Emnian language

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Native toEmnia
Native speakers
5.32 million (2020)
Early forms
Equatoric (Emnian alphabet)
Emnian Braille
Emnian Sign Language
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Emnian (Emnian: Eaimhnidht [ˈavʲɾʲiːtʲ]) is a West Emnitic language spoken by about 5.32 million people, principally in Emnia, where it is an official language.

Until the 16th century, Emnian was a continuum of dialects spoken from the Lower Delta to the Far East without a standard variety or spelling conventions. With the advent of Autocephalism and the introduction of the printing press, a standard language was developed based on the speech of the Lower Delta region. It spread through use in the education system, trade, and administration. During the romantic nationalist movements of the 19th century, the language itself was promoted as a token of Emnian national identity, and experienced a surge in use and popularity as major works of literature were produced. Today, the traditional dialects have almost disappeared except for the Thárann Valley dialect.


Emnitic languages may have arrived in Emnia between 2,500 BC and 2,000 BC with the spread of the High Lake Culture. The language spoken by the High Lake Culture has been suggested as a candidate for the Proto-Emnitic, or, specifically, the direct ancestral language to Primitive Emnian.

Primitive Emnian

The earliest written form of the Emnian language is known to linguists as Primitive Emnian. Primitive Emnian is known only from fragments — mostly personal names — inscribed on stone in Emnian runes. These inscriptions are mostly found in the south of the country as well as in northern Southerland, where it was brought by settlers from Emnia.

Old Emnian

Old Emnian first appears in the margins of Equatoric manuscripts as early as the 6th century. A large number of early Emnian literary texts, despite having been recorded as manuscripts during the Middle Emnian period (such as the Seaphair Mudoire), are written in Old Emnian.

Middle Emnian

Middle Emnian refers most narrowly to the form of the language used from the 10th to the 12th centuries; it's therefore a contemporary of late Old Sudric and early Middle Sudric. It is the language of a large amount of literature, including the entire Angaoide t-an Éile.

Modern Emnian

Early Modern Emnian began to take shape between the 13th and 18th centuries, when numerous tracts were written in order to teach the most cultivated form of the language to student bards, lawyers, doctors, administrators, monks, and so on in Emnia. Despite being a cultivated language, the standards were largely based on vernacular usage and allowed a number of dialectal forms which had already existed at the time.



One of the most notable aspects of Emnian phonology is that nearly all consonants are paired — with one having a "broad" pronunciation and one having a "slender" one. Broad consonants are either velarised (that is, the back of the tongue is pulled back and slightly up in the direction of the soft palate while the consonant is articulated) or simply velar. Slender consonants are palatalised, which means the tongue is pushed up towards the hard palate during articulation. The contrast between broad and slender consonants is crucial in Emnian as it not only plays a critical role in distinguishing the individual consonants themselves, but also in the pronunciation of the surrounding vowels, in the determination of which consonants can form clusters, and in the behaviour of words that begin with a vowel. The broad/slender distinction is similar to the hard/soft distinction of many languages such as Slavonian.



The vowel sounds vary from dialect to dialect, but most agree in having the monophthongs /iː/, /ɪ/, /uː/, /ʊ/, /eː/, /ɛ/, /oː/, /ɔ/, /aː/, /a/, and schwa (/ə/), which is found only in unstressed syllables; and the falling diphthongs /əi/, /əu/, /iə/, and /uə/. The vowel sounds of the Thárann Valley Dialect are significantly divergent from the standard language, and will not be discussed here.


Most dialects of Emnian contain at a minimum the consonant phonemes shown in the following chart (see here for an explanation of the symbols). The consonant /h/ is neither broad nor slender. Voiceless stops are aspirated at the start of a word; after a word initial /sˠ/ or /ʃ/, voiceless stops become unaspirated.

Consonant phonemes
Labial Coronal Dorsal Glottal
broad slender broad slender broad slender
Stop voiceless t̪ˠ k c
voiced d̪ˠ ɡ ɟ
voiceless ʃ x ç h
voiced w ɣ j
Nasal n̪ˠ ŋ ɲ
Tap ɾˠ ɾʲ
Lateral ɫ̪

Off- and onglides

In many regional accents, broad (velar or velarised) consonants have a noticeable velar offglide (a very short vowel-like sound, [ɰ]) before front vowels. Similarly, slender (palatal or palatalised) consonants have a palatal offglide ([j]) before back vowels.

When a broad consonant follows a front vowel, there is a very short vowel-like sound ([ə̯]) called an onglide just before the consonant. Similarly, when a slender consonant follows a back vowel, there is an onglide ([i̯]) before the consonant.


The treatment of /w/ and /vˠ/ (broad bh, mh, v) varies regionally. In the west and central parts of the country (constituting the majority of speakers), only /vˠ/ is found, while in the southern border regions (Seleagh an Labhainn especially) only /w/ can be heard. In the Thárann Valley, the distribution of /w/ and /vˠ/ is allophonic, with /w/ occurring word-initially and /vˠ/ occurring elsewhere. In the far east, /vˠ/ generally prevails but /w/ is found in some speakers.

The treatment of /ɾˠ/ and /ɾʲ/ (broad and slender r respectively) is also widely variable by region, social class, and age bracket. In cultivated speech, both are pronounced as an alveolar tap or flap /ɾ/; however, in colloquial Emnian, most speakers fall into one of 3 categories:

  • broad R pronounced as a voiced alveolar trill /r/ and slender R pronounced as an alveolar tap or flap /ɾ/; this is true primarily of rural lower- and middle-class people, although it is also salient in the Thárann Valley.
  • broad R pronounced as a voiced postalveolar approximant /ɹ̠/ and slender R pronounced as an alveolar tap or flap /ɾ/; this is the most common realisation of the rhotic by urban upper- to middle-class people throughout the country.
  • both broad and slender R pronounced as a voiced postalveolar approximant /ɹ̠/; this was formerly limited to the area around the border with Southerland, but is becoming generalised among people under 30 and the working class.

Regional variations



Consonant letters generally correspond to the consonant phonemes displayed in the table below. See the section on phonology for an explanation of the symbols below. Consonants are broad (velarised or plain) when the nearest vowel letter is a, o, or u, and slender (palatalised) when the nearest vowel is either e or i.

Letter(s) Phoneme(s) Examples
b broad /bˠ/ baght /bˠəit̪ˠ/ "house"; baighle /bˠəil̪ʲə/ "wife"
slender /bʲ/ béann /bʲeːn̪ˠ/ "son"; beáth /bʲaː/ "daughter"
bh broad /w/~/vˠ/
slender /vʲ/ ceibhis /cɛvʲəʃ/ "ram, male sheep"; bhéann /vʲeːn̪ˠ/ "son" (lenited)
See vowel chart for abh, obh
c broad /k/ cairn /kaɾˠnʲ/ "antler, horn"; tionoc /tʲɪnˠək/ "baby"
slender /c/ ceilibh /kɛlʲəvʲ/ "dog"; ceann /caːn̪ˠ/ "yes"; oimhic /ɪvʲəc/ "valley"
ch broad
(always broad before t)
slender /ç/;
/h/ between vowels (except verb roots)
d broad /d̪ˠ/
slender /dʲ/; /dʑ/ in eastern dialects
dh broad /ɣ/ syllable-initially;
silent after a long vowel
slender /ʝ/~/j/
See vowel chart for adh, aidh, eadh, eidh, idh, oidh, odh.
f broad /fˠ/
slender /fʲ/
fh silent
g broad /ɡ/
slender /ɟ/
gh broad /ɣ/ syllable-initially;
silent after a long vowel
slender /ʝ/~/j/
See vowel chart for agh, aigh, eagh, eigh, igh, ogh, oigh.
h /h/
l broad /l/; also frequently /l̪ˠ/
slender /lʲ/
ll broad /l̪ˠ/
slender /l̪ʲ/; also frequently /lʲ/
m broad /mˠ/
slender /mʲ/
mh broad /w/~/vˠ/
slender /vʲ/
See vowel chart for amh, omh
n broad /nˠ/~/n̪ˠ/ word initially, intervocally, and after /sˠ/;
/ɾˠ/ after other consonants
naoichde /nˠiːçdʲə/ "granddaughter"; tionoc /tʲɪnˠək/ "baby"; Eamhna /avˠɾˠə/ "Emnia"
slender /nʲ/ word initially, intervocally, and after /ʃ/;
/ɾʲ/ after other consonants
néichid /nʲeːhədʲ/ "grandson"; labhaine /ləunʲə/ "white" (fem.); Eaimhnidht /avʲɾʲiːtʲ/ "Emnian"
nc broad /ŋk/
slender /ɲc/
ng broad /ŋɡ/ angaoide /anˠɡiːdʲə/ "legend"
slender /ɲɟ/
/nʲ/ in final unstressed -ing
nn broad /n̪ˠ/
slender /n̪ʲ/; also frequently /nʲ/
p broad /pˠ/
slender /pʲ/
ph broad /fˠ/
slender /fʲ/
r broad
(always broad word-initially; always broad in rd, rl, rn, rr, rs, rt, rth, sr)
slender /ɾʲ/
s broad
(always broad word-initially before f, m, p, r)
slender /ʃ/; /ɕ/ in eastern dialects
sh /h/
t broad /t̪ˠ/
slender /tʲ/
th /h/
Silent at the end of a syllable
(dialectal lenition of s- after an 'the')
broad /t̪ˠ/
slender /tʲ/; /tɕ/ in eastern dialects
v (loan consonant) broad /w/~/vˠ/
slender /vʲ/
z (loan consonant) broad /zˠ/
slender /ʒ/; /ʑ/ in eastern dialects


Sequences of vowels are very common in Emnian spelling due to the rule of "slender with slender and broad with broad". This rule states that the vowels on either side of any consonant or consonant cluster must both be slender (e or i) or both be broad (a, o, or u'), to unambiguously determine the consonant's own broad versus slender pronunciation. A notable exception is the combination ae, which is followed by a broad consonant despite the e (the slender variant is aei).

Simple vowels

Unstressed vowels are generally reduced to schwa (/ə/).

Letter(s) Phoneme Examples
a stressed /a/
/aː/ before rl, rn, rd
before syllable-final ll, nn, rr
before word-final m
unstressed /ə/
e stressed /ɛ/
unstressed /ə/
i stressed /ɪ/
/iː/ before syllable-final ll, nn
before word-final m
unstressed /ə/
/ɪ/ finally
o stressed /ɔ/
/ʊ/ before n, m
/oː/ before rl, rn, rd
before syllable-final ll, rr
/uː/ before syllable-final nn
before word-final m, ng
unstressed /ə/
u stressed /ʊ/
/ɔ/ in Sudric loanwords, corresponds to /ʌ/
/uː/ before rl, rn, rd
unstressed /ə/
/ʊ/ finally

Digraphs and trigraphs

Letter(s) Phoneme Examples
ae, aei /eː/
ai stressed /a/
/aː/ before rl, rn, rd
before syllable-final ll, nn, rr
/ɛ/ in certain words
unstressed /ə/
ao /iː/ (/eː/ in eastern dialects)
/ɔː/ in the feminine plural suffix
aoi /iː/
ea, eai stressed /a/
/aː/ before rl, rn, rd
before syllable-final ll, nn, rr
unstressed /ə/
ei /ɛ/
/ɪ/ before m, mh, n
/eː/ before rl, rn, rd
/əi/ before syllable-final ll
/iː/ before syllable-final nn and word-final m
eo, eoi /oː/
/ɔː/ in the feminine plural suffix
ia, iai /iə/
io /ɪ/ before coronals and th
/ʊ/ before noncoronals
/iː/ before syllable-final nn
iu /ʊ/
oi stressed /ɛ/
/ɔ/ before s, cht, rs, rt, rth
/ɪ/ next to n, m, mh
/əi/ before syllable-final ll
/iː/ before syllable-final nn and word-final m
/oː/ before rl, rn, rd
unstressed /ə/
ua, uai /uə/
ui stressed /ɪ/
/ʊ/ before cht, rs, rt
/iː/ before syllable-final ll, nn
before word-final m
/uː/ before rl, rn, rd
unstressed /ə/

Followed by bh, dh, gh, or mh

When followed by the lenited consonants bh, dh, gh, or mh, a vowel usually forms a diphthong.

Letter(s) Phoneme Examples
(e)abh, (e)abha, (e)abhai /əu/
(e)amh, (e)amha, (e)amhai
(e)obh, (e)obha, (e)obhai
(e)odh, (e)odha, (e)odhai
(e)ogh, (e)ogha, (e)oghai
(e)omh, (e)omha, (e)omhai /oː/ ~ /əu/
(i)umh, (i)umha, (i)umhai /uː/
(e)adh, (e)adha, (e)adhai /əi/
(e)agh, (e)agha, (e)aghai
aidh, aidhe, aidhea
aigh, aighe, aighea
eidh, eidhea, eidhi
eigh, eighea, eighi
oidh, oidhea, oidhi
oigh, oighea, oighi
Letter(s) Phoneme Examples
adh, eadh /ə/
agh, eagh
aidh, idh /iː/
aigh, igh

Vowels with a gaola

Vowels with a gaola are always pronounced long.

Letter(s) Phoneme Examples
á /aː/
aoú /iː.uː/
é /eː/
éi /eː/
í /iː/
ó /oː/
ú /uː/

Two vowels with a gaola will occasionally appear in succession. Should this occur, they are pronounced separately.

Epenthetic vowels

In the sequence of short vowel + /l, n, r/ + labial, palatal, or velar consonant (except for voiceless stops) within the same morpheme, an unwritten /ə/ gets inserted between the /l, n, r/ and the following consonant.


Nouns and adjectives

Emnian nouns (séimh, plural séimhimh) and adjectives are declined according to the following properties:

  • State (indefinite, definite, or construct)
  • Gender (feminine or masculine); this is an inherent characteristic of nouns but part of the declension of adjectives
  • Number (singular, plural, or dual)

Nouns are generally related to verbs via their shared verbal roots, but the formation of some nouns is not systematic due to loanwords and influence from foreign languages.


Every Emnian noun has a gender — either masculine or feminine (though there are some 'ambigender' nouns which can be either masculine or feminine). Emnian is logically very similar to other Emnitic languages regarding grammatical gender: animate nouns, such as those referring to people, usually have a grammatical gender that corresponds to their natural gender, but for inanimate nouns the grammatical gender is largely arbitrary.

Most feminine nouns end in the vowels -e or -a, but many do not (e.g. éimh "mother", eirias "earth", eáthann "jenny, female donkey").


All Emnian nouns can be singular, dual, or plural.

In Old Emnian, the use of the dual was mandatory whenever exactly two objects were referred to, regardless of whether the twoness of the objects is explicit or relevant to the point. The plural necessarily referred to three or more objects. By the Middle Emnian period, this was beginning to shift, and in modern Emnian the dual is generally only used with a handful of common words and for emphasis.

Masculine nouns generally form their plural by adding the suffix -imh (slender ending) or -aimh (broad ending); both suffixes are pronounced /-əvʲ/.

  • méilich (king) → méilichimh (kings)
  • seoghaill ([male] fox) → seoghailimh ([male] foxes)
  • míseor (flatland; plain) → míseoraimh (flatlands; plains)

Feminine nouns generally form their plural by adding the suffix -(e)oth (slender ending) or -(a)oth (broad ending); both suffixes are pronounced /-ɔː/.

  • máilce (queen) → máilceoth (queens)
  • seoghaile ([female] fox; vixen) → seoghaileoth ([female] foxes; vixens)
  • adapha (addendum) → adaphaoth (addenda)

The dual is formed with the suffixes -eaidhimh (slender ending) or -aidhimh (broad ending); both suffixes are pronounced /-eːvʲ/. There exists no separate masculine or feminine dual form — but dual nouns agree in gender with their verbal/adjectival/pronominal complements.

  • méilich (king) → méilicheaidhimh (two kings)
  • máilce (queen) → máilceaidhimh (two queens)
  • adapha (addendum) → adaphaidhimh (two addenda)

Note that nouns ending in doubled consonants revert to a single consonant before taking the plural or dual suffixes.


The grammatical property of state is specific to Emnian and other Emnitic languages. The basic division is between indefinite, definite, and construct.

Indefinite nouns refer to entities not previously determined or mentioned, and correspond to Sudric nouns preceded by a, an or some, or mass nouns with no preceding determiner. Adjectives modifying a noun must agree with the noun in state:

  • méilich — "(a) king"
  • máilce — "(a) queen"
  • béann othuibh — "(a) beloved son"
  • beáth othuibhe — "(a) beloved daughter"
  • míseor gaodhall — "(a) great plain"
  • seoghaile ádaoime — "(a) red fox"
  • déilith ádaoime — "(a) red door"

Definite nouns signal entities previously referenced, and correspond to the following Sudric forms: nouns preceded by the, this, that, or a possessive adjective (e.g. my, your; or proper nouns. Nouns in the definite state are marked with the definite article an. Note that singular, feminine nouns are always lenited when preceded by the definite article unless they begin with d or t.

  • an méilich — "the king"
  • an mháilce — "the queen"
  • an béann an othuibh — "the beloved son"
  • an bheáth an othuibhe — "the beloved daughter"
  • an míseor an gaodhall — "the great plain"
  • an seoghaile an ádaoime — "the red fox"
  • an déilith an ádaoime — "the red door"

The third value for state is construct, which is assumed by nouns when they are modified by another noun in a genitive construction. A noun in the construct state is never marked by a definite article even if it is semantically definite. Furthermore, no word can intervene between a construct-state noun and a following possessive with the exception of a demonstrative determiner.

Many commonly used nouns have a slightly different construct form from their indefinite/definite form — usually common nouns ending in broad consonants, which become slender in the construct. Additionally, feminine nouns ending in vowels or -th trigger t-prothesis. Any adjectives modifying the noun in the construct appear at the very end without a definite article.

  • méilich eirias — "(a) king of a country"
  • méilich an eirias — "the king of the country"
  • máilce t-eirias — "(a) queen of a country"
  • béinn an mhéilich othuibh — "the king's beloved son"
  • beáth t-an mhéilich an othuibh seomhaine — "the beloved king's plump daughter"
  • seoghaile t-an míseor an gaodhall ádaoime — "the red fox of the great plain"

The construct is also used for nouns with a "bound" pronoun:

  • méilich aonú — "our king"
  • máilce t-aonú — "our queen"
  • béinn í othuibh — "my beloved son"
  • beáth t-í othuibhe — "my beloved daughter"

Masculine, plural nouns that end in -imh or -aimh change their suffix to -e (slender) and -a (broad).

  • méiliche aonú — "our kings"
  • seoghaile an eoghar ádaoimimh — "the red foxes (m.) of the forest"
  • caedhmona an óthaeill — "ancestors of the family"


"Free" pronouns

In Emnian, "free" personal pronouns have 16 distinct forms. In the singular and plural, 2nd and 3rd person pronouns have separate masculine and feminine forms, while the 1st person does not. Traditionally, there exists a formality distinction in the first-person pronouns, although this is exceedingly rare even in the most formal of modern speech.

Person Singular Plural
1st informal aoine anuách
formal anaoiche anú
2nd masculine tim
ambigender tae
feminine át tin
3rd masculine thú them
ambigender thae
feminine thaoi then
impersonal dhe dheile

Bound pronouns

The enclitic forms of the personal pronouns (or "bound" pronouns) are used:

  • After the construct state of nouns, where they have the meaning of possessive determiners, e.g. "my, your, his, her", etc.
  • After prepositions, where they construe the objects of prepositions, e.g. "to me, to you, to him, to her", etc.
  • After verbs, where they have the meaning of direct object pronouns

Unlike in the free pronouns, there exists no traditional formality distinction in the 1st person in bound pronouns.

Person Singular Plural
1st í aonú
2nd masculine chá chim
ambigender chae
feminine ách chin
3rd masculine ó ám
ambigender ae
feminine á án
impersonal dhe dheile




Emnian verbs, like the verbs in other Emnitic languages, are based on a historic root made up of two to five (but most often three) consonants. The historic root communicates the basic meaning of the verb, e.g. K-T-B 'write', Q-R-ʾ 'read', ʾ-K-L 'eat', while changes to the vowels between the consonants, along with prefixes, suffixes, and lenition, specify grammatical functions such as person, gender, number, tense, and mood. Each verb has an inherent voice, though a verb in one voice typically has counterparts in other voices.


Initial Mutations

A salient feature of Emnian is word-initial mutation in two related processes known as lenition and prothesis.


Lenition is a type of word-initial mutation affecting stop consonants (bgdcpt), the bilabial nasal (m), and the slender voiceless labiodental fricative (f). This is noted by the addition of an h following the affected consonant.

  • b — /bˠ/ → /w/ or /vˠ/ and /bʲ/ → /vʲ/ — bh
  • g — /ɡ/ → /ɣ/ and /ɟ/ → /j/ — gh
  • d — /d̪ˠ/ → /ɣ/ and /dʲ/ → /j/ — dh
  • c — /k/ → /x/ and /c/ → /ç/ — ch
  • p — /pˠ/ → /fˠ/ and /pʲ/ → /fʲ/ — ph
  • t — /t̪ˠ/ → /h/ and /tʲ/ → /h/ — th
  • m — /mˠ/ → /w/ or /vˠ/ and /mʲ/ → /vʲ/ — mh
  • f — /fʲ/ → // — fh

In formal language, words beginning with C or T which have a historic initial radical of q or (i.e. emphatic consonants) are resistant to lenition. This is often not the case in informal speech, but is considered incorrect usage.

Environments of Lenition
  • Singular, feminine nouns are always lenited after the definite article unless they begin with t or d.
    • máilce “queen” → an mháilce “the queen”
    • déilith “door” → an déilith (no lenition) “the door”
  • Masculine nouns preceded by a construct-state noun are lenited. This also occurs when the definite article an intervenes.
    • méilich “king” → béinn mhéilich “son of a king”
    • an méilich “the king” → béinn an mhéilich “son of the king”
  • Nouns following the inseparable prepositions le ("to, for"), be ("in, with, by"), and go ("like, as"), including when bound to the definite article an.
    • mioghdall “tower” → be mhioghdall “in a tower” → b’an mhioghdall “in the tower”
    • máilce “queen” → le mháilce “to a queen” → l'an mháilce “to a queen”
    • béann “son” → go bhéann “like a son” → g'an bhéann “like the son” → go bhéinn an mhéilich “like the king's son”
  • Nouns after the conjunction ó ("and") — but not if the definite article an intervenes.
    • máilce ó mhéilich “queen and king”
    • an mháilce ó h-an méilich (no lenition) “the queen and the king”
  • Nouns after the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
  • Nouns after vocative particles.
    • a mháilce! “O queen!”
  • Nouns after certain prepositions.


Emnian syntax is markedly different from that of many other Calatanian languages, due to its strict VSO word order.

Formulae meaning "to be"

In Emnian, there are two separate copular terms which are used in different situations: is/inn and l'ochúnn. Unlike in many other Emnitic languages, an explicit copula is required in the present tense in Emnian.

is and inn

Is (/ɪsˠ/) doesn't conjugate for person, number, or tense, and technically isn't a verb at all. It is derived from Old Emnian 𐤉𐤔 which originally had the meaning of "there is/are", and it is debated whether it constitutes an adverb, a particle, or something else entirely.

Where is is used, the formula for a copular sentence is: "Is [predicate] (subj. pronoun) (subj.)". The predicate must be explicit, but the subject pronoun or explicit subject can be omitted.

Is méilich thú.
is king he
"He is a king."
Is máilce Príoma.
is queen Prima
"Prima is a queen."

Is becomes inn (/ɪn̪ˠ/) when negative. This term is derived from Old Emnian 𐤀𐤉𐤍 or 𐤀𐤍, which originally had the meaning of "there isn't/aren't".

Inn be taoire t-an mhéilich thaoi an naoische.
isn't in castle.CNS the king she the princess
"The princess isn't in the King's castle."

Is/inn is always present-tense in Emnian. In order to encode the past tense using is/inn, one must employ the auxiliary particle eátha (/aːhə/) directly following is/inn. Eátha is actually derived from a former verb in Old Emnian: 𐤄𐤉𐤄, which had the meaning of "to be". It's become fossilised in the past tense as an adverb that pairs with is/in.

Is eátha b'an uír an gaoll thú baight áibh í.
was in the city the big he house.CNS father.CNS my
"My father's house was in the big city."

There also exists a regular verbal copula, l'ochúnn, which is a weak class I verb with the historic root K-W-N. When the verbal copula l'ochúnn is used, the word order reverts to the canonical VSO expected in Emnian.

Oichmhiónn méilich.
be.3S.MASC.NPST king
"He is a king."
Toichmhiónn Príoma máilce.
be.3S.FEM.NPST Prima queen
"Prima is a queen."
Látha toichmhiónn an naoische be taoire t-an mhéilich.
not be.3S.FEM.NPST the princess in castle.CNS the king
"The princess isn't in the King's castle."
Comháinn baight áibh í b'an uír an gaoll.
be.3S.MASC.PAST house.CNS father.CNS my in the city the big
"My father's house was in the big city."

Modern Emnian generally prefers is/inn in the present tense and l'ochúnn in other tenses — but the two forms are equally correct and interchangeable.

Genitive construction

A noun may be more precisely defined by adding another noun immediately afterwards. In Emnian grammar, this is known as an adapha (lit. "addendum") or the "genitive construct". The first noun (the possessed) must be in the construct state, while the subsequent noun or bound pronoun (the possessor) can be either definite or indefinite. Following a feminine noun ending in a vowel or the plural suffix -(a/e)oth, nouns or bound pronouns beginning with vowels undergo T-prothesis. This construction is typically equivalent to the construction "(noun) of (noun)".

Simple examples include:

  • beáth Príoma — "the daughter of Príoma/Príoma's daughter"
  • beáth t-Annraoi — "the daughter of Annraoi/Annraoi's daughter"
  • béinn Annraoi — "the son of Annraoi/Annraoi's son"
  • baight aoinse — "the house of a woman/a woman's house"
  • baight an aoinse — "the house of the woman/the woman's house"

Nothing except a demonstrative can intervene between the two nouns in an adapha. If an adjective modifies the first noun, it appears at the end of the adapha without a definite article regardless of whether the term it modifies is semantically definite. An ajdective modifying the second noun will appear directly after the second noun, and will match the definiteness of that noun.

  • máilce t-an eirias chadhaise — "The new queen of the country"
  • máilce t-an eirias an chadhaise — "The queen of the new country"

Word order

The normal word order for an Emnian sentence is:

Clausal adverb/negation Finite verb Subject Non-finite verb Object(s) Place adverb Manner adverb Time adverb

Only the finite verb and the subject (which can be explicit or implicit) are obligatory for the creation of a complete sentence; the remaining parts are optional (unless the primary verb is transitive, in which case a direct object is also required).

Látha toichiólann an anaoisimh l'ocró a t-an seaphairimh be scoill án leathat an eogham.
not can.3P.FEM.NPST the women read.INF [dir. obj. marker] the books in school.CNS their.FEM slowly the day
"The women cannot slowly read the books in their school today."

An adverb can be moved in front of the verb in order to emphasise it in the sentence. Compare:

Toicrióghann then mothair.
read.3P.FEM.NPST they.FEM quickly
"They are reading quickly."
Mothair toicrióghann then.
quickly read.3P.FEM.NPST they.FEM
"They are reading quickly."

Definite article

See also

To-Do List

  • Finish adding repeating conjugations