Thünard (literally “green speak”), colloquially known as Dwarvish, is the predominant language of dwarven societies throughout the Clarkwoods Literary Universe. And because the dwarves are reality’s preeminent technological civilization—traveling here, there, and everywhere—their mother tongue has also become the interstellar language of commerce and diplomacy. In the land of Eden during Interregnums, there are nearly as many speakers of Thünard as there are of the halfling language Lüota—which is saying something, as Eden is like Halfling Central.
|Stop||p, b||t, d||k, g|
|High||ɪ, i||u, ʊ|
- aɪ — the ‘i’ in ‘price’
- ɔɪ — the ‘oy’ sound in ‘choice’
- aʊ — the ‘ow’ sound in ‘mouth’
Thünard is routinely spoken in iambic pentameter, because the sister goddesses River and Eden thought it would be funny.
Stress falls on the second syllable of each “foot” and a foot is defeined as a group of 2 syllables.
Spelling & Pronunciation
- aɪ is spelled y
- ɔɪ is spelled ö
- aʊ is spelled ô
- i is spelled ï
- ɪ is spelled i
- e is spelled ä
- ɔ is spelled â
- ɛ is spelled e
- u is spelled ü
- ə is spelled u
- o is spelled o
- ʊ is spelled oo
- ŋ is spelled ng
- ʃ is spelled sh
- ɕ is spelled ch
The main word order is subject–verb–object. However, in dependent clauses and in clauses which follow adverbs or adverbial phrases, the word order switches to verb-second (V2) word order. Verb-second word order is also used for questions.
Adjectives come before the nouns they modify, as do adpositions (prepositions). Possessors come before possessees.
There are 2 grammatical numbers in Thünard (singular and plural) and 3 grammatical genders: feminine, masculine, and neuter.
Nouns also have two cases: nominative (the do-er of the verb) and accusative (the done-to of the verb). The nominative is unmarked, whereas the accusative is prefixed with an ‘i.‘ For example, “Dog eat dog” would be translated to “Skrydvä piv iskrydvä.”
The definite article (‘the’) and the indefinite article (‘a’) are encoded in nouns. The definite singular is unmarked, where as the definite plural is marked as follows:
- Masculine: Prefix with fy- if the word begins with a vowel, or fya- if not.
- Feminine: Prefix with a-.
- Neuter: Prefix with fl- if the word begins with a vowel, or fla- if not.
The indefinite singular is marked as follows:
- Masculine: Prefix with ül- if the word begins with a vowel, or ülï- if not.
- Feminine: Prefix with ü.
- Neuter: Prefix with shü.
The indefinite plural is marked as follows:
- Masculine: Prefix with k- if the word begins with a vowel, or kï- if not.
- Feminine: Prefix with j- if the word begins with a vowel, or jo- if not.
- Neuter: Prefix with o-.
|3rd singular masc||gïnf||igïnf||gïnft|
|3rd singular fem||nof||ïnof||noft|
|3rd singular neuter||av||ïav||avt|
|3rd plural masc||än||ïän||änt|
|3rd plural fem||ly||ïly||lyt|
|3rd plural neuter||jü||ïjü||jüt|
Verbs in Thünard have three tenses (past, present, and future). The present tense is unmarked, the past tense is prefixed with ‘shpri-’, and the future tense is prefixed with ‘y-’. For instance:
- slüngkt translates as dig;
- shprislüngkt translates as digged; and,
- yslüngkt translates as will dig.
Thünardian verbs also have a habitual, continuous, and perfect tense, which are encoded as follows.
- Habitual. Prefix with ‘spl-’ if the verb begins with a vowel, or ‘sply-’ if not. For example, splyslüngkt translates as “dig habitually” or ”dig often.”
- Continuous. Prefix with ‘lü-’. For example, lüslüngkt translates as “am/are digging.”
- Perfect. Prefix with ‘t-’ if the verb begins with a vowel, or ‘tu-’ if not. For example, tuslüngkt translates as “have dug.”
Thünard has a base-12 number system.
144 is dujj and 1728 is ets.
- Adjective → adverb = add suffix -ndd for words ending in vowels, or -indd for words ending in consonants
- Adjective → noun (the quality of being [adj]) = add suffix -jj for words ending in vowels, or -ijj for words ending in consonants
- Adjective → verb (to make something [adj]) = add prefix s- for words beginning with vowels, or sa- for words beginning with consonants
- Noun → adjective (having the quality of [noun]) = add the suffix -y
- Noun → adjective relating to noun (e.g. economy → economic) = add suffix -n for words ending in vowels, or -an for words ending in consonants
- Noun to verb = add suffix -lja for words ending in vowels, or -ilja for words ending in consonants
- Verb → adjective (result of doing [verb]) = add suffix -imp
- Tending to = add suffix -nts for words ending in vowels, or -ents for words ending in consonants
- Verb → noun (the act of [verb]) = add suffix -nsju for words ending in vowels, or -onsju for words ending in consonants
- Verb → noun that verb produces (e.g. know → knowledge) = add prefix shpâ-
- One who [verb]s (e.g. paint → painter) = add suffix -uʃshd
- Place of (e.g. wine → winery) = add suffix -ü
- Diminutive = add prefix fro-
- Augmentative = add prefix aoonsl- for words beginning with vowels, or aoonsli- for words beginning with consonants
The detail about the iambic pentameter was fun, I would have loved to see an example of it :D
E. Christopher Clark
Yeah, that was a late arriving idea. I should have spent more time revising after that. But thank you for reading!