The Language of the Sylvan Gate

The Sylvan Gate is a language constructed specifically to be a gateway to the Sylvan Ring.

This is a draft.

Syntax Overview


  • S = sentence
  • PP = predicate phrase
  • NP = noun phrase


  • Nn = noun with n complements
  • Pn = predicate with n complements
  • DET = determiner
  • MOD = modal particle
  • CONJ = sentence-level conjunction
  • TOP = topicalizing particle
  • NOM = sentence-nominalizing particle


Operators are listed in order of precedence.

expression meaning
(...) grouping
a? a or nothing
a{n} exactly n occurrences of a
a* zero or more as.
a b a followed by b
a / b either a or b
a -> b phrase type a is composed of b

Syntax Rules

PP -> Pn PP* NP{n}
NP -> DET? Nn PP* NP{n} / NOM S

Derivational Morphology

Noun → Predicate

affix meaning
-ui, -en full of X
-en, -ion made of X
-el, -iel related to X

Predicate → Noun

affix meaning
-eth, -as, -ad act of X, X quality
-r, -dir, -tir Xer, agent of X
-eb Xee, patient of X

Predicate → Predicate

affix meaning
-u transitive to intransitive
-ta, -ya, -tha intransitive to transitive
-nna active to passive

Noun Phrases

  • Plurals are not marked morphologically. Instead, there are pluralizing predicates: rim, waith, (h)oth/ath, în, ad.
predicate meaning
rim many (things)
waith several or many (people)
ath, (h)oth a crowd, too many
în few, not enough
ad a pair, both
aen one


  • Many location-words are nouns, as in Japanese.
  • The line between verbs and prepositions is blurry (both are predicates).

Declarative Sentences

  • Declarative sentences have a zero modal particle (MOD in the syntax rules).

Imperative Sentences

  • Imperative sentences optionally use the modal particle a, ai, or ae.

Yes/No Questions

  • Yes/no questions use the modal particle ma.

Content Questions

  • Content questions do not use a modal particle. The interrogative pronoun is left in place, not fronted as it is in English.


Infinitives are nouns formed from verbs using the derivational affixes listed above. Like their verb forms, infinitives can take complements.

Im a mera van yantas allen i coph
1SG TOP want then.PAST give-NOM to.2SG DET box
I wanted to give you the box


  • A is more P than B is phrased as P beyond B A.
  • an A more P than B is A P beyond B.

The word for beyond in these constructions is la.


  • A is the most P is phrased as P most A.
  • the most P A is phrased as the A P most.
  • the most P A of S (where S is some set) is the A P most regarding S

  • the words for most and regarding are mor and aph.


  • sentence-level conjunctions like while and because are real conjunctions.
  • noun phrases are conjoined using a preposition with.

A limitation: there is no way to say or in a noun phrase. You can have beer or milk has to be phrased You can have beer or you can have milk.


Apposition uses a predicate estanna called, named or the verb se to be.


  Person Place Thing Time Reason Method Condition Quality
What manen na van man lúva fu
Some aiquen aihad ainad ailu
None gú ben gú had gú nad


. Singular Plural