe - rose-colored lips
saman rang da yen - sky-colored eyes

Or in the opposite order:

labe du roze rang - lips of the color of the rose
yen du saman rang - eyes of the color of the sky

The particles help in creating measure words too.

un sake da patate - one sack of potatos
dul sake da patate - two sacks of potatos
max sake da patate - more sacks of potatos

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

max sundar pul - more beautiful flowers
max da sundar pul - more of beautiful flowers

9.2.3. Relative clauses

Also relative clauses are created with help of the modifier particles.

le si man du me wida. = He is the man that I saw.

Although du 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 (a verb phrase) to a modified. It's inseparable from the modified noun, and does not have a back-referring relation to it. Instead, the main-clause noun is implied within the relative clause right after the particle.

With da, it's possible to construct relative clauses that precede the modified noun. (The main-clause noun is implied right before the particle.)

buke dugu da ren sa kamar. = The book-reading person is in the room.
le duga da buke sa meze. = The book, that he/she reads, is on the table.

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

me safara pa da 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 du pu me safara si teli. = The city I’m traveling to is far away.
ci kalam du su me zay kitaba si nowi. = 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. munkin 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 da 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 stasa 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 marks the type of the word. The system applies mainly to those words, which are derived from action-roots and description-roots. Some adjectives are also derived from thing-roots. Pronouns, conjuctions, numerals and particles are outside of the word derivation system.

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

  • a marks verbs for subject-verb-object word order (SVO)
  • u marks verbs for object-verb-subject word order (OVS)
  • i marks adjectives i.e. modifiers of nouns
  • e marks nouns that are derived from action roots and description roots

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

loga - to speak (active verb)
logu - to be spoken (passive verb)
logi - spoken, wordy (adjective)
loge - speech, word(s) (noun)

kitaba - to write (active verb)
kitabu - to be written (passive verb)
kitabi - written, textual (adjective)
kitabe - writing, text (noun)

nowi - new (adjective)
nowa - to make new (active verb)
nowu - to become new (passive verb)
nowe - novelty, new thing (noun)

There is a handful of verbs, which appear without the ending. These are some of the most common verbs in Pandunia.

wanta - to want (active verb)
abla - can, to be able to (active verb)

11.1.2. Deriving verbs

Dynamic verbs end in -a and -u. From the narrow perspective of a phrase that consists of only a subject and a verb, it can be said that -a marks an active verb and -u marks a passive verb. So loga means to speak and logu means to be spoken.

  1. If the root is an action, then its verb form will mean "to do the action". For example from wide = "a look" we get wida = "to look".
  2. If the root is a description, like now- (nowi = new), then its verb form will mean "to turn into that quality". For example from nowi = "new" we get nowa = "to make new" or "to renew".
  3. If the root 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 marker of nouns. It means the result of the process. So loge means the speech that results from the act of speaking.

If the root word is an action, then its noun form will mean the product of the action. For example from kitab- = "to write" we get kitabe = "writing" or "text".

If the root word is a description, then its noun form will mean a concrete instance of that quality. For example from now- = "new" we get nowe = "a novelty" i.e. something new.

Additional noun suffixes are presented below.

11.1.4. Deriving modifiers

-i is the marker of adjective and adjectival verb (i.e. static verb). It is the all-purpose adjective suffix.

For example, from the verb loga (to speak) we get the adjective logi (spoken, wordy). From the noun insan (human being), we get the adjective insani (human, having the attributes of a human being). However, only derived adjectives need to end in -i.

Words that are adjectives by birth don't need the ending. That's why for example bon (good) and sundar (beautiful) don't end in -i.

If the root word is a description, then its adjectival form will mean "that which is in the state of the root". For example from now- = quality of novelty, we get nowi = new i.e. that which is new.

If the root 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 root is a thing, an object or a person, then its adjectival form will mean "that which is like the root".

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

Nouns and modifiers don't always have the corresponding ending. For example we normally use short word insan (human being) instead of insane. Likewise we normally say bon (good) instead of boni.

Also the complete word forms are accepted but they are not required.

Verbs however always have their proper endings. So we always say for example baxa and baxu and never bax (as a verb). Instead, bax is a noun i.e. short form of baxe.

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 -∅- 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.

widabli which can be seen, visible
widubli who/which can see

11.3.2. -er

Creates agent nouns. It denotes a person or a tool who 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.

nowi new, nowia 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.

12. Advanced Topics

Note: You can learn the language without reading this chapter. But if you're interested in the inner workings of the language, it can be interesting to you.

12.1. Sentence Word Orders

In theory, there are six possible word orders for the transitive sentence. In practice, all of them are possible in Pandunia. They are made possible by the two verb endings, which decide the order of the other constituents (subject and object).

1. With the verb ending in -a
    - object–subject–verb (OSV) : musike me auda.
    - subject–verb–object (SVO) :        me auda musike.
    - verb–object–subject (VOS) :           auda musike me.
2. With the verb ending in -u
    - subject-object-verb (SOV) : me musike audu.
    - object-verb-subject (OVS) :    musike audu me.
    - verb-subject-object (VSO) :           audu me musike.

The constituent, which is further away from the verb, can be left out. So for example musike me auda (OSV) can be truncated to me auda (SV). Likewise me musike audu (SOV) can be truncated to musike audu (OV).

The typical word orders in everyday Pandunia are SVO, SOV and OSV. The latter occurs frequently in dependant clauses, for example in me wida ren, du te jana. (I saw the person whom you know.) The other word orders can be heard in poetry and in other forms of elevated language.

12.2. Relations between the endings

A root is an idea that has many faces: a thing, a state and an action.

  • 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 different.

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
    • kitabi written, textual
    • kitaba to write
  • abstract action
    • fikre a thought
    • fikri thinking
    • fikra to think
  • description
    • longe length
    • longi long
    • longa to make long, to lengthen
  • tool
    • hamar a hammer
    • hamari "hammery", hammerlike
    • hamara to hammer, to apply hammer on sth

12.3. Structure Words

Structure 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. Structural 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, structure words share 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 or a noun
    • -i indicates a determiner or a modifier
    • -a indicates a preposition
    • -u indicates a postposition
    • -o indicates a prefix
Idea -a (preposition) -e (noun or pronoun) -i (modifier) -o (prefix) -u (postposition)
11st person pronoun me
22nd person pronoun te
33rd person pronoun le
he, she, it
his, her, its
4Reflexive pronoun ze
(his/her) own
5Interrogative ke
6Demonstrative ce
this/that one
7Negation / lack / absence na
non-, un-
8Affirmation / presence sa
with, by, at
9Possession da
10Destination pa
to, for
11Origin ya
from, since

12.4. Hierarchy of Word Types

Spoken language is a flow of sounds which constitute words. Written language, in the case of Pandunia, is a flow of letters from left to right, which constitute words. So every expression is essentially a sequence of words. However all words are not equal. There is a hierarchy of words. The verb is the structural center of a sentence and other words are directly or indirectly connected to it.

Each sentence can be drawn as a tree diagram, where the central words are above and the dependant words are below. For example the sentence me wida te (I see you) can be pictured as a tree as follows.

me wida te.

 me   te

Adjectives and numerals point to their head word, the noun.

me wida tin jowan ren.

 me   ren

The hierarchy of word types in Pandunia from the more to the less central is as follows.

  1. Structure words
    1. Conjunctions: i, u, a
    2. Connectors: da, du
    3. Prepositions and postpositions: na, sa, pa, ya; nu, su, pu, yu
    4. Pronouns
  2. Content words
    1. Numerals
    2. Modifiers
    3. Verbs
    4. Nouns

The following example shows how the scope affects the final position of words in the tree hierarchy. For example, although i is in general higher than sabu, here its scope is only to connect yusef and sarah. sabu is at the top, because it connects the two sub-phrases.

yusef i sarah wanta darsa pandunia, sabu le si bon dunia bax.

         wanta                   si
      ┌────┴──────┐           ┌──┴──┐
      i         darsa        le    bax
  ┌───┴───┐    ┌──┴────┐            |
yusef   sarah       pandunia       dunia