Taxonomic codification of lettersEdit

The consonants of root words are taken from a conceptual ontology matrix. For example, all root words beginning with the consonant t have something to do with human beings. Root words containing the consonant j relate somehow to time.
For example, the following words all contain the consonant p, which indicates motion:
zíp travel
jap precedence
tóáp step
zòp regression
pán jump
teap visit
mamp flight
Similarly, the following words all end in the consonant l, which indicates liquid:
mil water
vafil wine
mal gasoline
meil mud
vozil paint
teabil tear
Again, the following words all end in the consonant m, which indicates place, space, location, or position.:
tom residence
cem table
dénam library
tilam bar
epem parking lot
mem country

Semantic codification of vowelsEdit

The vowels in root words have various qualitative and quantitative values based on the following scales:

Qualitativenegative 1positive 1neutralpositive 2negative 2

The opposite of a word can often be produced by simply changing a vowel to the "opposing" vowel.

  • The vowels "a" and "o" are opposites in the "series 1".
  • The vowels "i" and "u" are opposites in the "series 2."

ab onob off
man lightmon shade
aga bigoga little
án togetherón apart
iga fastuga slow
íga hardúga soft

Throughout the Mirad word construction scheme, the vowel e always has a neutral or medial value:

éb between
éz inside
eza moderate
ge equal
zem middle
ev if
je during
eb at
ve maybe
In hierarchical codification, the vowel o indicates the zeroth or toplevel element of an organization. In a qualitative codification, it has a negative slant. As a prefix, this vowel can also "nullify" a concept as in the following examples:

tel foodotel hunger
gela sameogela different
tadca marriedotadca unmarried
es functionoes malfunction

Hierarchical codification with ordinal vowelsEdit

Root words related hierarchically or organizationally differ only in their ordinal vowels. By ordinal vowels is meant that the vowels have inherent numerical values (o 0, a 1, e 2, etc.). The zeroth element of any hierarchy always contains the ordinal vowel o. For example, the words for royalty differ only by an enumerative vowel which determines the rank:

ordinal valueroyal rank
1adeb emperor
2edeb king
3ideb prince
4udeb marquis
5ádeb count
6édeb duke
7ódeb lord

For further illustration, we can look at how the concept human being is hierarchically codified using ordinal vowels, where the larger the numeric value of the ordinal vowel, the lower the element is in the semantic hierarchy:

human being
tob human
tab body
teb head
tib trunk
tub arm
tób leg

Scalability With Contrasting VowelsEdit

Words can be semantically constructed along the qualitative scale of "postive", '"neutral", and "negative" through the use of vowels imbued with these values. In Mirad, there are two qualitative vowel series:


As implied in the above table, root words with a contrast as semantically opposite with those with o and roots words with i contrast with those with u. Words with e are in the middle between the two extremes. The second series does sometimes lack a middle value. For example:

1va yesve maybevo no
1vay certainlyvey possiblyvoy not
1aza strongeza moderateoza weak
2zi rightze middlezu left
2fia goodfea neither good nor badfua bad
2iga fastega moderateuga slow

Vectorial codificationEdit

On the vectorial (or: directional, geo-spatial) scale, the vowels have the following general values (see later for a more detailed explanation):

a o
up/north/ahead down/south/back
i u
right/east/straight left/west/crooked

Some examples:

áb upéb betweenób down
ab oneb atob off
zi rightze in the middlezu left
áber to raiseéber to containóber to lower

In the following examples, the vowels i/u and e take on directional values with respect to the doer of the action:

bier to takenier to consumedier to askpier to leaveiper to go awayiber to receive
beer to keepneer to conserveder to saypeer to stayeper to stopeber to stop
buer to givenuer to supplyduer to suggestpuer to arriveuper to comeuber to send

Natural (geological) codificationEdit

On the natural scale, the vowels have the following values:

asky/airmampar aircraft, map wind (current)
eland/soilmempar car, mep road
isea/watermimpar ship, mip river
oundergroundmompar subway, mop tunnel
uouter spacemumpar spaceship, mup galaxy

Semantic nuancingEdit

Semantic nuances and gradations of quality of words are reflected through the "lengthening", that is, addition of a harmonic subordinal vowel to the ordinal vowel, yodification (adding y) of the ordinal vowel, or the addition of one in a series of intensifying (l, r) or distinguishing (c, s, v, f, etc.) consonants, or any of the above techniques in combination. In this scheme, pre-yodification signals a semantic intensification, while post-yodification indicates a weakening or mitigation of sense. A doubling of the vowel usually indicates another kind of lessened strength of the corresponding single-vowel word. Here are some examples:

Post-yodification deintensifies the semantic value of the base word in much the same way as the suffix -ish sometimes mitigates the value of an English adjective.

ama hotàma warm
oma coldòma cool
ima wetìma humid
at vage I wantat vàge I'd like
at ége I mustat yège I should
moza blackmòza blackish
e twoè half
gla veryglà somewhat
mar sunmàr star
ifer to loveìfer to like
bók painbôk ache
tom residencetòm home
dom citydòm town
din storydìn tale
pener to seizepèner to catch
pon restpòn pause

Pre-yodification is sometimes used to intensify the semantic value of the base word:

om coldóm ice
am heatám fire
ga more most
pener to seizepéner to strike
pot animalpót wild animal
vaa affirmativeváa true
ab onyab above
ze in the middle of through
ib awayíb far
bok illnessbók pain
paner to movepáner to jump

The consonant extenders "l" and "r" are sometimes used to intensify the semantic value of the base word.

bók painblók agonybrók torture
vag desirevlag yearningvrag craving
éga necessaryégla urgentégra critical
péner to hitpénler to beatpénrer to smash
fúder to offendflúder to insultfrúder to outrage
dier to requestdiler to begdirer to demand

The ordinal vowel can be extended with a homorganic subordinal vowel in order to add an element of "lengthening" or some other nuance to the meaning of the base word:

bok illnessbook fatigue
vager to wantvaager to desire
dob statedoob nation
dab governmentdaab administration
tob bodytoob gender
din storydiin recitation
béler to retainbéeler to conserve
mil watermiil dew

Here are some examples where all these techniques are employed:

derived wordmethod of derivation
bok illnessnormal
bòk ailmentpost-yodification (mitigation)
book fatiguelengthening
boòk lassitudepost-yodification (mitigation)
bók painpre-yodification (intensification)
bôk achepost-yodification (mitigation)
bóok sufferinglengthening
blók agonyL-intensification (1st order)
brók tortureR-intensification (2nd order)

derived wordmethod of derivation
vager to wantnormal
vlager to yearn forL-intensification (1st order)
vrager to craveR-intensification (2nd order)
vaager to desirelengthening
vàger to wish forpost-yodification (mitigation)
vaàger to aspire tolengthening

The consonants l, r, and c are used to differentiate nuances of words, usually in a positive degree of strength. Other consonants can also be used for derivation.

derived word
va yes
vaa positive
vala sure
vàla certain
vaala safe
vara evident
vàra manifest
valda certified
vàca secure
váa true
váya genuine
váca correct
vâca right
vába regular
vâba statutory
váva exact
válva perfect
váfa precise
váta fair
váma real
váama virtual
vâma actual
váda frank
vála authentic

Mnemonic and analogic associationEdit

Mnemonics is used to the fullest to associate root words and concepts. For example, the words "neigh", "hehaw", "bark", and "meow" in Unilingua all contain a hint of the animal name with which these are associated. For example:

animalsound verb
épet dogépeder to bark
apet horseapeder to neigh
ápet pigápeder to squeal
ípet catípeder to meow
apat cockapader to crow
pat birdpader to tweet
epèt cowepèder to moo

Two or more words are often joined into a single compound, producing a new concept, where the separate elements are suggestive of the meaning of the resulting compound. In some cases, words overlap much like portmanteau words in English (breakfast + lunch = brunch). (Note, for euphony, if the final consonant of the first root word is the same as the initial consonant of the second root word, one of the consonants is dropped.)

first conceptsecond conceptcompound
il liquidpan motionilpan wave
teac- to seeper to goteaper to visit
dom citymep waydomep street (not dommep)
kum sidemep waykumep sidewalk
acrossmep wayzèmep bridge
throughmep wayzémep thoroughfare
elám ironmep wayelámep railroad
mag firemeb mountainmagmeb volcano
tóáb footper to gotóáper to walk
mic windownof clothmicof curtain
mac floornof clothmacof carpet
bik carenof clothbikof bandage
teb headnof clothtef hat
új- to closenof clothújof fold
tom homenof clothtomof tent
nun merchandisepar vehiclenunpar truck
pat birdij beginningpatij egg
án togetheriv joyániv festival
oj futurenac moneyojnac credit
ej presentnac moneyejnac cash
relativenaz valuevénaz coefficient
ke- to seekbier to takekebier to choose
job timebier to takejobier to borrow
dop militarybier to takedopbier to conquer
nuc paymentbier to takenucbier to purchase
ko- to hidebier to takekobier to steal
tel foodtam housetelam restaurant
mag fireil liquidmagil oil
mam skymil watermamil rain
mir planetnod pointmirnod pole
mam skynid linemamnid horizon
mar lightnid linemarnid ray
nof clothyazser to flattennofyazser to iron
taob fleshtel foodtaol meat
taob fleshfab treefaob wood
faob woodcyeb containerfaocyeb barrel
ápet pigtel meatápel pork

The following example of compounding with the root word mep (way, route, road) shows the efficiency of Unilingua compounding:

first conceptcombined concept
kum sidekumep sidewalk
tóáb walktóámep walkway
dom citydomep boulevard
dom citydomèp avenue
dom citydomeap street
éb betweenébdomeap alley
acrosszèmep bridge
throughzémep thoroughfare
óg- shortógmep shortcut
oiz indirectoizmep byway
yoz outyozmep exit
éz inézmep entrance
íz beyondízmep detour
úz aroundúzmep beltway
ig- fastigmep expressway
ouj- no-endoujmep cul-de-sac
nùc feenùcmep toll road, turnpike
agal- mainagalmep main road
anog- primaryanogmep highway
ogal- minorogalmep back road
vó- wrongvómep blind alley
áb highábmep raised highway
mom undergroundmomep subway
elám ironelámep railroad
tóáp- to walktóámep walkway
par vehicleparmep driveway
-et littlemepet path, lane
iz- directizmep straightaway
-án collectivemepán network

Root wordsEdit

Root words are divided into two groups:

  • 1st group: nouns.
  • 2nd group: prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and verbs, that is, all other words.

Root words of the 1st group (nouns)Edit

All noun root words are composed of three letters:

  • The first, a consonant, called the classifier
  • The second, a vowel, called the ordinal
  • The third, a consonant, called the generic



Table of consonant semantic valuesEdit

consonantclassifier (1st group)generic (1st group)classifier (2nd group)
borgan, illness, bodyorganismgesture, manner
panimal, vehicletravelmovement
cthing, furnitureformmaking, c hundred
sactionactiondoing, action, thing
dsocietypersonsaying, writing
thuman beingpersonknowing
fvegetationtextiles, materialsquality
vplant, colorcloth, linenquality, truth
g  quantity, size, speed
k  weight, volume
z jewels, precious, art, colordirection
l element, liquid, foodl ten
mcosmos, natureplace, building, metalml million
nmerchandise, containersabstractioncounting
r machine, instrumentmr billion

The letter w does not have semantic value, only grammatical value as the sign of the passive voice. The letter h also has no semantic value; it merely forms the correlative deictics or determinants.

Table of vowel numeric valuesEdit

vowelnumeric value

Table of vowel geo-positional valuesEdit

a above, superior, north
e center, middle, equator
o below, inferior, south
u left, west
i right, east

Table of vowel vectorial valuesEdit

vowelfree movementcontact movementpositionexamples
a on onto up/northab (on), aper (mount), aber (apply)
á up onto  áb (up), áper (climb), páer (rise)
o under, off underneath down/southob (under), ober (remove), boer (support)
ó down down to   óper (descend), póer (fall)
u near to left/westuper (come), puer (arrive)
ú toward until  úb (near), úper (approach), púer (reach)
i away from right/eastiper (go away), pier (leave)
í far off off  íb (away), íber (take away), píer (originate)
e between at center/middleeb (at), eper (stop), peer (remain)
é in into   éz (in), éber (contain), béer (detain)

Table of vowel geo-specific valuesEdit

askymap windmam skymal air
elandmep roadmem earthmel soil
iwatermip rivermim seamil water
oundergroundmop tunnelmom minemol mineral
unaturemup galaxymum spacemul matter

Table of vowel temporal values (for verbs)Edit

apastpa went, paa had gone, pao will have gone, pae has gone
epresentpe goes, pee is going, pea has been going, peo will be going
ofuturepo will go, poa would go, poe is about to go
uuntensedpu go!, that (one) go

Root words of the 2nd group (non-nouns)Edit

All words of the 2nd group, which are word roots other than noun roots, are composed of two letters, either a consonant-vowel combination like za or a vowel-consonant combination like az, not counting grammatical endings like the adjectival suffix -a or the verbal infinitive suffix -er.

Vowel oppositions in 2nd group root wordsEdit

Root words with iu opposition :

fia goodfua bad
via beautifulvua ugly
fía bravefúa afraid
vía cleanvúa dirty
ifa lovable ufa hateful
iva happy uva sad
ífa modestúfa proud
íva freeúva dependent
iga fastuga slow
íga hardúga soft
gia sharpgua dull
gía difficultgúa easy
ika fulluka empty
kia obliquekua lateral
kíaheavykúa light
íka solidúka fragile
íba farúba near
since up to
iza straightuza crooked
zia rightzua left
íz beyondúz around
all overzúa round

Root words with ternary vowel opposition aeo and ieu:

aza strongeza mediumoza weak
áza flatéza concaveóza convex
áz alongéz inóz out
za frontze middlezo behind
ahead across back
záa wide throughzóa narrow
aga bigeg- repeatoga small
ága longég- mustóga short
va yesve maybevo no
and, both or, either nor, neither
vager to wantveger may, canvoger to renounce
av forev ifov against
váa truevéa relativevóa false
áva innocentév- to judgeóva guilty
ga morege equalgo less
also as but, except
gáa fatgéa moderategóa thin
gla verygle ratherglo slightly
gra toogre justgro insufficiently
most average least
kaer findkeer seekkoer hide
kyaer changekéer fluctuatekóer stay fixed
aker wineker playoker lose
áker to expectéker to tryóker to be surprised
ja beforeje duringjo after
aj pastej presentoj future
early on time late
-a past tense-e present tense-o future tense
ab oneb atob off
áb aboveéb betweenób below
ijer to beginejer to lastujer to end
tijer to be borntejer to livetujer to die

2nd Group Root Word MatrixEdit

Two-way i/u oppositionEdit

In 2nd group root words, the vowel i signals a positive value, while the contrasting vowel u indicates the negative or opposite value:

fia goodfua badvia beautifulvua ugly
ifa dearufa hatefuliva happyuva sad
fía bravefúa afraidvía cleanvúa dirty
ífa modestúfa proudíva freeúva bound
gia sharpgua dullkia obliquekua lateral
gía difficultgúa easykía heavykúa light
iga fastuga slowika fulluka empty
zia rightzua leftiza straightuza curved
zí- all aroundzú- roundíz- beyondúz- around
ij- beginuj- endíj- openúj- close
ib fromub toíb farúb near
ib- receiveub- sendíb- take awayúb- bring
bi- takebu- give away toward
bin- pullbun- pushbín- ...bún- touch
ip- go (away)up- comeíp- escapeúp- approach
pi- departpu- arrivepí- originatepú- reach
pin- grabpun- throwpín- seizepún- assault

Three-way a/e/o oppositionEdit

Some 2nd group root words exhibit a three-way contrast where a is the base or positive value, e the middle or in-between value, and o the negative or opposite value:

va yesve maybevo no
váa truevéa relativevóa false
av forev ifov against
áva innocentév- judgeóva guilty
ga morege equalgo less
gla manygle severalglo few
gra too manygre just enoughgro too few
most enough least
gáa fatgéa moderategóa thin
aga bigeg againoga small
ága longég- mustóga short
ka- findke- searchko- hide
ká- changeké- waverkó- stay
ak- winek- playok- lose
ák- expecték- tryók- be surprised
za frontze middlezo back
záa wideyzé throughzóa narrow
aza strongeza averageoza weak
áza flatéza concaveóza convex
áz alongéz inóz out
ja beforeje duringjo after
early on time late
aj pastej presentoj future
ab oneb atob off
ab- applyeb- keepob remove
áb aboveéb betweenób lower
áb- liftéb- containób- lower
ba- lean onbe- carrybo- hold up
bar- pressbel- keepbol- support
bá- erectbé- laybó- hang
ban- shakeben- holdbon- calm
ap- get onep- stayop- get off
áp- ascendép- interveneóp- descend
pan- movepen- seizepon- rest
pá- jumppé- standpó- fall
pán- surgepén- attackpón- dive

The following table shows how some of the 2nd group root words can be expanded on through various word-building techniques:

fia good
fi well
fian goodness
fila delicious
fira excellent
fìla exquisite
fieca happy
firsa perfect
fiser to improve
fider to congratulate
fiader to praise
flider to eulogize
frider to brag
fiàsener to favor
fibéna polite
gafia better
gafi better (adv.)
gafif moreso
gafira famous
gafifer to prefer
ísfira useful
fiíser to utilize
fua bad
fura cruel
fula malignant
fùra ferocious
fueca unhappy
flua wicked
fluica sinister
frueca furious
fuvára jeolous
fu ill
gafua worse
gafu worse (adv.)
fuser to spoil
fuscer to bother
fuder to curse
furser to pollute
fùser to debase
fuáser to deteriorate
fulser to damage
fuecer to get angry
fluecer to get irritated
fruicer to grow furious
fun fault
fùn vice
fuùn sin
dofùna immoral
via beautiful
viá pretty
vila magnificent
vira marvelous
vria luxurious
viaga somptuous
vifa elegant
vìfa chic
vifia charming
videréna eloquent
vikaeá admirable
viser to adorn
viber to garnish
viaber to decorate
viaser to embellish
viraser to dazzle
vua ugly
vuá vile
ifa lovable, beloved, dear
ifbier to enjoy
ifbuer to please
ifiber to derive pleasure from
ifca pleasant
ifcla charming
ìfa dear
ìfciona gracious
ifcra delightful
ifra adorable
ifla tender
ìfala cute
ifta nice
ifla nice
ifrana passionate
ìfsrea seductive
ifer to love
ìfer to like
ifcer to be pleased
ifcler to be charmed
ifcrer to be delighted
ifser to please
ifsler to charm
ifsrer to delight
iifper to stroll
ifi thanks
ifider to thank
ifcaler to enjoy
ufa hateful
ufla disagreeable
ufcea unpleasant
ufta mean
ufer to hate
ùfer to dislike
ufuer to despise
ufcer to be displeased
ovufer to avenge
iva gay
ìva joyous
ivla glad
ìvla content
ivra excited
ivalsa amused
ivca funny
ivcla comical
ivaser to rejoice
ivraser to excite
ìvler to satisfy
ivalser to amuse
ivàlser to entertain
ivader to joke
ivlaser to content
uva sad
ùva melancholy
uvla lugubrious
uvca dramatic
uvcra tragic
uvder to complain
uvdlier to lament
uvceuzer to sigh
uvteucer to whine
vónùvuser to regret
ébuvader to pity
uvbaner to move
ébuvlacer to have compassion
uvalser to bore
uvuser to chagrin
ùvuser to punish
uvluser to afflict

Ordinal vowel codification of hierarchical nounsEdit

Nouns that are related to one another in a hierarchy or organization can be codified using the ordinal feature of vowels. The o vowel (zero value) is used for the topmost element.


Individual elements can be further subdivided into a secondary classification by the addition of an ordinal vowel to the right of the first vowel:

tuebupper arm
tuóbfinger nail
tóóbtoe nail

A further, tertiary subdivision can be achieved by prefixing an ordinal vowel to the base:

ituúbmiddle finger
utuúbring finger
ótuúblittle finger

A convenient classification is possible by prefixing an ordinal vowel to the base without any primary or secondary enumeration:


Forming concepts by compounding ("portmanteau")Edit

New concepts can be formed by compounding simple words. If the generic (final) consonant of the first word matches the classifier (initial) consonant of the following word or his consonantally homorganic with it, the latter is suppressed for convenience and ease of pronunciation:

concept 1concept 2compound
dom citymep roaddomep boulevard
pat birdtub armpatub wing
teb headbók paintebók headache
tep mindbook fatiguetebook boredom

In cases where two ordinated nouns with the same classifier and generic consonants are combined, the vowels are combined:

concept 1concept 2compound
mil watermal gasmial vapor
mel soilmil watermeil mud

When you wish to form a word composed of words of the same consonantal classification, and the ordinal vowel is o, the o is replaced with the ordinal vowel of the determinant:

concept 1concept 2compound
edob kingdomdeb leaderedeb king
udob principalitydeb leaderudeb prince

Two singleton words often join by replacing the generic (final) consonant of the first word with the generic consonant of the second word, producing a melded concept somewhat like portmanteau words in English ("breakfast" + "lunch" "brunch").

concept 1concept 2compound
tob mannof clothtof clothes
tóáb footnov tissuetóáv sock
teb headnof clothtef hat
tib trunknof cloth)tif vest
tób legnof clothtóf pants
tuób handnof clothtuóf glove
teib nosenov tissueteiv handkerchief

Making nouns and pronouns "feminine"Edit

The "feminine" counterpart of a noun or pronoun is obtained by post-yodifying the ordinal vowel (i.e. adding a y glide):

taf suittàf dress/outfit
tóáv socktóâv stocking
tef pantstèf skirt
néf carrying casenêf purse
it heìt she
tob mantòb woman
apet horseapèt mare
tad husbandtèd wife

Codifying nuances of wordsEdit

There are several ways of deriving related words with slightly different nuances from the original word:

The l extender is used for a comparatively stronger sense, while the r extender is used for an even stronger (strongest) sense:

ga moregla very muchgra too much
úzbaer squeezeúzbaler pinchúzbarer crush
buer givebuler grantburer bestow
ika fullikla packedikra overflowing
aker winakler vanquishakrer triumph
dier askdiler beseechdirer demand

The post-yodifying y extender is used for what usually amounts to a diminutive connotation:

vager wantvàger wish
fuf pipefùf tube
nas pricenàs cost
tep mindtèp spirit
din storydìn tale
cin imagecìn mark
ciun signciùn signal
sen actionsèn act

Pre-yodification of a root vowel often imparts an intensified sense to the word. In any even, the normal and pre-yodified forms are usually related semantically. Compare:

bok maladybók pain
pan motionpán jump
beer to remainbéer to detain
aper to get onáper to get up
pet animalpét reptile
otata unholyótata diabolical
vua uglyvúa dirty
go less least
ga more most
ze in the middle though
ijer to beginíjer to open

Noun-forming derivational suffixesEdit


Here is a list of suffixes that are added to word bases to form derived nouns:

suffixmeaningbasederived noun
etsubdordinativeted fathertedet son
andeadjectival nominalizer (-itude, -ity, -hood, -ness)iva happyivan happiness
endeverbal nominalizer (-ing, -tion, -ance)azvader to confirmazvaden confirmation
ongeneral abstract nominalizerc- to becon thing
unnominalizer of resultnú- to producenúun product
atperson (-er)óga youngógat youngster
utagent (-ist)ces- to buildcesut builder
tutexpert (-ologist)mem earthmemtut geologist
tunscience (-ology)mil watermiltun hydrology
indoctrine (-ism)tot godtotin theism
arinstrumentp- to gopar vehicle
irmachinevís- to cleanvísir vacuum cleaner
uraparatusmagc- to burnmagcur stove
ambuildingtel- to eattelam restaurant
emspacevab grassvabem prairie
imroommagél- to cookmagélim kitchen
áncollectionnac moneynacán fund
agenetive/ablative case (of/from)at Iata my
udative/locative case (in/at/on/to)tam housetamu at home
ipluralizerdén bookdéni books
agaugmentativetam housetamag palace
àgaugmentative affectivetam housetamàg nice big house
ágaugmentative pejorativetam housetamág big ugly house
ogdiminutivetam housetamog hut
ògdiminutive affectivetam housetamòg cottage
ógdiminutive pejorativetam housetamóg shack
obinfantiletob human beingtobob child


Following is a detailed description of the nominalizing derivations suffixes:

The -et suffixEdit

The -et suffix is used to form nouns of the same nature, lineage, or composition of a lesser importance:

ted fathertedet son
fab treefabet bush
nac moneynacet change
fub branchfubet shoot
táb grandfathertábet grandson

The -an suffixEdit

The -an suffix is used to form a noun of quality or state from an adjective or noun:

ama hotaman heat
iva beautifulivan beauty
fia goodfian goodness
ted fathertedan fatherhood
dat frienddatan friendship
odat enemyodatan enmity

The -at suffixEdit

The -at suffix is used to form the word for a person described by the adjective base.

iktila drunkiktilat a drunkard
iva happyivat a happy person
ofísa hypocriticalofísat hypocrite
tuja deadtujat dead person

The -ut suffixEdit

The -ut suffix is used to form the agent for the action described by the verb base "one who does x" or the fabricator of something described by the noun base "one who makes x":

kobier to stealkobiut thief
tóáfser to make shoestóáfsut shoemaker
teaper to visitteaput visitor
deuzer singdeuzut singer

The -tut suffixEdit

The -tut suffix is used to form the specialist -ologist or student of something:

tun sciencetut scientist
memtun geologymemtut geography
dad languagedadtut linguist

The -ob suffixEdit

The -ob suffix is used to form the child or younger version of something:
tob mantobob child
apet horseapetob pony
rapat lionrapatob lion cub
tot godtotob son of god

The -ar suffixEdit

The -ar, ir, or -ur suffix on a verb base is used for an instrument/tool, machine, or apparatus, respectively.

álber to liftálbur elevator
álber to liftálbar lever
álbir to liftálbir fork lift
víarer to sweepvíarar sweeper
ilújer to plugilújar faucet
kácanerto transformkácanur transformer
drecer to writedrecar pencil

The -en suffixEdit

The -en suffix is used on a verb base for the verbal noun -ing, -ence, -ment, -tion:

ecer to existecen existence
iber to receiveiben reception
béer to detainbéen detention
otamser to demolishotamsen demolition

The -un suffixEdit

The suffix -un is used on a verb base for the concrete result of an action:
vyarer to sweepvyarun sweepings
gorfer to teargorfun a tear, a rip
teacer to seeteacun view
zéfser to make glass jewelryzéfsun glass jewelry

The -án suffixEdit

The suffix -án is used on a noun base for collections or groupings:
fab treefabán forest
cir machinecirán machinery
meb mountainmebán mountain range
tolar food dishtolarán dishes
mep roadmepán network
aco hundredacoán century
dún worddúnán glossary
tam housetamán block (of houses)
màr starmàrán constellation

The -ag suffixEdit

The -ag suffix is used on a noun base for augmentatives "big ...":
tom residencetomag palace
mapil stormmapilag tempest
mep roadmepag highway

The -àg suffixEdit

The suffix -àg is used on a noun base for affectionate augmentatives "big old...":
tam housetamàg big old house
cim chaircimàg big old chair

The -ág suffixEdit

The suffix -ág is used on a noun base for pejorative augmentatives "big ugly...":

apet horseapetág nag
pem carpemág jalopy
teb headtebág blockhead
tob mantobág brute
pot animalpotág beast
tòb womantòbág hag

The -og suffixEdit

The suffix -og is used on a noun base for diminutives "little...":
tam housetamog cottage
dén bookdénog booklet

The -òg suffixEdit

The suffix -òg is used on a noun base for affectionate diminutives "sweet little...":
épet dogépetòg doggie, pooch
tòb ladytòbòg little old lady
tèbos kisstèbosòg peck

The -óg suffixEdit

The suffix -óg on a noun base for pejorative diminutives "dirty little..."
tebzan facetebzanóg mug
tob mantobóg wretched fellow

The -in suffixEdit

The suffix -in is used on a word base for a philosophy or doctrine -ism:
òtota godlessòtotin atheism
adoba republicanadobin republicanism
fob vegetablefobin vegetarianism
ísfrana utilitarianísfranin utilitarianism

Adjective-forming derivational suffixesEdit


-arelating tomoj nightmoja nocturnal
-aapast participletuj- to dietujaa dead (also: tuja)
-eapresent participleabdab- to dominateabdabea dominant
-ènaliketobob childtobobèna childish
-èatending toda- to talkdaèa talkative
-oafuture participletuj- to dietujoa moribund
-wua-able, -ibletel- to eattelwua edible
-àa-ous, -y, -ful, havingmaf cloudmafàa cloudy
-òa-lessmaf cloudmafòa cloudless
-ika-ful, full ofnac moneynacika rich
-uka-less, devoid ofnac moneynacuka poor

Note: -àa/-òa is synonymous with -ika/-uka. The latter is a new addition to Unilingua author Agapoff's original grammar.


The -a suffixEdit

The ending -a is used to mean having to do with, in the state of. This is the most common way to form an adjective from a noun:

tej lifeteja vital
tuj deathtuja mortal, dead
moj nightmoja nocturnal
tob mantoba human
yab upyaba upper

In Agapoff's original work on Unlingua, the termination a was also used to form the past passive participle of verbs (ota = unknown). In this work, the proposed termination for past passive participle is waa or more simply, wa (ex: otwa = unknown). See #Verbs for more on this.

active infinitivepassive past participleexample
ter to knowtwa knownCa twa ad meir ce yaza. It was known that the earth is flat.
fiser to improvefiswa improvedFiswa nyun improved product
ifer to loveifwa loved, beloved, dearIfwa ted... Dear Father...

The -éna suffixEdit

The ending -éna on nouns is used to give the idea of like, having the nature of:

tobob childtobobéna childish, infantile
ted fathertedéna paternal, fatherly
bilíg cheesebilígéna cheesy

The -éa suffixEdit

The ending -éa is used on verb bases to mean tending to:

tuser persuadetuséa persuasive
oceser destroyoceséa destructive
abdaber dominateabdabéa dominating
daer talkdaéa talkative

The -ea suffixEdit

The ending -ea is used on verb bases to form the present participle '-ing, -ant':

tejer livetejea living, alive
tujer dietujea dying
abdaber dominateabdabea dominant

The -wua suffixEdit

The ending -wua is used on verb bases to mean able to be ...ed '-able':

teler eattelwua edible
teacer seeteacwua visible
tiler drinktilwua potable

The -àa suffixEdit

The ending -àa is used on noun bases to mean full of, having, carrying... '-ous, -y'. This comes from , meaning with. It is synonymous with -ika 'full', presented further on.

meg rockmegàa rocky
miek sandmiekàa sandy
meb mountainmebàa mountainous

The -òa suffixEdit

The ending -òa is used on noun bases to mean devoid of, without, un-...ed. This comes from , meaning without. It is synonymous with -uka 'empty', presented further on.

taéb hairtaébòa hairless, bald
tec meaningtecòa meaningless
toc feelingtocòa numb

The -ika suffixEdit

The ending -ika full is used on noun bases to mean full of '-ful, -ous, -y'. This suffix is synonymous with -àa.

ilpaan waveilpaanika wavy
nas moneynasika rich
mil watermilika watery, aqueous
voz colorvozika colorful

The -uka suffixEdit

The ending -uka empty is used on noun bases to mean the devoid of '-less'. This suffix is synonymous with -òa and the opposite of -ika and -àa.

nas moneynasuka poor
voz colorvozuka colorless, bland
teuc tasteteucuka tasteless, insipid
nánut populationnánutuka unpopulated, deserted

Adverb-forming derivational suffixesEdit

The -à suffixEdit

Change the adjectival ending -a to to form an adverb:

yufa proudyufà proudly
teacèa visibleteacèà visibly
uva saduvà sadly

    • Use on noun bases to form an adverbial postpositional phrase mean with...:

ìfcion graceìfcionà with grace
at meatà with me
úf prideúfà with pride

The -ò suffixEdit

Use on a noun to mean without...:

nas costnasò cost-free
seuc noiseseucò noiselessly
et youetò without you

The -è suffixEdit

Use on a noun to mean by, by way of, through, via...:

pam planepamè by plane
ìt herìtè by her
ésag hard workésagè through hard work
Paris ParisParisè via Paris

Verb-forming derivational suffixesEdit


cerintransitive stative verb infinitive ("to be/become")
sertransitive dynamic verb infinitive ("to do/make")
perintransitive verb of motion infinitive ("to go")
bertransitive verb of gesture infinitive ("to put")


The -er suffixEdit

The suffix er is used on noun bases to form a verb infinitive.

tej lifetejer to live
tuj deathtujer to die
túj sleeptújer to sleep
ij beginningijer to begin
íj openingíjer to open
tíj wakeningtíjer to waken
új closingújer to close
tém residencetémer to reside
drén printdréner to print

The -cer and -ser suffixesEdit

The ending -cer be/become is used to create intransitive verbs from nouns and adjectives where the intransitive form contrasts significantly with the transitive form. If the adjective is a base, the -a ending is dropped unless 1) the resulting consonant combination would be difficult; or 2) the meaning is literal as opposed to metaphorical, in which case the dropped -a version is taken as metaphorical. For example, aga big becomes either agacer, meaning literally to become big, or agcer, meaning metaphorically to grow, as in Vab agce ga igà adjobu mamile. The grass grows faster when it rains.

The ending -ser do/make/act/cause is employed to form transitive verbs. In a few cases like teacer/teaser, the opposition of -cer vs. -ser is semantic in nature. In these cases, -ser imparts a more dynamic meaning. In a few other cases, -ser is used to form the causative form of a verb, meaning to make/have/cause/let someone do something.

adjectiveintransitive verbtransitive verb
aga bigagacer to get bigagaser to magnify
aga bigagcer to growagser to grow
ígza sourígzacer to grow sourígzaser to make sour
íva freeívcer to go freeívser to liberate
teab eyeteacer to seeteaser to look
man lightmancer to shinemanser to illuminate
ábta vertical, uprightábtacer to stand upábtaser to erect
ázta incumbant, reclinedáztacer to lie downáztaser to lay down
óbta sitting, settledóbtacer to sit down, settleóbtaser to set down

The -per and -per suffixesEdit

  • The ending -per is used for intransitive verbs of motion (going).
  • The ending -ber is used for transitive verbs of gesture (putting):

baseintransitive verbtransitive verb
áb upáper to riseáber to raise
ón apartónper to go apartónber to separate
ob offoper to get offober to take off
eb ateper to stopeber to stop
ika fullikper to fill upikber to fill up

Forming numbersEdit

Cardinal numeric adjectivesEdit

The cardinal numeric adjectives 0-9 are formed from the ordinal vowels. The tens are formed with the extension consonant l, the hundreds with the consonant c, the thousands with r, the millions with ml, and the billions with mr.

Numbers composed with aro (1,000), amlo (1,000,0000), and amro (1,000,000,000) retain the o and are spelled separately from the rest of the numbers with a space.

numbernumeral adjective
0o zero
1a one
2e two
3i three
4u four
5ó five
6á six
7é seven
8í eight
9ú nine
10alo ten
11ala eleven
12ale twelve
13ali thirteen
14alu fourteen
15aló fifteen
20elo twenty
21ela twenty-one
22ele twenty-two
30ilo thirty
31ila thirty-one
100aco one hundred
101aca one hundred one
123aceli one hundred twenty-three
200eco two hundred
1000aro one thousand
1089aro ílú
2348ero iculí
10000aloro ten thousand
12487aleru ílé
1000000amlo one million
6058720ámlo ólíro écelo

Ordinal numeric adjectivesEdit

The ordinal numeric adjectives are formed by adding -a to the cardinal number:

a 1aa first
e 2ea second
i 3ia third
alo 10aloa tenth
aci 103acia one hundred third (pron: a-CI-a)

Ordinal numeric substantivesEdit

When ordinal numbers are used substantively, the letter t is appended for persons and the letter c for things:

The first shall be last.Aati co ujnati.
The second in the series.Eec anána.

Collective numeric substantivesEdit

Collective (or: multiplicative) substantives of the cardinal numbers are formed by adding on.

a oneaon single/whole/unit/solo
e twoeon double/couple/pair/duo/twosome
i threeion triple/trio/threesome
u fouruon quadruple/foursome/quartet
ó fiveóon quintuple
é sevenéon sevenfold
é sevenjubéon week
alo tenalon tenfold
alo tenjabalon decade
ale twelvealeon dozen
aco hundredacon hundredfold
aco hundredaconè percent
aco hundredjabacon century
aro thousandaron thousandfold
aro thousandaroni thousands

Collective numeric prefixesEdit

Prefixes having a collective (or: multiplicative) numeric meaning are expressed as:

a onean- single, mono-, unianzúc unicycle
e twoen- double, bi-, di-, duo-enzúc bicycle
i threein- triple, tri-inzúc tricycle
u fourun- quadruple, quad-, tetra-unkum tetrahedron
ó fiveón- quintuple, penta-óngun pentagon
alo tenalon- tenfold, deca-alonjab decade
aco hundredacon- hundredfold, hecato-, cent-aconjab century
aro thousandaron- thousandfold, kilo-aronkín kiloliter

Fractional numeric substantivesEdit

Fractional numeric substantives are formed by adding on to the corresponding fractional numeral. The on is dropped in prefixed forms of the fractions:

a oneàon unit, wholeà- holo-àcin hologram
e twoèon halfè- semi-, demi-ètot demigod
i threeìon thirdì- terci-ìgana terciform
u fourùon quarterù- quatri-ùser to quarter
alo tenalòon tenthalò- deci-alòser to decimate
aco hundredacòon hundredthacò- centi-acònog centrigrade
aro thousandaròon thousandtharò- milli-aròkík milligram

Frequentative numeric adverbsEdit

Adverbs of frequency are formed with the root jig, meaning frequency, rate:

o zeroojigu never
a oneajigu once
e twoejigu twice
i threeijigu thrice, three times
co hundredacojigu a hundred times
od whatodjigu? how often, at what rate?
ge samegejigu at the same rate, as often
ga moregajigu more often
go lessgojigu less often
ud thisudjigu this often
id thatidjigu that often
gla muchglajigu very often
glo littleglojigu infrequently
glà ratherglàjigu rather often

Numeric adjectives of order or rankEdit

nap order, rank

o zeroonapa zeroth
a oneanapa primary, first, original
e twoenapa secondary, second-ranking
i threeinapa tertiary, third-ranking
u fourunapa quaternary, fourth-ranking'
za frontzanapa front-ranking, ahead
zo backzonapa behind, trailing
ja beforejanapa former, foregoing
jo afterjonapa next, following
ij beginningijnapa first, original
uj endujnapa last, final
lo un-lonapa random, unordered

Numeric adjectives of degreeEdit

nog degree, grade, stage

a oneanoga primary
e twoenoga secondary
i threeinoga tertiary
u fourunoga quaternary

Numeric adjectives of base or bitEdit

Add -na:

o zeroona zero-basedonet zero, null
a oneana unary, onlyanet unit
e twoena binaryenet bit
i threeina ternary 
u fouruna quaternary 
ú eightúna octalúnet octet, byte
alo tenalona decimal 
alé sixteenaléna hexadecimalalénet 16-bit byte

Numeric prefixesEdit

If cardinal numeric morphemes are used as prefixes, -n is added, unless the base to which it is being attached already begins with that letter:

rootnumeric adjective
kunid edgeenkunida double-edged
nid lineanida single-lined
nag dimensionenaga two-dimenesional
nég spaceenéga double-spaced
tep mindantepa single-minded
neg levelenega split-level
mep wayanmepa one-way
voz coloranvoza monochrome
can formancana uniform
tooc sexentoocifa bisexual
tot godantotina monotheistic
izan directionenizana bidirectional

Numeric ExpressionsEdit

Distance/size measurements (zák = meter)Edit

(zág is width, ág is length, ag is size, íban is distance, ábag is height, óbag is depth, gán is girth):

zák meterIt ca á záki íb. He was 5 meters away.
arozák kilometerCe eli arozáki bú dom. It is 23 km. to (until) the city.
aroyzák millimeterCizo alo aroyzáka nid. Draw a ten mm. line.
acozák centimeterOdgan acoyzáki ága ce? How many cm. long is it?

Weight measurements (kík = gram)Edit

(kín is weight, kíncer is to weigh):

kík gramOdgan kíki id kínce? How many grams does that weigh?
arokík kilogramAt vage u arokíki vâba. I want five kg. of grain.
aròkík milligramMez kínce e aròkíki. The crystal weighs two milligrams.

Volume measurements (nék = liter)Edit

(néd is volume):

nék literOdganu néki it ébe? How many liters does it hold?
aronék kiloliterAt vage u aronéki vâba. I want five kilos of grain.
arònék milliliterÉzbo e arònéki mila. Insert two ml. of water.

Math expressionsEdit

(gaber to add, gober to substract, garer to multiply, gorer to divide, gecer to equal):

A gab a gece e.One plus one equals two.
U gob a gece i.Four minus 1 equals three.
E gar u gece ó.Two times four equals eight.
Alo gor e gece á.Ten divided by two equals five.
E veg e gece u.Two to the second power equals four.
E nod u.Two point five (2.5)
U gab a èon or u a èonà5 1/2

Clock time expressions ( jób = hour)Edit

The international 24-hour clock is used.

Odjób ce?What time is it? (lit: Which hour is [it]?)
Ce a jób.It's one o'clock.
Ce ali jób alá.It's 1:15 PM.
Ce i jób ilo.It's 3:30 AM.
Ce á jób gob alo.It's ten 'til five. (lit: five hours minus ten)

Calendar expressionsEdit

Od ce uda jud?What's today's date?'
Udjub ce alá jiub aroúcúli.Today is 16 April 1993.
Ted puo jo i jubi.Father will arrive in two days.
Nunam íjwe yada juebu.The store opens on Mondays.
Nunam íjwo zoa juebu.The store opens on Monday (next).
Zajibu mamila gá ádjoba.Last month it rained the most ever.
Ju zajub!Until tomorrow!
Gla dropeki swa je jabi aroúco.There were many wars during the 1900s.
Zoyejubánu juebu at so ivsej.On monday of next week I will give a party.

Age expressions (jag = age)Edit

Odjaga et ce?How old are you?
At ce ele jaga.I am 22 years old.
At upta úlo jaga tob.I met a 90-year-old man.

Forming chemical element namesEdit

To form words for chemical elements, use the following method: The first letter is the ordinal vowel for the number of electrons. The next letters are:

  • m for metals
  • mc for nonmetals
  • al for gases
  • il for liquids

electron count type Mirad English
47metalulém silver
13metalalim aluminum
26metalelám iron
15nonmetalelómc phosphorus
6nonmetalámc carbon
1nonmetal gasamc hydrogen
7nonmetal gasémcal azote
8nonmetal gasímcal oxygen
80metal liquidílomil mercury

Codifyng new words based on mnemonics and analogyEdit

Sometimes a word or group of words can have a connection with the meaning of a derived word. Such words are formed from this derived word by changing the generic final root consonant or sometimes other consonants of this word:

teub mouth< teb head
teud utteranced say
teuz voicez precious/art,etc.
deuz songd speak/write

taéb hairtab human body
faéb leaffab tree
vocaéb petalvoc flower
potaéb manepot animal
pataéb featherpat bird
petaéb furpet land animal
upetaéb fleeceupet sheep
pitaéb finpit fish

taób skin tab human body
taóf leathernof cloth
faób barkfab tree
fáób rindfáb fruit
pitaób scalespit fish
petaób hide, peltpet animal

cim chairbimer to sit
cum bedbumer to lie
cem tablebemer to sit down at the table

teacer to seeceacer to appear
beacer to keep watch
neacer to target
teaper to visit
izeacer to show
váleacer to check
óneater to discern
ágeacer to contemplate
izeader to indicate
abeacer to survey
ijeacer to notice
teader to witness

Forming new words with prefixationEdit

Prefixed elements (sometimes more than one) can be used to form new concepts related to the root word.

Here are examples where morphemes are joined to der to say:

prefixed morphemederived concept
ja beforejader to predict
earlyjáder to warn
ja ve before maybejaveder to guess
jo afterjoder to reply
eg againegder to repeat
oz weakozder to whisper/hint
az strongazder to insist
óz outózder to express
all aroundzíder to broadcast
uj endujder to conclude
ka- findkader to reveal/admit/confess
ko- hidekoder to keep secret/deny
fi wellfider to eulogize/bless
fu poorlyfuder to curse/damn
fia goodfiader to praise
fua badfuader to malign
via beautifulviader to compliment
vua uglyvuader to malign
fri wonderfulfrider to flatter
fru terriblefruder to insult
evfia whether goodevfiader to critique
av foravder to favor
ov againstovder to object/oppose
ava favorableavader to side with
ova opposedovader to contradict
av od for whatavoder to question
va veg yes canvavegder to permit
vo veg no canvovegder to prohibit
vo va no yesvovader to contest
az ov strong againstazovder to protest
va yesvader to affirm/decide
ve maybeveder to speculate
vo novoder to deny
fiva good yesfivader to approve
o fi va not good yesofivader to disapprove
fu va bad yesfuvader to condemn
az va strong yesfivader to confirm
val certaintyvalder to certify
vac assurancevacder to assure
vag wantvagder to mean/express desire
ván truthváder to swear
vón falsehoodvóder to lie
áva innocentávader to vindicate
óva guiltyóvader to indict
áva innocentávder to thank
óva guiltyóvder to blame
íva freeívader to acquit
íva freeívder to forgive
év judgementévder to judge
éb betweenébder to discuss
ók surpriseókder to improvisate
ág longágder to ramble
óg shortógder to summarize
iva happyivader to thank
iva happyivder to congratulate
uva saduvder to complain
uva saduvader to apologize
jo uva after sadjouvder to regret/mourn
ivcan merriment'ivcder to joke
fu iva bad happyfuivader to mock
ók surpriseókder to improvisate
aj pastajder to evoke
oj futureojder to promise
naz valuenazder to evaluate
ók surpriseókder to improvisate
dún namedúnder to nominate
kua lateralkuder to remark (aside)
kia slopedkider to hint
dún namedúnder to nominate
gra too muchgrader to exaggerate
gro too littlegroder to underplay
gan quantitygander to quantify
teab eyeteader to testify
cin picturecinder to describe
kóa fixedkóder to insist
o notoder to keep silent
kebi choicekebider to vote
tata holytatader to bless/sanctify
fún fearfúnder to express fear
vates beliefvatesder to affirm
vetes doubtvetesder to question/doubt
vika admirationvikader to express admiration
fíl couragefílder to encourage
ofíl not courageofílder to discourage
ga moregader to say more/go on
ge equalgeder to agree
oge not sameogeder to disagree
ék riskékder to dare say
ég obligationégder to be obliged to say
ek playekder to pretend
iz straightizder to say frankly
uz crookeduzder to beat around the bushes/equivocate

Forming new adjectival concepts with compoundingEdit

New adjectival concepts can be readily formed by compounding a noun or other rootword with an existing root adjective:
tep intellectaza strongtepaza smart
tep intellectoza weaktepoza dumb
vag willaza strongvagaza strong-willed
vag willoza weakvagoza weak-willed
vag willána togethervagána consensual
vag willóna apartvagóna non-consensual
veg possibilityaza strongvegaza likely
veg possibilityoza weakvegoza unlikely
tep intellectkía heavytepkía serious
tep intellectkúa lighttepkúa light-hearted
tep intellectkáa variabletepkáa scatter-brained
tep intellectkóa fixedtepkóa attentive
tep intellectzáa widetepzáa fair-minded
tep intellectzóa narrowtepzóa narrow-minded
tep intellectíja opentepíja open-minded
tep intellectúja closedtepúja close-minded
tep intellectiga fasttepiga quick-witted
tep intellectuga slowtepuga retarded
tep intellectána togethertepána like-minded
tep intellectóna aparttepóna dissenting
top spiritíga hardtopíga cruel
top spiritúga softtopúga leninent
top spiritvaa positivetopvaa optimistic
top spiritvoa negativetopvoa pessimistic
top spiritába hightopába up-beat
top spiritóba lowtopóba down-beat
top spiritiva happytopiva jolly
top spirituva sadtopuva melancholy
nac moneyika fullnasika rich
nac moneyuka emptynasuka poor
áb upága longábága tall
ób downága longóbága deep
áb upóga shortábóga short (vertically)
ób downóga shortóbóga shallow
job timeága longjobága long (duration)
job timeóga shortjobóga short (duration)
mep wayiza straightmepiza direct
mep wayuza crookedmepuza convoluted
váb ruleaza strongvábaza strict
váb ruleoza weakváboza lax
dab governmentava fordabava pro-government
dab governmentova againstdabova anti-government

Word ClassifiersEdit

The following are common combinatory morphemes used to distinguish or classify entities. Many of them are abbreviated forms. If you were to produce a list of word rhyming with any of these morphemes, you would have a list of words that all fit within a similar taxonomic category. For example, all Unilingua words ending in pyot refer to wild animals. All those ending in il are liquids.

petland animal
pótwild animal
onabstract thing

Basics · Word Families

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