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General informationEdit

Mendian (or natively Mæ̂nda) is the language of the dragon-herding peoples in the mid-western lowlands. It is a Dentheric language, of the western branch. Beyond the native speakers, the Ø̂nnak peoples, it is also used as the lingua franca of the mid-western and western lowlands, as well as a trade language deeper into the mainland. It has a rich literary tradition and a long history of literacy.


/p b t d k ɡ q/ <p b t d k g q>
/f v s z ʃ ʒ x (ħ)/ <f v s z š ž h (x)>
/m n ŋ/ <m n ŋ/ng>
/(pf) ts dz tʃ dʒ kx/ <(pf) ts/c dz tš/č dž kh>
/w r l j/ <w r l j>

/i i: u u: e e: ø ø: æ æ: ɜ ɜ: o o: a a: ɒ ɒ:/
<i ī u ū e ē ø ø̄ æ ǣ ę ę̄ o ō a ā ǫ ǭ>

Mendian also features a stress contrast: each stressed word has one syllable that bears stress. In short vowels, this is indicated with an acute accent, for example <á>, while in long vowels it is marked with a circumflex, for example <â>. Stress is phonemic but not fixed: it is mobile in some words.

Mendian stress becomes a pitch feature in some dialects, where the stressed syllable acquires high pitch and all other syllables a low pitch. The pitch difference becomes nullified when the stressed vowel comes before a voiced consonant, where it acquires a low pitch and the word's pitch accent reverts to a stress contrast.

There operate two types of vowel harmony in Mendian; one that applies to <ę ę̄> and one that applies to <a ā>. The first sound change, otherwise termed harmonisation, is that of <ę ę̄> shifting to <e ē> when either the syllable before or after it contains a long front vowel. The second change, u-umlaut, is of <a ā> shifting to <ǫ ǭ> when the next syllable contains <u ū>. The circumstances of umlaut get more complicated when <ā> rarely shifts when the next syllable contains a <u>. The umlaut becomes optional if between the two vowels there is more than a single consonant.


Consonant clusters in Mendian can maximally be of four consonants and initial; the only such clusters allowed are of the shape "SPAj(V)", "vRP1P2(V)", where P represents any plosive of either voicing (where subscripts show different plosives of the same set), R = { r l }, S = { s z ʃ ʒ } that are of the same voicing as the following plosive and A = {r l v w}. Triconsonantal clusters include, among others, "SPA(V)", "rK1K2(V)", "(V)SPR", "(V)ksR", "(V)kRs", "(V)RKt", where K represents any voiceless plosive (where subscripts show different plosives of the same set). Diconsonantal clusters almost always follow the sonority sequence principle, with approximants being the most sonorous, followed by nasals, then fricatives, then affricates and finally plosives (being the least sonorous).
Geminates count as two consonants. Usually clusters with geminates include one sonorant and one obstruent - all such clusters are maximally triconsonantal.

Plosive sequences in Mendian generally avoid the clusters /pk bg tk db/; the cluster /kp/ sometimes changes to [xp]. These aren't absolute rules.



Nouns in Mendian can be either singular or plural and can have one of five cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative and vocative. Some nouns preserve an archaic dual. All Mendian nouns have one of four innate genders: masculine, feminine, ignic and neuter. Nouns can either be hard or soft based on the malleability of the stem. They can also be strong or weak based on whether they form the plural with ablaut or by suffix. Most nouns are hard and weak, with the exception of ignic nouns which are most commonly soft.

Mendian nouns are cited in the nominative and genitive singular; additional irregularities are indicated when present. Gender is always cited alongside the translation.

Hard NounsEdit

Hard Mendian nouns are a class of nouns with an immutable consonant component of the stem. The class has a large amount of weak nouns and a smaller amount of strong nouns. There are a few common patterns for all genders and a handful of exceptional patterns for feminine and ignic nouns.

Weak A-StemsEdit

The most common category of hard nouns are the weak a-stem nouns. They come in three varieties: long-stem (when the stem is monosyllabic with a long vowel), short-stem (when the stem is monosyllabic but with a short vowel) and polysyllabic.

An example of a short-stem noun is <ǿva, ǿvas> (finger, nt.) - it is stem-stressed, with stress relocation in the vocative.

Singular Plural
Nominative ǿv-a ǿv-ak
Accusative ǿv-em ǿv-ek
Genitive ǿv-as ǿv-ar
Dative ǿv-om ǿv-ama
Vocative øv-ê øv-îs

Another example of a short-stem noun is <ęká, ękás> (colour, f.) - it is ending-stressed, with fixed stress on the suffixes.

Singular Plural
Nominative ęk-á ęk-ák
Accusative ęk-ém ęk-ék
Genitive ęk-ás ęk-ár
Dative ęk-óm ęk-áma
Vocative ek-ê ek-îs

There also exists a small amount of mobile-stress nouns where they are stem-stressed in the nominative and accusative, but ending-stressed in other cases. An example of a mobile-stress short-stem noun is <ánta, antás> (hair follicle, f.):

Singular Plural
Nominative ánt-a ánt-ak
Accusative ánt-em ánt-ek
Genitive ant-ás ant-ár
Dative ant-óm ant-áma
Vocative ant-ê ant-îs

Long-stem nouns are usually also stem-stressed; an example stem-stressed long-stem noun is <ûska, ûskas> (grain of rice, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative ûsk-a ûsk-ek
Accusative ûsk-em
Genitive ûsk-as ûsk-ar
Dative ûsk-om ûsk-am
Vocative ûsk-ē ûsk-īs

Three long-stem nouns are also ending-stressed; they have a moderately different declension from the generalised long-stem pattern. They are <ǭrká, ǭrkás> (swordfish, masc.), <ījjá, ījjás> (funnel, fem.) and <āwá, āwás> (trout, masc.) and they otherwise do not fit into the declension pattern. An example declension is given with <ījjá>:

Singular Plural
Nominative ījj-á ījj-ák
Accusative ījj-ám
Genitive ījj-ás ījj-ár
Dative ījj-ám ījj-ómo
Vocative ījj-ê ījj-îs

Polysyllabic a-stem nouns are never ending-stressed; they can either have a fixed or a mobile stress. Fixed-stress a-stems can have stress on any of the syllables of the stem (usually the penultimate or antepenultimate) while mobile-stress nouns are always stressed on the antepenultimate in the nominative and accusative and otherwise on the penultimate. An example of a fixed-stress polysyllabic noun is <īráka, īrákas> (eyebrow, fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative īrák-a īrák-ek
Accusative īrák-em
Genitive īrák-as īrák-ar
Dative īrák-om īrák-emo
Vocative īrák-ē īrák-īs

An example of a mobile-stress polysyllabic noun is <étija, etíjas> (canine tooth, masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative étij-a étij-ek
Accusative étij-em
Genitive etíj-as etíj-ar
Dative etíj-om etíj-emo
Vocative etíj-ē etíj-īs
Weak I-StemsEdit

Another common category of hard Mendian nouns are the weak i-stem nouns. They come in four varieties: short-stem, long-stem, augmented (when the stem gets extended) and polysyllabic. Unlike weak a-stems, weak i-stems can end in both a long or a short vowel.

Short i-stems always end in a short vowel. They can either be stem-stressed, ending-stressed or mobile.
An example stem-stressed short-stem noun is <víkki, víkken> (fingernail/toenail, nt.); unlike in a-stems, the stress doesn't shift at all (i.e. not even in the vocative):

Singular Plural
Nominative víkk-i víkk-ek
Accusative víkk-im víkk-ēm
Genitive víkk-en víkk-anę̄
Dative víkk-an víkk-um
Vocative víkk-ō víkk-anę̄

An example ending-stressed short-stem noun is <viští, vištén> (tongue blade, mas.):

Singular Plural
Nominative višt-í višt-ék
Accusative višt-ím višt-êm
Genitive višt-én višt-ánę̄
Dative višt-án višt-úm
Vocative višt-ô višt-ánę̄

Mobile-stress short-stems are stressed on the stem in the nominative and accusative in both numbers, and genitive in the singular, and otherwise on the ending. An example mobile-stress short-stem would be <žbáti, žbatánę̄> (tongue (body)/speech, mas.) - note it has the genitive plural as its second citation form:

Singular Plural
Nominative žbát-i žbát-ek
Accusative žbát-im žbát-ēm
Genitive žbát-en žbat-ánę̄
Dative žbat-án žbǫt-úm
Vocative žbat-ô žbat-ánę̄

Long i-stems can end in either a long or a short vowel. They are - save for one exception, <wāntî, wāntén> (pebble, nt.) - stem-stressed. An example long-stem would be <qêntī, qę̂nten> (north, mas.):

Singular Plural
Nominative qênt-ī qę̂nt-ek
Accusative qę̂nt-im qênt-ēm
Genitive qę̂nt-en qę̂nt-arę̄
Dative qę̂nt-an qę̂nt-on
Vocative qę̂nt-ō qę̂nt-arę̄

Polysyllabic i-stems can end in either a long or a short vowel. They can be either stem-stressed, suffix-stressed or mobile-stressed. When stem-stressed, they're usually either stressed on the antepenultimate or the penultimate of the stem. When mobile-stressed, they're always stressed on the antepenultimate (if trisyllabic or more) or penultimate (if disyllabic).

An example stem-stressed polysyllabic noun is <batâri, batâren> (sword, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative batâr-i batâr-ek
Accusative batâr-im batâr-ēm
Genitive batâr-en batâr-ę̄
Dative batâr-an batâr-on
Vocative batâr-ō batâr-ę̄

An example of a suffix-stressed noun is <ažantî, ažantén> (brick, ign/nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative ažant-î ažant-ék
Accusative ažant-ím ažant-êm
Genitive ažant-én ažant-árę̄
Dative ažant-án ažant-ón
Vocative ažant-ô ažant-árę̄

An example of a mobile-stressed noun is <skjǽnetī, skjænetárę̄> (cloud, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative skjǽnet-ī skjǽnet-ek
Accusative skjǽnet-im skjǽnet-ēm
Genitive skjǽnet-en skjænet-árę̄
Dative skjænet-án skjænet-ón
Vocative skjænet-ô skjænet-árę̄

Augmented i-stems always end in a long vowel. They're universally mobile-stressed, with stress on the penultimate in the nominative that shifts to the augmented syllable. Two kinds of augmented i-stems can be differentiated: regular i-stems and ignic i-stems that do not follow the standard pattern exactly.

An example augmented i-stem feminine is <kâtī, kātíjum> (pigeon, fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative kât-ī kāt-íj-ak
Accusative kât-īm kāt-íj-ān
Genitive kāt-íj-um
Dative kāt-íj-on
Vocative kāt-î

An example augmented i-stem ignic is <láštī, laštíjan> (amber, ign.):

Singular Plural
Nominative lášt-ī lašt-íj-ak
Accusative lašt-íj-ǭm
Genitive lašt-íj-an lašt-íj-um
Dative lašt-íj-on
Vocative lašt-íj-ē lašt-íj-arę̄
Weak O-Stems and U-StemsEdit

The weak u- and o-stems represent a very straightforward and simple declension category. All of them are augmented and have mobile stress that shifts to the augmented syllable.

There is no difference between o-stems and u-stems as they decline identically. An example o-stem noun is <šprájō, šprajódes> (cloud, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative špráj-ō špraj-ód-ak
Accusative špraj-ód-ǭm
Genitive špraj-ód-es špraj-ód-ān
Dative špraj-ód-on špraj-ód-um
Vocative špraj-ô

An example u-stem noun is <žíbu, žibúdes> (cherry, masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative žíb-u žib-úd-ak
Accusative žib-úd-ǭm
Genitive žib-úd-es žib-úd-ān
Dative žib-úd-on žib-úd-um
Vocative žib-ú
Weak Ø-StemsEdit

The weak ø-stems are a very narrow category of words. All of them are stem-stressed, except for <mánø̄, manø̂n> (house, fem.), and all of them are either feminine or ignic. An example ø-stem is <wîlø, wîløn> (copper, ign.):

Singular Plural
Nominative wîl-ø wîl-øk
Accusative wîl-am
Genitive wîl-øn wîl-ar
Dative wîl-om wîl-ama
Vocative wîl-ē wîl-øtē
Weak Avocalic StemsEdit

The weak avocalic stem declension covers every weak hard noun that has no final vowel in the nominative singular. They all follow the same declension pattern, but can be either stem-stressed, suffix-stressed or mobile-stressed. Mobile-stressed nouns are always polysyllabic, but size and stress position is not predictable on the other nouns.

An example stem-stressed avocalic noun is <dékt, dékten> (whisper, masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative dékt dékt-ek
Accusative dékt-im dékt-ēm
Genitive dékt-en dékt-ā
Dative dékt-om dékt-ama
Vocative dékt-ē dékt-anē

An example mobile-stressed avocalic noun is <îrand, īránden> (boar, masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative îrand īránd-ek
Accusative īránd-im īránd-ēm
Genitive īránd-en īránd-ā
Dative īránd-om īránd-ama
Vocative īránd-ē īránd-anē

An example suffix-stressed avocalic noun is <îtak, ītakén> (isle, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative îtak ītak-ék
Accusative ītak-ím ītak-êm
Genitive ītak-én ītak-â
Dative ītak-óm ītak-áma
Vocative ītak-ê ītak-ánē
Strong Nouns (I)Edit

Mendian first-type strong hard nouns make up a sizable chunk of the vocabulary. Their distinguishing feature is that they form the plural of all cases with ablaut in the vowel that is stressed in the nominative. Most of these nouns have a fixed stress pattern (stem-stressed) but some also have mobile stress (either pure mobile-stressed or augmented mobile-stressed). These nouns snugly fit into the weak hard declension patterns but statistically are likeliest to be avocalic stems. Strong nouns are usually cited in the nominative singular and genitive plural.

There are four stress types of regular strong nouns, based on the vowel quality of the vowel stressed in the nominative: the u-stressed and three types of a-stressed nouns. The correspondences are:

Type Singular Plural
u-stressed u ū o ō
a-stressed (I) a ā ǫ ǭ
a-stressed (II) æ ǣ
a-stressed (III) o ō

Exceptions like <ráži, rǿžę̄> (thorn, masc.) are infrequent and can be supplanted by analoguous forms like <ráži, rǫ́žę̄> without an issue.

An example u-stressed mobile-stressed first-type strong noun is <búdžak, bodžákā> (linen/flax cloth, fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative búdžak bodžák-ek
Accusative budžák-im bodžák-ēm
Genitive budžák-en bodžák-ā
Dative budžák-om bodžák-ama
Vocative budžák-ē bodžák-anē

An example a-stressed (I) stem-stressed noun is <axár, axǫ́rā> (bone marrow jelly, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative axár axǫ́r-ek
Accusative axár-im axǫ́r-ēm
Genitive axár-en axǫ́r-ā
Dative axár-om axǫ́r-ama
Vocative axár-ē axǫ́r-anē

An example a-stressed (II) stem-stressed noun is <pâra, pæ̂rar> (cheek, fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative pâr-a pæ̂r-ak
Accusative pâr-em pæ̂r-ek
Genitive pâr-as pæ̂r-ar
Dative pâr-om pæ̂r-ama
Vocative pâr-ē pæ̂r-īs

An example a-stressed (III) mobile-stressed noun is <Átuka, Otúkar> (personal male name):

Singular Plural
Nominative Átuk-a (Otúk-ak)
Accusative Átuk-em (Otúk-ek)
Genitive Átuk-as (Otúk-ar)
Dative Átuk-om (Otúk-ama)
Vocative Átuk-ē (Otúk-īs)

The plural forms are bracketed as they are very unlikely to actually be produced but are otherwise fully grammatical.

Strong Nouns (II)Edit

Second-type strong Mendian nouns make up a very small portion of the lexicon. This category is made up solely of irregular nouns that possess ablaut in the nominative plural, dative and genitive singulars and plurals and accusative singular. They are traditionally cited in the nominative singular and genitive plural. Besides this irregular ablaut they operate the same way as weak nouns in regards to suffixes. An example second-type strong noun is <sę́ku, sǫkúdān>, genitive stem <sak-> (sock, fem.):

Singular Plural
Nominative sę́k-u sǫk-úd-ak
Accusative sęk-úd-ǭm
Genitive sǫk-úd-es sǫk-úd-ān
Dative sak-úd-on sǫk-úd-um
Vocative sęk-ú

Soft NounsEdit

Soft Mendian nouns are a class of nouns with a mutable consonant component of the stem. The class has a small amount of weak nouns and a larger amount of strong nouns. For soft nouns it is usually the phonological shape of the words that define their lexical gender.

Soft nouns can either have a consonant mutation that is triggered morphophonologically or that occurs due to plain morphology. Both of these groups are irregular, but in different ways. The first group is called the selective and the second one is called the generalised paradigm. There isn't a distinct advantage in the distribution or frequency of either paradigm.

Soft nouns can also be classified according to their nominative: whether its consonant component has mutated or not. This is particularly important with generalised paradigm nouns where all their case forms are mutated but their stems are still unmutated. This phenomenon is of great interest when it comes to compounding.

Selective Palatalising Weak A-StemEdit

The selective palatalising weak a-stem is the most common weak soft category. It includes nouns that are either neuter or ignic. Words of this category are palatalised by /e e: i i:/ in the suffix. These nouns decline similarly to weak hard a-stems. They are cited with the nominative and accusative singulars. An example a-stem noun is <bûsa, bûšem> (wood chipping, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative bûs-a bûs-ak
Accusative bûš-em bûš-ek
Genitive bûs-as bûs-ar
Dative bûs-om bûs-ama
Vocative bûš-ē bûš-īs

Some palatalising a-stems are also augmented with an -ij- segment, thus causing more widespread palatalisation. An example augmented a-stem is <líga, lídžijem> (needle, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative líg-a lídž-ij-ak
Accusative lídž-ij-em lídž-ij-ek
Genitive lídž-ij-as lídž-ij-ar
Dative lídž-ij-om lídž-ij-ama
Vocative lidž-ê

Many of these nouns have an alternative stress paradigm, such as <líga, lidžíjem>:

Singular Plural
Nominative líg-a lidž-íj-ak
Accusative lidž-íj-em lidž-íj-ek
Genitive lidž-íj-as lidž-íj-ar
Dative lidž-íj-om lidž-íj-ama
Vocative lidž-ê
Generalised Palatalising A-StemsEdit

The generalised palatalising a-stem is the most common generalised soft noun category. It also includes only ignic or neuter nouns. Unlike with selective palatalisation, words of this category have a palatalised stem in the nominative plural, dative and genitive singulars and plurals and accusative singular, as well as variably, in free variation with tenuis forms, in the vocative. They are usually cited in the nominative and genitive singulars. An example such noun is <bîrka, bîrčas> (scar, ign/nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative bîrk-a bîrč-ak
Accusative bîrč-em bîrk-ek
Genitive bîrč-as bîrč-ar
Dative bîrč-om bîrč-ama
Vocative bîrk-ē

There are relatively plenty of extremely irregular nouns in this category that follow a similar pattern of stem alternation. Some of them do not fit in the generalised paradigm in general but exhibit properties similar to other nouns of the class. An example such noun is <cwíga, cvíždas> (milk, nt.):

Singular Plural
Nominative cwíg-a cwídž-ak
Accusative cvídž-em cwídž-ek
Genitive cvížd-as cwídž-ar
Dative cwíg-om cwídž-ama
Vocative cvížd-ē cwídž-īs
Selective Palatalising I-StemEdit

There aren't many regular selective palatalising i-stem nouns. They all follow the same pattern and are either stem-stressed or mobile-stressed; there are no augmented or ending-stressed nouns of this category. They otherwise decline the same as regular i-stems. They're cited in the nominative and dative singular.

An example stem-stressed noun of this category is <áži, ázan> (dragon, ign.):

Singular Plural
Nominative áž-i áž-ek
Accusative áž-im áž-ēm
Genitive áž-en áz-anę̄
Dative áz-an ǫ́z-um
Vocative áz-ō áz-anę̄

An example mobile-stressed noun is <kášāši, kašâsan> (fume/vapour, ign.):

Singular Plural
Nominative kášāš-i kašâš-ek
Accusative kašâš-im kašâš-ēm
Genitive kašâš-en kašâs-anę̄
Dative kašâs-an kašâs-um
Vocative kašâs-ō kašâs-anę̄
Harmonising NounsEdit

Harmonising Mendian nouns exhibit a peculiar change in that the consonant segments of their suffixes harmonise to the final consonant in their stems. While these nouns are formally hard and not strong, their declension is differentiated from that of hard nouns by consonant mutation. They can have any stress pattern.

A generalised representation of their declension requires some generalised tokens that represent consonant classes in stead of actual consonants. The tokens used to describe harmonising nouns are T = {/p t k q/}, D = {/b d g g/}, R = {/w r~l j j/}, N = {/m n ŋ ŋ/} and S which represents the stem itself regardless of its phonetical content. They are cited in the nominative and accusative singular Their declension pattern otherwise resembles that of weak a-stems:

Singular Plural
Nominative S-a S-aT
Accusative S-eN S-eT
Genitive S-as S-aR
Dative S-om
Vocative SS-īs

For the purposes of harmony, the final consonant of the stem can be divided into bilabial, coronal, velar and uvular consonant classes. The pharyngeal /ħ/ counts as a uvular. Depending on the classification of that consonant, the token's value becomes resolved.

An example harmonising noun is <ujjûga, ujjûgeŋ> (spit/saliva, masc.):

Singular Plural
Nominative ujjûg-a ujjûg-ak
Accusative ujjûg-eŋ ujjûg-ek
Genitive ujjûg-as ujjûg-aj
Dative ujjûg-om
Vocative ujjûg-ē ujjûg-īs




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