- Uhjayi is built around roots and modifiers, most of which are prefixes and suffixes, but some of which are standalone words that come before or after the root.
- Uhjayi has a loose OSV (object subject verb) pattern, which can be modified to indicate importance of concept/person. More important things come first in the sentence.
- Uhjayi roots can be a single vowel, a consonant-vowel pair, or a consonant-vowel-consonant syllable. Any vowel paired with an H (IH, EH, UH) is considered a single vowel. Similarly, any consonant paired with H (CH, DH, JH, KH, RH, SH, TH) is considered a single consonant; H is only its own consonant when it stands alone, and it never ends a root. For example, guh is a consonant-vowel root, while hes is a consonant-vowel-consonant root, and ih is a single-vowel root. Only pronounce H when it stands alone.
- Written Uhjayi doesn’t use any form of hyphen. When writing Uhjayi in the English alphabet, hyphens are used to clarify separate vowels and cases of identical consonants being together. For example, dach-cho is not written as dachcho so that the speaker pronounces both CH sounds; likewise, du-omnara is not written duomnara to ensure the speaker pronounces both U and O separately. Also, a word like guh-om will use a hyphen, since UH is considered a single vowel; this will help you distinguish H as part of a vowel from H as a consonant (as seen in kiham).
- Uhjayi commonly uses social indicators to convey the speaker’s intention at the beginning of a sentence. (In complicated conversations with several participants, the social indicators preface their subjects.)
- Some roots, like tihch (day), do not need -ku as a modifier if they can only be used as nouns.
- -ku turns a root into a noun.
- -ri turns a root into a verb.
- -vo comes after -ri to indicate future tense.
- -vut comes after -ri to indicate past tense.
- -ky comes after -ri to indicate infinite tense (something that is unending; past-present-future all in one).
- -ra turns a root into a verb that expresses feeling. (“I feel ___.” = “un___ra”) -ri and -ra are never used in the same word.
- -sha indicates direction, as in eastwards. -ku would be used to say “the east” instead of “eastwards.”
- ur- negates a word and prefaces the verb; if there is a pronoun, -ur- comes between the pronoun and the verb.
- na is a question indicator. It follows a phrase, or can be said alone like “huh?” to express confusion. -na is a suffix for question words like what (omna), who (nen-na), when (fotna), where (dachna), how (vazna), and why (shyna) – it does not need to be added to the end of the sentence when any of those words are used.
- ki means yes.
- su means no.
- -te means good/well.
- -no means poor/bad.
- es means for, as in “this present is for you.”
- sag means to, as in “from me to you.”
- sy- means very.
- dek means and.
- -tho is a modifier that attaches to colors; it roughly means “-colored.” Colors are not modifiers that attach to their objects; they stand alone with -tho.
- -sho means -er, as in “fighter,” “runner,” etc. -sho is an active person (one who acts).
- -sug means -ee (“employee,” “trainee,” etc). -sug is a passive person (one who is acted upon).
- jodh yidh is a respectful, neutral greeting commonly used between strangers or equals.
- lih shehth is a warm, welcoming greeting often used between friends or as a reassurance that the speaker is approachable and peaceable.
- nog prefaces a sentence to indicate a stern or commanding tone.
- heth prefaces a sentence to indicate humility or deference.
- kor prefaces a sentence to indicate a parental attitude or kindness in response to deference.
- Pronouns are prefixes to verbs, but nouns are not directly attached to the verb. If a pronoun stands alone, as in “myself” versus “I”, add -ku to make it a noun.
- Basic pronoun list: un- is I, du- is you (singular), rhi- is you (plural), kuh- is it (third person singular), fu- is they (third person plural).
- -am indicates femaleness (usually on a third-person pronoun where necessary to distinguish sex).
- -chu indicates maleness (usually on a third-person pronoun where necessary to distinguish sex).
- -kum indicates a combination of maleness and femaleness (whether literal or apparent).
- -dhok indicates genderlessness or sexlessness (whether literal or apparent).
- -tuh indicates a gender that is not male or female (or both or neither).
- a- means belonging to and is usually a prefix for pronouns.
You can find definitions of all vocabulary that has been featured in the lessons up to this point right here for easy reference. Use CTRL + F (or CMD + F for Macs) to search the page.
Numbers & Quantity
- ha- pluralizes a noun.
- shuh means “few” and is a stand-alone modifier that follows its object; never used with ha- (due to redundancy).
- shudh means “lots” or “plenty” and is a stand-alone modifier that follows its object; never used with ha- (due to redundancy).
- While the numbering system is base ten, double- and triple-digit numbers count in “tens” (ov) and “twenties” or “scores” (uv). One says “one ten and three” for 13 or “two twenties and five” for 45. (The word “and” is not actually used in Uhjayi in numbers; I use it here in English to clarify.) Numbers come after the noun to which they refer and always start with a vowel, and the number of tens or twenties is a prefix to the -ov or -uv, while the “singles” comes after as a stand-alone word. Example: aduv ad is 21; one-twenty one.
- ad means 1.
- os means 2.
- yf means 3.
- uhsh means 4.
- ul means 5.
- ehth means 6.
- esh means 7.
- af means 8.
- yv means 9.
- ehz means hundred. Used like ov (tens).
- im means two hundred. Used like uv (twenties).
Quiz: Lessons 1-5
Please refer to the appropriate lessons for help and hints. This is an open-blog test. ;)
- How would you say 235?
- Conjugate (list all the basic pronoun forms of) the verb huri, “to be.”
- How would you say “she exists infinitely”? Hint: “infinitely” is a modifier, not a stand-alone word. Hint #2: You’ll need a hyphen.
- How would you say “I felt terrible”? Hint: “Terrible” means “very bad.”
- As a human greeting a tahori, which greeting would you use?
- How would you say 720?
- How would you say “I will welcome this person”? Use the vocabulary list.
- If a tahori says “Du-omnara?” (“How are you?”), what are they really asking? (Bonus: Write a one-line response in Uhjayi.)
- If you were being humble, how would you say “My name is ___”? (Fill in your own name and refer to Lesson 4.)
- Using the vocabulary list, come up with your best insult in Uhjayi… and your best compliment. Bonus points for creativity!
When you’re done writing your answers down and posting them in the comments, click here for the answer key!