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

General InformationEdit

Senzengish (natively Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/)



bilabial alveolar palatal velar
nasal m̥ m n̥ n (ŋ̊) ŋ
stop p b b̤ t d d̤ k g g̤
fricative s (z) x
approximant l̥ l j w w̤
flap ɾ̥ ɾ
  • /ŋ̊/ is not a separate phoneme in all but the carefullest of speech.
  • A preceding consonant (except for /s/ and /ɾ/) causes /j/ to match in voicing and manner of articulation and to be coarticulated with it. ex. Hratjek /ɾ̥ɐtjék/ [ɾ̥ɐˈtcek] "Rachek province"
  • Syllable-initial /s/ matches the voicing of a preceding consonant. ex. Sensohnger /sénsəŋ̊əɾ̥/ [ˈseˑnzŋ̩ŋɹ̩ɾ̥]


Front Central Back
High i ɪ̈ u
Mid e ə o
Low ɐ ɑ
  • The central vowels are so-called reduced vowels. They can only appear in unstressed syllables and "full" vowels tend not to appear in unstressed syllables except in compound words. An example of a full vowel in an unstressed syllable would be ko-, the abessive case marker, always has the full /o/ and is never stressed. ex. kosiwhelma /kosɪ̈wʰélmɐ/ [kosʊˈw̤eˑlmɐ] "without insects"
  • The correspondance between full and reduced vowel is not always clear or depends on the speaker or dialect.
  • The reduced vowels merge into [m̩] before /m/ and /m̥/, [n̩] before /n/ and /n̥/, [ŋ̩] before /ŋ/ and /ŋ̊/, [l̩] before /l/ and /l̥/, [ɪ] before /j/, [ʊ] before /w/ and /wʰ/, and [ɹ̩] before /ɾ/ and /ɾ̥/. ex. ambher /ɑ́mbʰəɾ̥/ [ˈʔɑˑm̤b̤ɹ̩ɾ̥] "cold"


(C)V(m, n, ŋ, p, bʰ, t, dʰ, k, gʰ, s, l, j, w, ɾ)

  • Syllable-final consonants match a following consonant in voicing except for semivowels. ex. rasgho /ɾɑ́z̤g̤ə/ "the house" vs. paldin /pɑ́ldɪ̈n̥/ "a house"
  • Word-final consonants are voiceless except for semivowels. ex. moar /móɐɾ̥/
  • Syllable-final breathy-voiced consonants devoice and introduce breathy-voice on the preceding vowel or vowel cluster. ex. ungwadh /ɪ̈ŋwɑ́dʰ/ [ŋ̩ˈgwɑ̤ˑt]
  • An epenthetic glottal stop is appended onto the beginning of a full vowel if the full vowel begins a word or is directly after a vowel. ex. Ungwadh /úŋwɐdʰ/ [ˈʔuˑŋgwɐ̤t], koajsin /koɑ́jsɪ̈n̥/ [koˈʔɑˑjzn̩n̥] "spineless"
  • An epenthetic homorganic voiced stop is inserted between a nasal and approximants or flaps. ex. Henras /xénɾɐs/ [ˈxeˑndɾɐs] "(a name)"


Stress is typically placed on the first syllable of the root, but it occasionally occurs elsewhere. It is unmarked and is not distinguished in writing. Stressed vowels are longer than unstressed vowels.



  • The following consonants are written identically to their IPA symbols: m, n, p, b, t, d, k, g, s, l, j, and w.
  • /ŋ/ is written ng, /x/ is written h, and /ɾ/ is written r.
  • Voiceless nasals, approximant, and flap are written with a preceding h: hm, hn, hng, hl, and hr. In the syllable coda, they are written as voiced, without the h.
  • Murmured consonants are represented by a following h: bh, dh, gh, and wh.
  • In the syllable coda, the non-murmured stops are written according to etymology, despite the fact that they neutralize in that position.
  • Full vowels are a, e, i, o, and u. Reduced vowels /ɪ̈/, /ə/, and /ɐ/ are written i or u, e or o, and a respectively


Nouns decline according to case and definiteness. Case is shown by prefixes and definiteness is shown by irregular suffixes or consonant change.


Absolutive, Ergative, Genitive, Dative, Adessive, Inessive, Elative, Illative, Instrumental, Intrative-Comitative, Abessive, Adverbial-Temporal, Equative

case prefix example meaning
Absolutive 0- paldin a house
Ergative e(h)- epaldin a house
Instrumental ung- umpaldin using a house
Genitive e(r)- epaldin of/from a house, a house's
Dative il- ilpaldin for/toward a house
Adessive raw- rawpaldin at/on a house
Inessive ba- bapaldin in a house
Illative ilu(w)- ilupaldin into a house
Intrative-Comitative sen- sempaldin between/among/with a house
Abessive ko- kopaldin without a house, homeless
Adverbial-Temporal ghaj- ghajpaldin as a house, at a house's time
Equative hno- hnopaldin like a house


-in is ndef


Articles, demonstratives, quantifiers, possessives, numerals decline according to number (sg, du, pl) and appear after the noun.






Undeclined, prefix a for the adjacent adjective (written separate), between noun and determiner.


Verbs are conjugated according to aspect (perfective, continuous, habitual, inchoative, terminative, and intensive), verbal number (simple and pluractional), voice (active, passive, reflexive/reciprocal, causative, applicative), tense (past, nonpast/nonfuture, future), and polarity (positive and negative).

Affix orderEdit



Verbs are negated with an invariant suffix -sebh.

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