Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Maikros / Ansu / Nahakhontl / Grammar


Nahakhontl is SVO, puts adjectives before nouns, and relative clauses after. Possessives go before the modified noun, while genitives go after. Most particles are prepositions, but there are a few postpositions.


As a heavily analytical language, there is very little synthetic morphology in Nahakhontl, and it is all prefixing. Nominal synthetic morphology amounts to three gender prefixes - male, female, and kmo - the last of which is chiefly used in the savannah dialects. These gender prefixes usually only apply to people and animals.

Verbal synthetic morphology is a bit more complex. There are three tense prefixes - one for the present, one for the past, and one for the future. There is also one aspect prefix, the continuous, which is mutually exclusive with the tenses. The infinitive is uninflected for tense or aspect. Then there is a negative prefix, which can be applied on top of the TAM prefixes.

Nominal Morphology

Gender Prefixes:
na- - MASC-
le- - FEM-
kmô- - KMO-

a - by (adessive, unmoving or singular)
agôh - below (subessive)
axíþ - none, nothing
až - out, about, around (adessive, either in motion or multiple)
čyú - and, with
ðen - or
éža - more
fôl - only
hôga - upon (superessive)
ĥezu - always
jô - of (genitive)
jum - some
kev - behind
kex - from (elative, ablative)
ô - if
rú - to the right of
ugl - less
únah - many
úr - to the left of
vek - in front of
yaxlr - all
ža - in (locative)

frú - plural
šô - interrogative
u - adjectivizer
vé - possessive

Prepositional Constructions:
a vek - to, for (dative, benefactive)
až hôga - such as, for example, because
čyú éža - until
hôga agôh - back to, returning to
hôga fôl - but, however, thus, therefore
hôga jô - concerning, thus, therefore
yaxlr éža - most
ža jô - relative clause

The 'hôga' constructions are frequently used to begin dependent clauses.

Adjectival Morphology

ugl - less
vlm - intensifier

ag - nominalizer

Verbal Morphology

ðú- CONT-
ga-  FUT-
í- - PAST-
ô- - PRES-
sa- NEG-

čaþ - nominalizer

Verbal morphology is probably one of the most complex parts of Nahakhontl grammar. You do not simply have a verb in a Nahakhontl sentence - you have a verbal construction. Every verbal construction must contain one of the auxiliaries: nal, 'to be' or pex, 'to do'. This is because the tense prefixes can only apply to these auxiliaries. Furthermore, the choice of nal or pex determines whether the verbal construction is imperfective or perfective, respectively. There are eight moods that can be conveyed with certain verbal constructions:

[aux] [verb] - indicative
pex ðú[verb] - imperative
[aux] nal ðú[verb] - subjunctive
gapex ganal [verb] - cohortative
až [aux] [verb] - generic
[aux] pex [verb] - conditional
víþ [aux] pex [verb] - hypothetical
[aux] nlo [verb] - desiderative

Furthermore, the habitual is formed with the continuous prefix on the auxiliary, but this means that the auxiliary can't also carry the tense. Such habituals are assumed to be in the present. To form a past or future habitual, the conditional construction is used, with the tense marker on the secondary auxiliary pex.

Another interesting part of verbal constructions is that double negatives - prefixing two terms in the verbal construction with the negative - are recognized as positives, and serve the function of the deferential, humble, respectful register. Triple negatives are used to form negatives in this register, and quadruple and quintuple negatives show even more deference, humility, and respect. Sextuple or higher negatives, however, are typically percieved as pathetic groveling.