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Head direction
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect

General InformationEdit

Nuim is spoken by the Mero, a race of merfolk living in the oceans of Ciel. It is isolating, head-final, and encodes the speaker's thoughts and feelings within every utterance.



Bilabial Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p t k
Fricative f s ʃ h
Approximant ɹ j w
Lateral App. l
  • /p/, /t/, and /k/ are voiced [b], [d], and [g] between vowels.
  • /f/, /s/, and /ʃ/ are voiced [v], [z], and [ʒ] between vowels.
  • [ʃ], [ʒ], [ɹ], and [j] are romanized as "c", "x", "r", and "y."


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid ə o
Open a
  • [ə] is romanized as "e."


Nuim's syllable structure is (C)V(C). /h/, /j/, and /w/ are not permitted as codas.


Nuim places stress on either the first complex syllable or the second syllable, whichever comes first. Any syllable with a coda is complex.



An onset is a set of words at the beginning of a sentence that describe the thoughts and feelings the speaker wishes to convey. An onsets consists of two parts, an emotive and an evidential.


Emotives describe the feelings the speaker wishes to convey with the sentence. Onsets require an emotive.

Emotive English
ar joy
was love
no trust
cis submission
fi fear
un awe
wi surprise
am disapproval
re sadness
fo remorse
ne disgust
ka contempt
ho anger
cep aggressiveness
ri anticipation
ya optimism
  • Ar is the default emotive. It often has a neutral connotation when not intensified.
  • Ri is often used when making requests.
  • Was has a connotation closer to "like" than "love" when not intensified. It is often used when thanking someone.

An emotive can be intensified by reduplicating it.


An emotive can be derived into a bound verb with the following suffixes.

Suffix English
-si speaker's feeling
-n/-ne agent's feeling


Evidentials describe the speaker's evidence for the sentence. Onsets require an evidential if the sentence is indicative and the speaker is not the agent.

Evidential English
men visual sensory
ro nonvisual sensory
om inferential
yo reportative

An evidential can be derived into a bound verb with the following suffixes.

Suffix English
-si speaker's evidence
-n/-ne agent's evidence


Nuim nouns are not inflected for gender or definiteness. They are inflected for number and possession. Nouns are not inflected for case but do take case particles.


Nuim has two numbers: paucal and plural. An un-reduplicated noun is paucal and refers to zero, one, or a small number of items. A reduplicated noun is plural and refers to a large number of items or the item in general.


Nuim has two types of possession: alienable and inalienable. A possession is alienable if it can be gained or lost and inalienable if it can't. Possession is indicated by prefixes. The possessor always comes before the possessed.

Prefix English
ro- alienable
hi- inalienable

If the possessor is a pronoun, it should be incorporated into the possessed as one of the following prefixes. A noun with an incorporated possessor cannot take a possession prefix.

Prefix English
yu- my
ci- our
if- your
ha- his/her/its


A noun's case is indicated by case particles. Case particles follow their noun.

Particle Case English
lo locative in, at, on
hi ablative from
nit allative to, toward
wap perlative through, along
es instrumental with, by means of
ses negative instrumental without
rak benefactive for, on behalf of
wu comparative as, than
lal essive as, in the capacity of, in the role of
ca concerning, about

Parts of a NounEdit

(relative.clause | possessor) (number classifier) (possession- | incorporation-) NOUN (case)


Pronoun Abbr. English
yuma 1x I, me, myself
cima 1i we, us, ourselves
ifma 2 you, yourself
hama 3h he/she (merrow)
hazu 3a it (animate)
haga 3i it (inanimate)


Interrogative Demonstrative Quantifier
Proximal Medial Distal Existential Universal Negative
Determiner rel hok ari mari wic imi em
Pronoun Merrow relma hokma arima marima wicma imima emma
Animate relsu hoksu arizu marizu wicsu imizu emsu
Inanimate relka hokka ariga mariga wicka imiga emka
Location relra hokra arira marira wicra imira emra
Time relki hokki arigi marigi wicki imigi emki
Pro-adverb Purpose relwa hokwa ariwa mariwa wicwa imiwa emwa
Reason reloc hogoc arioc marioc wixoc imioc emoc
Manner relnu hoknu arinu marinu wicnu iminu emnu

Determiners behave like numbers and require classifiers.


Nuim verbs are not inflected for agreement, tense, or aspect. They are inflected for word order and intensification. Verbs are not inflected for negation, voice, or mood but do take particles for these things.

Word OrderEdit

Nuim does not require the subject to come before the object or vice versa. Instead, Nuim nouns are ordered by their animacy, as followa: merrow, animate things, 3-dimensional things, 2-dimensional things, and 1-dimensional things. If, as a result of this order, the object would precede the subject, the verb should take the prefix ya-.

If the subject is a pronoun, it should be incorporated into the verb as one of the following prefixes. A verb with an incorporated pronoun cannot and does not need to take the ya- prefix.

Prefix English
yu- I, me, myself
ci- We, us, ourselves
if- You, yourself
ha- he/she/it


A verb can be intensified by reduplicating it.


A verb can be negated with the particle sis. Sis precedes its verb.


To compare two noun, one should be the subject and the other should be followed by wu. The manner of comparison is indicated by comparison particles. Comparison particles precede the verb at issue.

Comparative English
cos most
lu more
uk less
ti least


A verb's voice is indicated by voice particles. Voice particles follow their verb.

Voice English
yor passive
te causative
lo locative applicative
hi ablative applicative
nit allative applicative
wap perlative applicative
  • When you indicate that a verb is passive, turn its object into the subject. You can omit the old subject or follow it with hi.
  • When you indicate that a verb is causative, turn the causer into the subject. You can omit the old subject or follow it with nit.
  • When you indicate that a verb is applicative, turn an appropriate oblique noun into the object. You can omit the old object or follow it with ca.


A verb's mood is indicated by mood particles. Mood particles follow their verb.

Mood English
ra interrogative
fos imperative
kin hortative

Serial VerbsEdit

Two verbs are serial if one verb follows the other and neither verb is subordinate. Serial verbs behave like a single verb and take particles and affixes appropriately. A serial verb generally expresses multiple actions, one occurring after the other.

Compound VerbsEdit

Two verbs make a compound if one verb follows the other and the second verb is subordinate to the first. The second verb should take the prefix wo-. Compound verbs behave like a single verb and take particles and affixes (other than the compound prefix) appropriately. A compound verb generally expresses a single action.

Bound verbs can only appear in compounds and usually do not take the wo- prefix.


A verb can be derived into a noun with the following suffixes.

Suffix English
-m/-me deverbal noun
-t/-ta agent noun
-so patient noun

Parts of a VerbEdit

(negation) (comparison) (word.order- | incorporation-) VERB (voice) (mood)


Nuim numbers are octal (base-8) and can be formed into larger numbers with two subsystems: a multiplicative subsystem and a positional subsystem.

Basic NumeralsEdit

Number Base-8 Base-10
e 0 0
hi 1 1
fu 2 2
mi 3 3
yo 4 4
i 5 5
mu 6 6
na 7 7
ya 10 8
ko 100 64
to 1000 512

Multiplicative NumeralsEdit

Number Base-8 Base-10
ya-hi 11 9
ya-fu 12 10
ya-mi 13 11
ya-yo 14 12
ya-i 15 13
ya-mu 16 14
ya-na 17 15
fuya 20 16
miya 30 24
yoya 40 32
... ... ...

Positional NumeralsEdit

Number Base-8 Base-10
hi (hira) 1 1
hi fura 10 8
hi mira 100 64
hi yora 1000 512
hi ira 10,000 4096
hi mura 100,000 32768
hi nara 1,000,000 262144
hi yara 10,000,000 2097152
hi ya-hira 100,000,000 16777216
hi ya-fura 1,000,000,000 134217728
... ... ...


To count a noun, a number should come before it and a classifier should come between the number and the noun.

Classifier Abbr. English
ma mr merrow
su an animate
ya 1d 1-dimensional
ta 2d 2-dimensional
fan 3d 3-dimensional; abstract


A number can be derived into other parts of speech with the following suffixes.

Suffix English
-fe fraction (num.)
-k/-ku ordinal (v.)
-sa frequency (adv.)
  • Derived fractions are of the form "1/N." Fractions can be counted to specify their numerators.


Nuim clauses require zero or more nouns and at least one verb. A main clause also requires an onset. In an indicative clause the subject should be omitted if it's the speaker. In a interrogative or imperative clause the subject should be omitted if it's the addressee.

Adverbial ClausesEdit

A clause is adverbial if it is dependent on and modifies another clause. An adverbial clause comes before its main clause and takes one of the following adverbial particles. Adverbial particles follow their adverbial clause.

Particle Function English
ru condition if
ti purpose in order to
nan reason because, since
yu concession but, although
ni manner as, like
ros result so...that, such...that

Relative ClausesEdit

A clause is relative if it is dependent on and modifies a noun. A relative clause comes before its noun. The modified noun should be omitted from the relative clause unless its oblique, in which case it should be replaced with an appropriate pronoun.


A clause can be quoted with the particle le. Le follows its clause.

Parts of a ClauseEdit

(onset) (adverbial.clause | quotation) {noun} verb


A clause is a question if its main verb is interrogative. As Nuim doesn't have words for "yes" or "no," questions are answered by echoing the main verb affirmatively or negatively and replacing any interrogative pronouns or pro-adverbs with their answers.


Any two nouns, verbs, or clauses can be conjoined. Conjunctions come between their elements. In general, conjoined elements behave like a single element.

Conjunction English
ki and
si and etc.
in or
nat or etc.

Fal behaves a bit differently than the other conjunctions. It sets the second element to the first, changing or creating a definition. Fal is most frequently used to provide extra detail about a word or create a temporary pronoun.

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit

  • Nuim on ConWorkShop

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