< Metin

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Abbreviations used in this guideEdit

NP: noun phrase

VP: verb phrase

1: 1st person singular

2: 2nd person informal

2H: 2nd person honorific

0: 0 person

3': 3rd person topical

3^: 3rd person retrogressive

1E: first person exclusive

1I: first person inculsive

P: posessor

S: subject

Do: direct object

Io: indirect object

As: absolutive

Uas: unabsolutive (typically not marked in morpheme glosses)

Al: ablative

Lo: locative

Da: dative

Irr: irrealis

Rea: realis (unmarked by default on verbs)

Co: Continuous (always marked by both verb stem and prefixes but only the prefix marking is shown in glosses)

Mo: Momentous (always marked by both verb stem and prefixes but only the prefix marking is shown in glosses)

Po: Potential

Vo: Volitional

St: Stative

Tr: Transitive

Itr: Intransitive

Dtr: Ditransitive

R: relative (ta means nearby-1R, as in relative to the first person, te means nearby-2R, as in relative to the second person

xor: exclusive or

ior: inclusive or

Inq: Inquisitive

Neg: Negative

Prn: Pronominal


Pl: plural

F: free

Ts: human

Yy: inhuman

M: inanimate object

W: machine

Sx: location

Ch: mass

ChT: change topic

The noun phraseEdit

All noun phrase heads must either be case-marked or in the absolutive. Unmarked nouns cannot head a phrase.

Examples of absolutive and unabsolutive noun formsEdit

Nouns can form the unabsolutive in several ways. Some completely lose their absolutive prefix, some keep a reduced form of this prefix, and a small class of nouns, like yúus, loses their pitch accent in the unabsolutive. The vowels shown in parentheses are epenthetic vowels which tend to dissapear when the preceding word ends with a vowel or nasal and the following consonant in the root of the noun is dissimilar from the first consonant of the unabsolutive word's prefix. The unmarked, or naked absolutive is used for nominative, accusative, and copular noun phrases. An absolutive noun phrase can also be marked with 3 other cases, Ablative, Dative, and Locative.

tsimee-s(į)mee: person

įhhuska-huska: shirt

m(į)héá-héá: bridge

chacxó-sh(ą)cxó: beverage

hulaj-laj: shoulders

útchaw-t(į)chaw: train

yúutsaa-yuutsaa: eye

sxutl'an-sx(į)tl'an: city


Both absolutive and unabsolutive nouns can bear posessive suffixes. These suffixes distinguish alienable and inalienable posession.

Possessive suffixes
Posessor Alienable Inalienable
1st person singular oh u
1st person exlusive in un
1st person inclusive
2nd person ájá ájáh
Noun phrase e i
3rd person obviative é éh
3rd person proximative en eh
Inquisitive iz itsih
Relative unmu unmuh
Indefinite - aa

yúutsu: my eye (inalienable)

yúutsájáh: your eye

yúutseh: Her eye

įhta įhhuskayiz?: Whose shirt is this?

tsisuhitsih?: Whose friend (are you)?

yúutsaa: an eye, eyes( in general. Eyes must be posessed, so the suffix -aa is obligatory. Nouns which require inalienable suffixes are marched as such in the dictionary

Some nouns can take on both the alienable and inalienable suffixes, using the alienable suffixes implies a sense of detachibility or self-containedness

yúutsoh: my camera yúutsu: my eye

jxįl: a recorder jxįlaa: an ear

chagułé: his covering, something he is wearing chagułéh: his, its skin, a coat (of paint)

When a noun is posessed by another noun phrase, it is marked either with the alienable suffix -e or the inalienable suffix -i. The posessing noun phrase is placed in the absolutive.

yúutsi tsuoobhii: The woman's eye

yúutse tsuoobhii: The woman's camera

The usage of the relative suffixes -unmu and -unmuh is fairly complicated and is discussed in the relative clause section.

Compound noun phraseEdit

Noun adjective compoundsEdit

The combination of a noun and an adjective can be turned into a compoun word by the concept suffix -íís

mrabhí qoo: A white suit (any kind of suit which is white)

mrabhí qooyíís: A whitesuit '(The kind of suit worn by a matron)

Noun noun compounds

All noun-noun compounds require a suffix of relationship. As with all metin noun constructions, the first noun is the head noun

ooc: First noun is for second noun.

Verbless sentencesEdit

Copular sentencesEdit

(bhaa) As-NP As-NP

(bhaa) tsimee z̨a tsimetin

As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-Metin

That person is Metin.

bhaa is added to emphaisze that the first NP is the second noun phrase in exclusion to several other alternatives; eg; That person is Metin, (not Ishnna or some other ethnicity). bhaa is usually used to correct people, and can sound somewhat rude.  

d̨haa transforms a statement into a question. It is placed before the NP in question, which is moved to the front of the sentenced̨haa questions are often responded to with bhaa answers with identical word orders

d̨haa tsimee z̨a tsimetin?

Inq As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-metin

Is that person Metin? (One of the people the asker is referring to is Metin but the asker is uncertain which)

d̨haa tsimetin tsimee z̨a

Inq As.Ts-Metin As-person that-1R

Is that person Metin? (The person being referred to is of ambiguous ethnicity)

Negative copular sentencesEdit

Míinmi negates a copular sentence.

Míinmi tsimee z̨a tsimetin

Neg As.Ts-person that-1R As.Ts-Metin

That person isn't metin

Mínbha and mínd̨ha are the negatives of bhaa and d̨haa respectively

mínbha tsimetin tsimee z̨a

Neg As.Ts-Metin As.Ts-person that-1R

That person isn't Metin. (corrective tone)

mínd̨ha tsimetin tsimee z̨a?

Neg-Inq As.Ts-Metin As.Ts-person that-1R

Isn't that person Metin?

Evidentials in Copular SentencesEdit

The full from of the evidential (ienmi, uonmo, etc...) is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

uǫtlo tsitxen tsijueng

hearsay As.Ts-Txen As.Ts-scientist

Txen is a scientist (so-I-hear).

The long form of the evidential prefix (ien-, uon- etc.) may also be prefixed to bha.

uǫlbha tsitxen tsijueng

hearsay-Corrective As.Ts-Txen As.Ts-scientist

I hear Txen is a scientist. (not whatever you thought he was)

Locative sentencesEdit

Simple locative sentencesEdit

preposition--Lo NP--As locative object NP

oon tsuarme z̨a sxudhááy ghe

above Lo.Ts-person that As.Sx-staircase that.Inv-2R

The staircase is above that guy. (the staircase can't be seen from where the adressee is)

prepositional Prn--As locative object NP

sxutxienme sxuoomíxtl'an  muyo

As-forum-P Al-Míxtl'an 

Under you is the forum of Mixtlan.

When the prepositional NP is first, the location of the object. It is the word order exculsively used when answering "where" questions. When the locative object NP is first, the identity of the noun is emphasized. This word order is typically used to point out interesting or important objects

Ellipted locative sentencesEdit

The object of a locative sentence may be ellipted.


It's behind you.

ɮí oowji

inside Al-water

It's in the water.

Locative sentences with multiple prepositional NP'sEdit

The prepositional NP's are listed in sequence from general to specific.

bhuay yerrao  bhiminz  sxuarmunz pli sxuaɬtoó  isin qoo

inside Lo-town near Lo.Ts-Munz through Lo.Ts-garden As-path white

The white path is in the city, going through the garden near Munz's place.


Adjectives go after the noun they describe exclusively

mta mkxįyaon ǫ́hwaaf

As-thing-this-1R As-towel fluffy

Here's a fluffy towel.

The adjectives percieved as the most "essential" go closest to the noun, in approximately this order. The word for and, "xi", comes after the "true" essential adjectives, before numbers and demonstratives

class/substance>shape>surface features> color> beauty >age> size >xi> number > demonstrative>posessor

bhaa bhábhanw xi góos xi!

Cop shiny and smooth and

It's both shiny and smooth!

Adjectives can be preceded by the long forms of evidential prefixes.

tsimee ta áazsuh.

As.Ts-person at.hand-1R seems-friend

She seems friendly

hécxǫ ooji oozáu ienfánma.

3'.Pr.Tr-drink As.water Al.M-cup looks-shiny

He's drinking water from a shiny-looking cup.

Adjectives that take argumentsEdit

Adjectives that take arguments are used in constructions like "A city rich in culture" or "A dress vibrant in color". All argument taking adjectives are prefixed with yen'- 'and demand an oblique noun phrase follow immediately after. This construction is very productive and used far more extensively than its English counterpart

sxugį́taang yenmíír unwji

As.Sx-land St-abundant  Al-water

a land with abundant water

sxutl'an yenmíír uęęme tsoiu

As.Sx-city abundant Al.Pl.Ts-people rare

A city full of uncommon people

tsitxá yenjáie chontsíx

As-man beautiful Al-hair

A man with beautiful hair

Descriptive verbsEdit

Continuative verbs can behave just like adjectives in certain cases. The verb must have no non-pronoun arguments or any adverbial phrases associated with it. The verb will have the 0 subject prefix, with the dummy h/hį prefix which precedes continuative verbs with 0 subject and no disjunct prefixes ommitted.

Examples with intransitive verbsEdit

 tsimnah tas hétl'úę́g oadáánmiye

3'.Pr-dine As.Ts-father be.happy As.Pl.Ts-family-0P-with

The happy father has lunch with his family

łigaa ɮí sxeuttl'an tiin z̨a

1E.Pr-stick.out in Lo.Ts-city crowded this-1R

We stand out in this crowded city.

Transitive verbs in these constructions take indefinite objects, giving a different meaning than their intransitive counterpart

tas: happy | etas: "makes something happy", joy-bringing

tsimee tas: A happy person | tsimee etas: A person who brings joy to those around them

tsimee tsííl: Lost person | tsimee etsííl: Forgetful person

ooji móíg: Swirling water | tsibhii emóíg: A woman twiddling with something

Relative clausesEdit

When the topic is the subject, direct object, or indirect object of multiple clauses in direct sequence.Edit

In this situation, each of the successive clauses is strung together with the verb always in initial position. The verb of the first clause will agree with the topic using a 3' personal prefix, the other verbs will agree with the topic with a 0 personal prefix. As always, the topic of such a sentence will be placed at the very front.

tsiyáang  liiépxú tsijué  txaápxen

As.Ts-youth 3'.Tr.Pr-see 3'.Itr.Pr-enter

The youth who sees Jué is coming in


Noun phrase conjunctionEdit

An unabsolutive noun phrase can be appended to an existing noun phrase with the suffixes -mi (and), -lúz (exclusive or or), and -dį (inclusive or). This method can only be used when the conjoined unabsolutive phrases lack adjectives and or other descriptors. These are the very last suffixes that can occur on a noun, after posessive suffixes. 

oawa tsiwio sįnmomi.

people As-mother-1P father-1P-and

Here are my mother and father.

chaqéz shącxódį?

As-food Uas-drink-ior

(Do you want) some food and/or something to drink?

lac'uincaayns k'úa sxuimixtl'an sxkíélúz.

drive-1I.Po-fly today DA-mixt'an kíé-xor 

We can fly to Mixtl'an or Kíé today (but not both).

Two absolutive noun phrases can be joined by the conjunctives já (and), lújá (exclusive or), and dujá (inclusive or).  This method is used when multiple noun phrases have adjectives or other descriptors.

hétunɮ mciar lúí já  įhzáu chuot eetlág.

3.M-Tr-place  As.M-plate blue and As.M-cup green Lo.M-table

He's placing blue plates and green cups on the table.

yint'oąítuyns tewįtie sxuiręę́je tsuooduia dujá sxuiręę́je tsuoowio

3'Do-2S-place.irrealis LO-bedroom-P AL-Duia ior LO-bedroom-P AL-mother-1P 

You can put those in Duia's room or mom's room.

When the same noun heads multiple NPs linked by já, lújá, or dujá, the noun does not need to be repeated in every  phrase. Thus, the above sentence can be shortened to  

yint'oąítuyns tewįtie sxuiręę́je tsuooduia dujá  tsuoowio

You can put those in Duia's room or mom's (room).

Adjective conjunctionEdit

Multiple simple adjectives can be simply stated in sequence.The adjectives percieved as the most "essential" go closest to the noun, in approximately this order.

class/substance>shape>surface features> color> beauty >age> size >xi> number > demonstrative>posessor

The conjunction xi will come after the "true" essential adjectives and before numbers, demonstratives, and posessors.

inmáabhai tsuiya įhhuskaye gít'iyaon ty'uy xi tsįtxen janzja. 

Seen-again-Itr-0-C-wear  this.person ABS-shirt-his wrinkle-2D red xi Txen that.same-1R.

I see her wearing Txen's same wrinkled red shirt again. 

The conjunction 'iiz' links together multiple complex adjectival phrases, and is obligatory when a noun phrase is modified more than one possessor or complex adjectival phrase. It acts as a sort of logical and.

jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iiz jáie

As-apartment near-R Lo.Ts-Mixtl'an and beautiful

Beautiful apartments that are near Mixtl'an

This conjunction can be compounded with lúz (xor) and dį (ior) to form iilúz and iidį respectively. 

bhaang jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iilúz jáie, chį miínmang jįmií timinz sxeutmixtl'an iiz jáie

There.are As-apartment near-R Lo.Sx-Mixtl'an xor beautiful, but There.aren't As-apartment near-R Lo.Ts-Mixtl'an and beautiful

There are not beautiful apartments near Mixtl'an. (There are apartments near mixtl'an or beautiful, but there aren't apartments near mixtl'an and beautiful).

Verb conjunctionEdit

wos: and

los: xor

dos: ior 

Compound sentencesEdit

Expressing temporal relationships between verbsEdit

The prefix  is used to identify the verbal action which came before. The exact meaning of dí varies based on the aspect of both the previus and following actions. dí implies that the previous action caused the next action. tl'ú does not make this implication.

dí affixed to a momentous verbEdit

lidíépxú tsitiys tsid̨úken hįtsun

dí-3os-sees As.Ts-student As.Ts-teacher 0-nervous

The student sees his teacher and is nervous

Habitual nounsEdit

Nouns which preform or undergo a verbal action periodically are expressed by prefixing a fully conjugated continuous verb with an absolutive prefix such as tsi, eey, m-, we-, or cha-, depending on whether the noun in question is human, servile/inhuman, a tool, a machine, or a mass respectively.

la-0-caayn: To pilot it



A pilot (human)



A pilot (servile)



S/he who pilots, S/he is a pilot



I who pilot, I am a pilot



We who pilot, we are pilots.

Habitual nouns phrases with argumentsEdit

Habitual nouns can take the arguments that the verbs they are derived from can. The structure of a habitual nouns phrase is thus:

Habitual nouns- arguments -freeform absolutive that agrees with the habitual noun.

tsimee ta tsilaáncaayn oaxúéfiish cxinmaaz tsii kpagiíndjhac jyahóé tsoiu xi jhęú xi

As.Ts-person this As.Ts-3's-pilot Dat.Pl.Sx-wilderness part As.Ts.F Prp-Ben-3's-search rare and strange and

This person flies gamesmen out into the wilderness so that they might search for rare and unusual creatures for them (their clients).

tsilaáncaayn oaxúéfiish cxinmaaz tsii

a As.Ts-3os-pilot As.Pl.Ts-gamesman-ChT Da.Pl.Sx-wilderness As.Ts.F

S/he who flies gamesmen out into the wilderness

Purpose clausesEdit

Purpose clauses contain an irrealis verb prefixed with kpa-

Topic introduction and changeEdit

A topic is the NP about which a portion of discourse is about. 3' personal prefixes always refer to the role of the topic in a sentence. The simplest way to introduce and or change a topic is to place the topical NP at the very beginning of the sentence. When a new topic is introduced by placing it initially in the sentence, such as Oawions (the higher ups) in the 3rd line, the 3' personal prefixes will be referring to the role of the higher ups rather than that of the old topic tsisuhoh tsiMaang (my friend Maang). The old topic (my friend Maang) will then be referred to using the 3^ personal prefixes. 

tsisuhoh tsiMaang hémǫǫ sxeutLuu. giínthaa  koiwions. tsidíchįpxú tǫ́nk'í tsii, wos díipleh, chįtee.

As.Ts-friend-1p As.Ts-Maang 3's.Pr-dwell Lo.Sx-Luu. Ben-3's.Pr-work As.Ts-because-3'do-0s.Pr-see every-day As.Ts.F, and.V because-3', 3'do.0s.Pr-reward.

My friend Maang lives in the city of Luu. There she works for some higher ups. Because they see her every day, and because she is diligent and resepctful, they reward her. 

inkx'odíijaíe meité,  kx'ojxochęhjooj  sxeuttsiyé jxaa fiǫǫhtas, inmęndífiaamíír mtsiyé iyyątsiyémi dįįn


SeeE-so-because-0s.Pr-beautiful home-3'p, so-with-3'do-1s.Pr-hang.out Lo.Sx-place-3'p very-1s.Pr-happy SeeE-because-very-0s.Pr-abundant As.M-thing-3'p Uas.Yy-servile-3'p-and interesting various. 

So her home is very beautiful, and I have a lot of fun hanging out there, as she has a great variety of interesting things and serviles.

imingoqimoózii euzhín. oawions ázkx'ointeéndés sxutsiyen tsiyenmi iyyątsiyenmi.  ioshdímiswéé, eshplehmisziinzx.

HearE-despite-subversive-3's-say in.private. InfE-so-3^io-3's.Mo.Dtr-punish.Ire As.Ts-place-3^p Uas.M-thing-3^p-and Uas.Yy-servile-3^p-and. HopE-3^s.Pr-reasonable.Ire, HopE-in.line-3^s.Pr-say.Ire.Inc

But I hear her say many subversive things in private. So I worry the higher ups will punish her, and take away her things and serviles.  I hope she is reasonable, and starts talking about more in line things.

Changing the topic with the suffix -iishEdit

This is an alternative to introducing a new topic by placing it in the initial position in a sentence. Notice how the 3' personal prefix refers to the first topic, tsid̨ukoh (my boss) in the first sentence, but after the -iish suffixed noun oameyiish is introduced the 3' personal prefix refers to the oameyiish tsoiu (strange people) in the following verb. 

tsid̨ukoh uǫlépxú oameyiish tsoiu k'íǫx. gidiíxuij héłens sxeuttien.

As.Ts-boss-1p HeaR-3's.Pr.Tr-see As.Pl.Ts-people-ChT strange yesterday. 3's.Pr-wander 3's.Pr-high Lo.Sx-forum.

My boss  told me she saw some strange people yesterday. They (the strange people) were wandering about high in the forum.

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