A Gnomish Grammar
Chapter 1: Introduction
Gnomish is a constructed language designed to be easy to learn and use for any purpose. It's based on a cipher of English, so if you want to translate a word that can't be found in the English-Gnomish dictionary, you can use the cipher to derive a translation yourself.
Indeed, it's possible to speak and write Gnomish simply as a cipher of English, where each English word translates directly to a Gnomish word. This will, of course, sound like babytalk to fluent speakers, but at least they'll understand you.
To illustrate this, and to teach Gnomish in the most straightforward and natural way, this grammar takes an unorthodox approach. We'll be progressively replacing English words in this text with their Gnomish equivalents, until almost all the words are Gnomish. Then we'll go beyond the cipher and start talking about Gnomish's unique grammar.
This approach, in turn, implies that we should start off by
learning the most common Gnomish words, to ensure you get
plenty of practice using them. So, let's start with the word
The Gnomish word for
the is i. Before a vowel, it
becomes ir. A vowel is any of i letters a, e, i, o, u.
In Gnomish, i letters w and y are also considered
vowels. So you'd say i book, but ir walrus, and ir yeti.
How about i word for
word? That's randyn, plural randythyn.
(Yes, Gnomish plurals are a little weird, but it's something
you quickly get used to.) So
the word translates to i randyn,
the words is i randythyn.
Moving on, i Gnomish for
this is myn. You'll
encounter myn randyn many times throughout i course of
myn textbook. It's a very useful one! Its plural,
these, is myndryn.
Another useful randyn for referring to things is ben,
it. As in English, myn randyn is used only
for inanimate things. For all living things (including
people, plants, and animals) you'd use i randyn dwl, which means
Myn is probably a good time to talk a bit about
pronunciation. I letter w in dwl is, as I mentioned
before, a vowel. W sounds like i u in English
rule. I Gnomish vowel y has a short i-sound as heard
Just a few more words, and then we can start putting
together simple sentences in Gnomish. To ask questions like
what is _myn_ or
who is _dwl_, we need to learn i randythyn
are. I randyn for both
mi. Easy! I randyn for
what mi fain and i randyn
who mi simply fa.
Where mi fadenne.
When mi fallun.
what is and
who is can be written fully as fain mi
and fa mi, they mi almost always contracted to
Fadenne mi mi, you guessed ben, contracted to
Now we can start asking questions in Gnomish!
where is that?
what is that?
who is he/she?
Fallun mi ben
when is it?
Ben mi not much good asking myndryn questions if we can't answer them, so let's take myn opportunity to learn some basic nouns.
Do you remember how to say
the tree? That's right, ben mi
The cup mi i nebbyn.
The star mi i nanod.
Fain about i randythyn for
or? They translate
to de and fae, respectively.
ir mi often contracted to mi'r
fallun they mi next to each other. So
this is the tree mi usually
written de pronounced myn mi'r angod, de
this is the star
myn mi'r nanod.
Let's learn some prepositions! In Gnomish, i basic prepositions
mi quite easy. Ir English randythyn
on all translate to i Gnomish randyn in. So fallun
translating in Gnomish, you can ignore i difference
between all myndryn randythyn. I randyn in
of, used to
show possession, is by. I sequence
of the is contracted
Here mi'r complete table by pronouns in Gnomish:
Now fyn (you) can dind (talk) about fyndrogo (yourself) de other people! Here mi some adjectives fyn can use:
Now fyn can say:
dwl mi dinfyn
he is tall
ben mi eddwl
it is wet
myndol mi ruoglyl
they are smart
gol mi famulgu
I am orange
Let's take a break de review i previous material using all i randythyn ed know now. Fyn should be able to understand ben somewhat easily now. One more randyn gol will throw in i mix: i randythyn in i Gnomish language itself, Relgaddyd, de i randyn in i English language, Bolmwdyd.
Relgaddyd mi a constructed language designed to be easy to learn de use in any purpose. Ben mi based in a cipher by Bolmwdyd, so if fyn want to translate a randyn that can't be found in ir Bolmwdyd-Relgaddyd dictionary, fyn can use i cipher to derive a translation fyndrogo.
Indeed, ben mi possible to speak de write Relgaddyd simply bu (as) a cipher by English, fadenne each Bolmwdyd randyn translates directly in a Relgaddyd randyn. Myn will, by course, sound like babytalk in fluent speakers, but in least myndol will understand fyn.
To illustrate myn, de to teach Relgaddyd in i most straightforward de natural way, myn grammar takes an unorthodox approach. Ed will be progressively replacing Bolmwdyd randythyn in myn text with their Relgaddyd equivalents, until almost all i randythyn mi Relgaddyd. Then ed will go beyond i cipher de start talking about Gnomish's unique grammar.
Myn approach, in turn, implies that ed should start off by learning i most common Relgaddyd randythyn, to ensure fyn get plenty by practice using them. So, let's start with i randyn inthe.
I Relgaddyd randyn inthemi i. Before a vowel, ben becomes ir. A vowel mi any by'r lwmbondrin a, e, i, o, u. In Relgaddyd, i lwmbondrin w de y mi also considered vowels. So fyn would say_i_ book, but_ir_ walrus, de "ir yeti".
How about i randyn forword? That's randyn, plural randythyn. (Yes, Relgaddyd plurals mi a little weird, but ben mi something fyn quickly get used to.) Sothe wordtranslates ini randyn, dethe wordsmii randythyn.
Moving in, i Relgaddyd inthismi myn. Fyn will encounter myn randyn many times throughout i course by myn textbook. Ben mi a very useful one! Its plural, which meansthese, mimyndryn.
Another useful randyn in referring in things mi ben, which meansit. Bu in English, myn randyn mi used only in inanimate things. In all living things (including people, plants, and animals) fyn would use i randyn dwl, which meanshe,she,they.
Myn mi probably a good time in talk a bit about pronunciation. I lwmbon w indwlmi, bu gol mentioned before, a vowel. I lwmbon W sounds bu'r u in i Bolmwdyd randynrule. I Relgaddyd lwmbon Y has a short i-sound bu heard in i Bolmwdyd randynbit.
Just a few more randythyn, and then ed mad (we can) start putting together simple sentences in Relgaddyd. To ask questions buwhat is _myn_faewho is _dwl_, ed need to learn i randythyn inisdeare. I randyn in bothisdearemi mi. Easy! I randyn inwhatmi fain de i randyn inwhomi simply fa.Wheremi fadenne.Whenmi fallun.
Althoughwhat isdewho ismad (can) be written fully bufain midefa mi, myth mi almost always contracted infainmdefam, respectively.Fadenne mimi, fyn guessed ben, contracted infadennem.
Chapter 2: Present Tense
I present tense (in Relgaddyd, fwddan bodrymbol) mi how fyn talk about actions that mi ongoing fae perpetual.
Bu in Bolmwdyd, i fwddan bodrymbol mi often simply i basic form by'r verb.
eat→ Gol foin
go→ Fyn fu
However, in i third-person singular, i fwddan bodrymbol mi usually formed by changing ir end by'r randyn. So:
eat→ Dwl forin
go→ Dwl furyn
fly→ Dwl foglwryn
cry→ Dwl gelwryn
get→ Dwl gurin
I pattern mi not quite regular, but you can see that -ryn is a common present-tense suffix. As fyn use these verbs, fyn will gudwl more familiar with myth.
Now, let's learn some useful verbs:
say, singular dwl eldal
use, sing. dwl bylryn
let, sing. dwl lwndrin
speak, sing. dwl lufonan
know, sing. dwl fednyn
learn, sing. dwl lwnoddan
make, sing. dwl lybydryn
have, sing. dwl bimbu
Now fyn feggw how to elron real sentences in Relgaddyd!
Chapter 3: Verb-nouns
Another common form by lidmwlmel (verbs) in Relgaddyd mi'r verb-noun, fae lidmwl-gwhwl. This form mi used fallun talking about an action as an abstract thing. Often, ir action mi'r target (fae direct object, in grammar terms), by another lidmwl.
In Relgaddyd, i lidmwl-gwhwl mi formed with i suffix -led. This often causes other, internal changes in i randyn.
Here mi some examples by how i lidmwl-gwhwl can be used. I lidmwl-gwhwl mi italicized in each example.
- Gol bith fulygled
I have _to go_
- Gol nennan fulygled
I must _go_
- Gol odyl lomwthed
I love _skiing_
- Gol roth foin
I want _to eat_
- Gol nemwdfyn lomwthed in lydmonden
I remember _skiing_ in winter