Name TBD


The sounds of TBD need little explanation for English speakers. For the most part, they are spelled as in English.


Stem Forms and Plurals

Nouns in TBD have a plural form, which is used for talking about more than one of something. (In English, we also use the plural for talking about zero of something, but TBD uses the singular form for this.) The plural is formed by adding a suffix -a after the stem form of a noun.

Ah, yes! First, I should explain what a stem form is. The stem form is a variant of a word that endings are added to.

For example, the word for forest is niel. Its stem form is nield- (denoted as such by the hyphen at the end), and so the plural form forests is nielda.

Usually, the stem form of a word is longer than the standalone form. In the dictionary, extra letters added in the stem form are placed in parentheses: niel(d-)

The Definite Article

The word for the in TBD is i. When written, it is separated from the following word by an apostrophe:

i'niel the forest

This convention of using an apostrophe indicates two things:

TBD has no indefinite article corresponding to a/an in English. It's simply implied by context.

niel forest or a forest


Adjectives in TBD follow the noun they modify.


Where English has only a single possessive form, TBD has two, termed (somewhat confusingly) the possessive and the genitive.

The Genitive Form

The genitive form is used specifically to indicate a relationship of creation or production. The genitive singular is formed by suffixing -an to the stem form of the noun, and the genitive plural is formed by suffixing -in.

i'nieldan of/from the forest nieldin of/from forests i'cevnan of/from the earth wildra i'nieldan birds of the forest

The genitive form is used when describing a person in relation to their ancestors:

The Possessive Form

The possessive form is used for all types of possession not covered by the genitive. Actually, calling it a form is probably a bit overwrought, because nouns don't change at all when used possessively. They're simply placed after the noun they modify, like so:

i'niel Galdor Galdor's forest i'wildra Arsos Arsos's birds


The imperative or command form of a verb is simply the dictionary form:

aist listen!

An imperative can have a direct object, which follows it:

aist i'wildra listen to the birds

(the word to in English has no corresponding TBD word in the sentence above. aist by itself means listen to when a direct object is present.)

The verb to be

The verb aerth means is or are:

Galdor aerth wilir Galdor is a bird i'wildra aerth i'nieldan the birds are of the forest

The Present Tense

The present tense is used to describe situations that are occurring right now. The formula is:

(subject) aerth (verb)as (object)

Galdor aerth aistas i'wildra Galdor is listening to the birds.

There is a deeper reason behind this idiosyncratic bit of grammar, but to understand it we're going to have to look at another noun form.

The Locative Form

The locative form is used when describing the location of something. It is formed by suffixing -as to the stem form of the noun. The resulting noun means at/in/on/by X

wildra i'nieldas birds in the forest niel cilyas a forest by a river

The plural locative is -esse

niel cilyesse a forest near rivers wildra nieldesse birds in forests

Explanation of the Present Tense

The present tense form of a verb is actually the locative. Surprise! Verbs in TBD are treated just like nouns. A verb like aist actually refers to the act of listening. So a form like aistas actually means at listening.

Galdor aerth aistas i'wildra

literally means Galdor is at listening (to) the birds.

While this sounds rather strange and stilted in English, it is the normal way of forming the present tense in TBD.

The Aorist Tense

Galdor aerth aistar wildra Galdor (often) listens to birds

The Dative Form

-ar, pl. -ara

The Near Future

Galdor aerth or aist wildra Galdor is about to listen to birds

or lit. on

Metaphors of time

The future is below us, the past above.

(plants grow, smoke goes up)

The Perfect Aspect

Galdor aerth nu aist wildra Galdor has listened to birds

nu lit. below

The Past Tense

Galdor oith aistas Galdor was listening Galdor oith nu aist Galdor had listened

The Future Tense

Galdor var aistas Galdor will be listening

Want, Need, and Must

Galdor aerth maeras aist wilir Galdor wants to listen to a bird Galdor aerth maeras aist wildras Galdor wants to be listened to by a bird

Saying and Knowing

Relative Clauses


TBD POS English
niel(d-) n forest
aneron (anern-) n descendent, child, son, daughter
wilir (wildr-) n bird
aist v listen