Section V: Noun-Verbs

Section V: Noun-Verbs

Author: Madeline Palmer

MS Date: 07-30-2012

FL Date: 08-01-2012

FL Number: FL-00000B-00

Citation: Palmer, Madeline. 2012. Section V: Noun-Verbs.
In Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred:
A Grammar and Lexicon of the Northern
Latitudinal Dialect of the Dragon Tongue.
FL-00000B-00, Fiat Lingua, . Web. 01 Aug. 2012.

Copyright: © 2012 Madeline Palmer. This work is licensed

under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Fiat Lingua is produced and maintained by the Language Creation Society (LCS). For more information
about the LCS, visit

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
Table of Contents
Section V

Section V: Verb-Nouns………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2
5.1. Overview……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2
5.2. “Is” and Noun-Verb Verbality………………………………………………………………………………………………5
5.3. Verb-Noun Morphology……………………………………………………………………………………………………….7
5.3.1. Anomalous Plural Forms………………………………………………………………………………………….9
5.3.2. Agentive Derivation……………………………………………………………………………………………….10
5.4. Verb-Noun Affixes……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..12
5.4.1. Inflexion of Prefixes……………………………………………………………………………………………….12
5.4.2. True-Verb Object, Subject and Reflexive Prefixes……………………………………………………12
5.4.3. Adjectival Reflexive Subject, Superlative Subject and Contrastive Object Prefixes…….14
5.4.4. Because Of, For and By Means Of Prefixes…………………………………………………………………15
5.4.5. Locatives and Directives…………………………………………………………………………………………15
5.4.6. Vocative Prefix……………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
5.4.7. Proximals……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..18
5.4.8. `–sé- “But Not…”…………………………………………………………………………………………………..18
5.5. “Pronouns”…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………20
5.6. Gender……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….22

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
Section V:

5.1. Overview
If all words in Srínawésin are inherently verbs how to the Sihá refer to people, places and things, the
definition of nouns? As noted earlier, although all words are basically verbs they are often used with the sense
of a noun. Take the following example:





Although this is an extremely stilted and frankly terrible English sentence, the above example is the
easiest way of understanding the noun-to-verb continuum in Srínawésin. As English works differently
then the Dragon Tongue the two nouns wolf and deer appear by default in this example but if one places
them into a verbal construction such as that-which-is-a-X, the above example actually contains no true nouns.
This is the essence of the way the Sihá approach what we call ‘nouns’; they are verbal constructions in and of
themselves which take on certain noun qualities in order to refer to their referent, i.e. the referent of the verbal unit
is the “noun.” This seems to be a unnecessarily complex concept in terms of the languages of the Younger
Races, but not only does this method reflect the mentality of the Kindred, but it also allows them a great
deal of linguistic freedom and fluidity which is reflected in the languages of the Younger Races by various
derivative constructions that move noun to verb and back again.

If the example above was translated into Srínawésin it would be:

Níxwałír inneháqsan ixíyíł ni

There are three verbs in this sentence and one inflected particle with verb-like qualities. Inneháqsan
is comprised of inne- which is an object prefix while –háqsa + an can be glossed as “it is a deer to itself.”
Ixíyíł is formed of the subject prefix i- and –xíye + íł is “it is a wolf/dog to itself.” These are verbs both in
form and in intention but the only true-verb is níxwałír “suddenly-upon a large prey animal-pounces-by a
predator.” The object and subject of the sentence are both verbs, they possess the verbal reflexive endings –
an and –íł respectively but they are used with noun intention, occupying the places of object and subject.
However, since the above Srínawésin sentence is basically a string of verbs with the proper verbal endings,
how can the verbs be divided up into true-verbs, subjects and objects? Consider:

(Incomplete present+TO HEAR/LISTEN+Class I Reflexive Subject+present tense certainty evidential)
She/he/you is listening (to herself/himself/yourself or just listening in general)

(Subject Marker Cyclical tense+MY HATCH-SISTER+Class I Reflexive+certainty evidential)
It’s my hatch-sister (as an answer to a question such as “who is listening?”)

Both examples are virtually identical, both possess verb roots (híšá- and nušá- respectively), both
occur with the proper Class I Reflexive suffix -éš, both have prefixes inflected for tense (tsi- and u-), both
serve as a complete utterance and both occur with a certainty evidential contracted to -’n. However the
first example is a true-verb the second is a noun-verb. There are three things which can distinguish these
two constructions from one another, 1) Reflexive vs. Subject Ending differentiations, which are not useful
in all cases, 2) the lack of direct objects in noun-verbs (although again, this is not always useful due to
certain adjectival constructions see 6.3.3. Adjectival Morphology: Active below and 3) the prefixation of

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
noun-prefixes. One of the primary differences between true-verbs and noun-verbs is which of the many
subject suffixes are attached to a root. As discussed above, there are essentially two types of subject
suffixes; non-reflexive and reflexive. Reflexive subject endings indicate that the subject and the object are the
same referent, i.e. they refer to the same being, and while many true-verbs have reflexive usages many do

Tsitsitsíš shiSłáya sa Snáréš’n
Saenšáwéts iSłáya sa Snáréš’n

Bloody Face is sunning/warming himself (Reflexive)
Bloody Face saw him/her/you


Consider the subject-ending patterns on the noun-verbs below:



the sun
innumerable bats

Literal Translation
(it is a goat to itself)
(it is a fish to itself)
(it is warm to itself)
(she is a mother to herself)
(they are bats to themselves)

thin clouds
hill, mound
song, poem
wave on the sea

Literal Translation
(they are thin clouds)
(it is a head)
(it is a hill)
(it is a song, poem)
(it is a wave on the sea)

In the first set of examples without exception all the class markers are reflexive indicating that the
form represents a being doing something to itself to render it in the state of X. However, in the second series of
endings they are non-reflexive indicating that the form represents something which is simply being X and is not
participating in the action. These two forms follow the same distribution of the two verbal examples above
(reflexive and non-reflexive) but the examples above can all serve as the basis of noun-verbs. The reason for
this is once again the concept of Intentional vs. Unintentional actors (see 4.6. Voice: Intentional vs.
Unintentional above for review, if needed). The first set of noun-verb examples are all intentional actors
(capable of intent, desire and wishes) while the second are all unintentional actors (incapable of these desires
or plans). As noted in 4.6. above if an intentional actor is in a state, by definition, it is in that state to itself or
put in that state by another and is thus always reflexive. Thus, when a root is used to form an intentional
noun-verb it is done so with a reflexive subject ending (–sihéš is –sihá+éš ‘it is a dragon to itself) while if a root is
used to form an unintentional noun-verb it cannot take a reflexive subject ending but rather a simple subject ending
(–šathawésin is –šatha+wé+sin ‘they are clouds’). Intentional vs. Unintentional distinctions therefore show
up not only in true-verbal forms but also in how noun-verbs are formed. Intentional noun-verbs are always
formed by reflexives while unintentional noun-verbs are formed with simple subject suffixes. Unfortunately
because this distinction occurs in both true- and noun-verb forms this is not always a perfect indicator
whether the word one is presented with is a verb or a “noun.” It is useful in that reflexive endings will
often refer to a noun-verb but not always because reflexives are also used to form “intransitive” meanings as
well as adjectival intentions with intentional beings.

The second distinction between true-verbs and noun-verbs are that the “nouns” could technically be
considered to be transitive in nature (they often occur with reflexive subject endings and reflexive verbs are
inherently transitive, although the subject and object are the same referent) they do not occur with infixed
objects as do true-transitive-verbs, either explicitly or as implicit affixes (although as in all natural
languages there are exceptions, see 5.3.2. Agentive Derivation):

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

Tsayxłeyawír axíyewíł’ła
(Incomplete past+Class III Object+TO TRACK BY SCENT ALONE+Plural+Class II Subject+present

tense hearsay evidential)

I heard the wolves were tracking it (large prey) by scent alone

(Past Subject Prefix+Class IX Object(?)+BONE+Class IX Subject)

The second example is incorrect because the construction –qxátsíth means ‘is a dead bone’ and to add
the object infix and make –úxqxátsíth would mean ‘it is a dead bone to another dead thing,’ which is strange
sounding but still grammatical in the strictest sense. However, since noun verbs cannot occur with direct
objects once this semi true-verb –úxqxátsíth has the past tense subject prefix a- added to it, it becomes
ungrammatical. This is a useful distinction but cannot always be relied upon because true-verbs involving
unintentional subjects are often intransitive and therefore would also never have direct objects. To make
matters worse, certain adjectival constructions often occur with forms which function like “direct objects”
but are used in a noun-sense (see 6.3. Adjectives below) and agentive forms outlined below are also an
exception to this type of rule. However, the last and most reliable way of differentiating true-verbs from
noun-verbs can be partially illustrated with the examples below:

Syuqsániwéha urúnawéha’n
Náhínewała nan!
Xíháqsaqsuwéts iSłá sa Snáréš ni

The mountains are slowly changing
(geologic aspect)
(sudden aspect)
And I suddenly jumped on the fish!
Bloody Face is usually hunting female deer (habitual aspect)


Over the trees
Into (my) stomach
O dragons!
Because of the strange demon-things


All of the examples above have prefixes attached to the verb-roots (the second examples of both
true-verbs and noun-verbs even share the same root qsáthi-) and the prefixes are all inflected for tense but
only the true-verbs make use of the aspect prefixes, the noun-verbs use a variety of locative, vocative, functional
and other prefixes. This simple fact is by far the best way of determining if a word is a true-verb or a noun-
verb as the only affixes which may occur with “nouns” are “noun” affixes such as locatives, vocatives and
so forth. Therefore “nouns” are verb roots with noun prefixes and true-verbs are verb roots with aspect
prefixes, absolutely without exception. There are several difficulties with these distinctions because several
of the aspect prefixes are almost identical with several noun-prefixes. The most problematic and reoccurring
of these are the aspect prefixes ní-/ná-/nú- ‘suddenly, startling’ and ši-/ša-/šu- ‘just beginning to’ compared
with the noun-prefixes ni-/na-/nu- ‘at a location, at a place’ and ší-/šá-/šú- ‘moving past a location.’ The
only difference between these sets of prefixes is that some have voiced vowels and others have unvoiced
vowels, and this can be problematic, even for experienced speakers. Davis notes several draconic jokes

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
which use the similarity of these forms in order to form puns or jokes, which seem to have double
meanings. For instance:

(moving past a location present tense+THIN CLOUDS+Class VIII Subject)
Went past thin clouds in the air

(beginning action aspect present tense+THIN CLOUDS+Class VIII Subject)
They are just beginning to be thin clouds (Lit.)
The thin clouds are just beginning to form

Although the second translation does not really make very much sense when translated literally it
would be understood to mean ‘The thin clouds are just beginning to form’ in this context. This play on
meaning and translation is central to the Shúna’s idea of Xániwésin or “poetry” treated below in 7.6.
Xániwésin Poetry. Jokes and puns aside, many of which frankly do not make any sense to me whatsoever,
this is a vital difference between the usages of the verb-roots and combined with the other methods of
differentiation noted above; these make the defining difference between true-verbs and noun-verbs and
mark their usage in either a “verb-like” way or a “noun-like” way.

5.2. “Is” and Noun-Verb Verbality
Although there are “nouns” and “verbs” in Srínawésin, they can often be used in ways which defy
such simple distinctions. It is possible in most languages to use a noun to constitute an entire statement,
for instance, the English example:

What did you see?
The crane on the water.

The second example has no verb, but is still grammatical and perfectly sensible in this English

context. It answers the question of “what was seen” and when placed in a full utterance it would be:

I saw the crane on the water

The important difference between Srínawésin and such forms in English is that not only are these
constructions used more often, but they are, in fact, essential to the functioning of the language. The
reasons for this are that there is no word for “is” in Srínawésin and no way of expressly saying “it is a
crane” (although the evidential sentence enclitics might also serve as “is” in this function, see 7.3.1.
Evidential Sentence Enclitics, Aspect Markers and Adverbs below). Therefore, in order to say “it is a
crane,” a root goes through a complex semantic procedure whereby it takes on a noun-verb meaning but is
rederived back into a true-verb (with the appropriate affixes) while still retaining a noun-verb meaning. This
appears to be extremely difficult to understand but once the basic procedure is understood it becomes
simpler. The reason for this is that in Srínawésin reflexives attached to intentional roots and subject
endings attached to unintentional roots give the meaning of a noun-verb to a root:



a crane
a dead tree stump

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

When these roots form the basis of an entire statement or are used in a stative way, the proper verb
affixes (i.e. aspectual prefixes) are attached, giving the entire phrase the meaning of ‘it is a…’ (with
additional locatives and evidentials in these examples:

Tsitsútsíx niháxusu’n
Tsiráhúth ixírúnáha’n

(it is) the male crane on the water
(it is) the dead tree stump next to the mountain

Noun-verbs used in a verbal way are essentially stative in nature, they state such-and-such a state or
condition, in this case that of a noun existing. As noted in section 4.6. Voice: Intentional vs. Unintentional
above although both of the examples above may be translated ‘it is a…’ the true, literal translations would
appear as:

Tsitsútsíx niháxusu’n
Tsiráhúth ixírúnáha’n


on the water
next to the mountain

The difference between the two is that the first is intentional the second unintentional, as noted in the
section above. Noun-verbs (carrying the proper noun prefixes) may also carry the meaning of how they
participate in an entire sentence even if stated without the rest of the sentence; the rest of the sentence is merely
understood from context:

Innehurúnáha nihú!
The mountain right here! (object of a sentence)

The prefix inne- means that ‘the mountain right here!’ is the direct object of a verb and implies that
the someone is doing something to the mountain and could be used to answer the question “What do you see?”
but not “Where are you?” The reason for this is that the answer in the second case would not be the direct
object of a verb and thus it could not be the answer to this question. However, if the noun-verb has a
locative prefix (one which denotes the location of something) it could be used to answer a question such as

Nixúháha’x, xisayéš?
Nihurúnáha qsér!

Where are you, friend?
On the mountain right here, obviously!

Questions as well as statements may be comprised entirely of noun-verbs without true-verbs, the

verbality being carried entirely by the nouns themselves:

Tsiwahinar níxéxúhár’x?1
Where (is) Jupiter way up in the sky?

Although the various noun-verb prefixes such as subject, object and locatives will be discussed
below, for now it is important to note that noun-verbs do not require a true-verb in order to complete a
grammatical sentence and often occur with “verbal” meanings with no true-verb expressly stated:

Inneháqsan ríth!

Would that you (do something) to the female deer!

1 This is an example of a Srínawésin riddle, one which has an “obvious” answer and allows the asker to use a very rude word qser
without starting a fight. Interestingly, the first half of the question is entirely unvoiced while the second is entirely voiced, and
this might be a poetic aspect of the sentence to draconic ears.

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

5.3. Noun-verb Morphology
Srínawésin nouns are built of a root upon which various affixes are attached in order to specify the
noun’s relationship in the utterance but while noun-verb morphology parallels verbal morphology in many
ways but is significantly simpler. While the subject markers of true-verbs are essential to the
understanding of the way a verb is being used, they are less so in noun-verbs because all intentional noun-
verbs have reflexive subject markers and only unintentional noun-verbs have subject endings. Although this
is always true, the subject markers for noun-verbs are important in two ways: they still define the class of
the noun in question, a vital part of Srínawésin sentence’s grammar through agreement as well as the
meaning of the noun in question (see 3.3. Derivational Structure above), and they continue to determine the
number of the noun in question, singular, plural or innumerable:


a group of small prey-animals
a group of dead things
innumerable group of inedible animals

(Class I, plural)
(Class I, singular)
(Class III, singular)
(Class XI, singular)
(Class IV, innumerable)

The roots of all the noun-verbs above are identical, sihá- ‘things alike, similar things,’ (although the
root shúna- is the plural form of the root sihá-) but the translation of the nouns are significantly different,
not only in number but also in class. As the class of the noun is pivotal in determining the way the root is to
be translated, you cannot simply ignore the class of the subject ending of any noun in question if a sentence
is to be understood. Although number and class are important features of the subject class markers in
noun-verbs and cannot be ignored, for the purposes of noun morphology the combined root-subject suffix unit
may be regarded as a unit which is defined as a “noun” upon which further noun suffixes may be attached. Thus a
noun is formed from a root upon which a reflexive class or simple subject marker is appended (which
additional phonological processes of assimilation take place):



a dragon

Once this is done however, the “noun” can regarded as an indivisible unit upon which the various

noun-prefixes are then attached:



narú+sihéš →
słáha+sihéš →


the dragon (present tense subject of the sentence)
because of the dragon (past tense)
the dragon (cyclical tense subject)
up until the dragon (past tense)
with the dragon (past tense))

The process of the derivation of a verb-root to a verb with “noun-like” qualities to a full noun-verb

can be described schematically as:


Noun Prefix

Reflexive/Intransitive Verb




Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

Noun affixes always occur as prefixes attached to the noun-verb and although a variety of prefixes
may be attached the original noun-verb (and in a certain and definable pattern), they will always be
attached to the head of the noun rather then occur as suffixes. The affixation of the noun-prefixes occurs in
a very regular pattern which never varies, which is helpful not only for learners of Srínawésin but also for
any attempt to understand the morphology of noun-verbs. In comparison to the morphology of true-verbs,
the morphological structure of nouns is relatively simple and rarely varies from this simple pattern:

(Noun Prefix + (Proximal) + (Inalienable Possessive) + [ROOT


Proximal infixes will be dealt with in 5.4.7. Proximals and possessives in 6.4.2. Inalienable

Possession but both of these forms are optional and not required to form a functioning noun-verb.

Thus a noun may be analyzed as:

Sríwíqsáqsáshá łi!
(Srí+wí+(QSÁQSÁ+shá)RV)N (łi)
(towards present tense+that over there+(crow+Class VI singular reflexive)RV)N (command)
Towards-that-crow! (Lit.)
(Give it) to that crow over there!

Although there is no true-verb in the above utterance, it still carries a type of verbal meaning,
namely that of “give it,” which is primarily carried by the command evidential łi at the end of the sentence.
This utterance would be the answer, for instance of a question such as “What should I breathe fire at?”
And the response indicates towards what that fire should be directed at or “given.” Although in the above
example the directive srí- is used in the morphology of nouns “noun prefixes” are simply any one of the
various prefixes noted below; object/subject prefixes, locatives and directives, contrastives and so on.
Additionally, the proximal infixes are not required and nouns are often found without them:

(subject past tense prefix+(no proximal)+(IT-IS-A-SPIDER)V)N
It-was-spider (that did it) (Lit.)
(it was) a spider (that did it)

As opposed to noun-forms with a proximal infix:

(subject past tense prefix+that over there+(IT-IS-A-SPIDER)V)N
It-was-that-spider-over there (that did it) (Lit.)
(it was) that spider over there (that did it)

Both of the above utterances are statements in and of themselves, although they occur with the past
tense subject prefix a-, which would make them the answer to a question such as “what spun that web?” or
another question regarding the subject of an action. Although the base of the noun-form may be simple
(such as xnaqsé- and -shá) or of a more complex form (see 6.3. Adjectives below), the basic morphology of
all nouns corresponds to the form given above, namely that of a noun prefix, the optional proximal and
then the root of the noun. It is also important to note that with the exception of the proximal infixes and

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
possessives, for a noun to be a noun it must possess a noun prefix of some type. Thus, the utterance below is
considered ungrammatical as it lacks the requisite noun prefix:

*that spider over there

The exact context of a sentence determines which prefix a noun might require, but all noun-verbs
require a noun-prefix to make them a noun, just as all true-verbs require an aspect-prefix to make them a
true-verb. Possession within Srínawésin, and the possessive infixes it uses as denoted by the morphological
structure above, is a rather complicated matter and is dealt with in the language in a variety of different
ways depending on whether the possessed object is inalienably or alienably possessed (see section 6.4
Possessive Forms below).

5.3.1. Anomalous Plural Forms
The usual plural forms of noun-verbs has been covered above and usually is achieved by the
application of the affix –wé- or –ré- to the root along with the simple subject or reflexive subject
class marker. However, as noted in 4.5.2. Draconic Number, there are certain specific roots to which
these affixes cannot be applied, but rather are pluralized by the use of a wholly different verb root
which carries a plural sense. Thus, an instance as below can be found:


‘a dragon’



The root sihá- ‘alike, to be alike, one of the Kindred’ is inherently singular and cannot appear

with plural affixes:


‘dragons/innumerable dragons’

The only way to pluralize roots which are inherently singular are to use the corresponding
plural root which carries the same semantic meaning but which is inherently plural. Inherently plural
roots usually occur without plural affixes but still carry a plural meaning to them despite the lack of
an affix:


‘dragons/innumerable dragons’

This is because the root already carries a plural meaning to it and any additional indication of
plurality is redundant. It is important to note that although a plural root such as shúna- does not
occur with the plural affixes, it still is plural and any affixes which must agree in number with it
must also be plural in the standard way:

Xúhání sa ixíqsáthiwéts unneqxehíwén unnenárinwén ushúnéš úsyá!
The Kindred (pl.) dearly love to eat male and female reindeer whenever they can get them!

However, this is further complicated by the fact that there are certain rare roots which have
different inherently plural forms but which still occur with the plural and innumerable suffixes. One
instance is the roots šnaya- and syeru- ‘vine, vines’:


It is with (in between) the vine
It is with (in between) the vines


It is with (in beteeen) the innumerable vines

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

These forms would be analyzed as below:

(with/in-between+(VINE+Class IX Animate))
(It is) with (in between) the vine

(with/in-between+(VINES+plural+Class IX Animate))
(It is) with (in between) the vines

(with/in-between+(VINES+innumerable+Class IX Animate))
(It is) with (in between) the innumerable vines

In this case even through the root syeru- is inherently plural as opposed to the inherently

singular root šnaya-, it is one of the rare roots which apparently takes a plural markers –wé- and –ré.
Even rarer then this form are root complexes which all refer to the same referent but which have
entirely different roots for each of the three numbers, singular, plural and innumerable. There are only a
few instances of this in all of Davis’ notes and interestingly they all seem to refer only either
animals, insects or plants. An instance of this may be found in the roots qsére-, słátsú- and qxuhan- or


There is a gnat over there
There are gnats over there
There are innumerable gnats over there

In every one of these rare tri-root instances, the anomalous plural roots never occur with plural
markers, as shown above, in comparison to the bi-root instances which sometimes can have them
and sometimes cannot. This system seems difficult and needlessly complex but it appears to be a
simple result of how the language has evolved over time and nothing else.2 There appears to be no
pattern to these forms and they must be memorized individually. For lack of a better system in the
lexicon below all roots which have a wholly different singular or plural root are marked with ‘◊’
while those which have a singular and plural form which does take the plural suffixes is marked as
(◊) and those which have three separate roots for each of the numbers is marked ◊◊◊.

5.3.2. Agentive Derivation
An agentive is whereby a noun is formed from a verb and which the noun-referent is the
same as the subject of the derived verb. In English this is usually expressed by the suffix –er such as

2 In case anyone is inclined to feel that this is a nonsensical system for a language, English has something similar in ox/oxen,
child/children, man/men, mice/mouse and my personal favorite plural forms which are identical to the singular forms such as
moose/moose, and deer/deer. Each form has historical reasons for being the way it is, but that doesn’t make it easier for a learner
of the language.

To run


runner (run+er)

“A person who runs”

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

A ‘runner’ is ‘one who runs,’ or ‘one who performs X.’ In the Dragon Tongue there are two
ways to form agentive nouns out of true-verbs, the Verbal Agentive and the Clause Agentive. The
Verbal Agentives are essentially transitive verbs in almost every way; they are comprised of a verbal
root, have a direct object but instead of having an aspect marker to make it a true-verb they have an
appropriate noun-prefix to denote their place in the sentence. Also, although they have a direct object
(which they ordinarily could not have as a noun), they have a reflexive subject ending (if they are
intentional actors) which they ordinarily could not have:


O innumerable blood drinkers! (mosquitoes, insects, biting flies)

This form is analyzed as:

(vocative+((blood+TO DRINK)TV+innumerable plural+ClassVI Reflexive)RV)AGENTIVE NV
O innumerable drinkers of blood! (Lit.)
O blood drinkers!

In this form the transitive verb-form –słáyayánáréshá ‘innumerable inedible things which
drink blood’ (which is incomplete and ungrammatical since there is no aspect prefix attached to turn
it into a true-verb) is used as the basis of a noun which is formed by the addition of the vocative
prefix xi- which forms an agentive meaning. Any noun prefix (covered in 5.4. Verb-Noun Affixes)
can be prefixed to this type of agentive derivation:

Tsisithrisaríš isłáyayánáréshá rísí! Would that all these blood drinkers weren’t biting me!

It can be difficult to tell the difference between these agentive forms of transitive verbs and
verbal adjectives (covered in 6.3. Adjectives) but there are several ways to tell the two types of
usages apart. Unlike adjectives, they never appear with the particle sa and do not have any of the
voice variations that adjectives do. Agentive forms can be differentiated from transitive verbs in
that they have noun-verb prefixes and never aspect prefixes as usual true-verbs do and they have
reflexive/intransitive endings despite having direct objects.

The second type of agentives is Clause Agentives. These agentive types are formed by
constructing a dependent clause which has the meaning of ‘one who does X to Y.’ This is similar to
English as transforming the sentence “I saw the blood drinkers” to “I saw the ones who drink
blood.” Although this sounds stilted in English, it is a grammatical sentence and can replace the
agentive ‘blood drinkers’ easily. This type of construction appears as:

Tsisithrisaríš isa xísłáyayánáréshá nisa rísí!

Would that all those that drink blood
wouldn’t bite me!

Dependent clauses and the ways they are constructed will be covered in 7.6. Clauses, but for
now it is enough to know that agentive forms can be created in this way. The two ways of forming
agentives are not semantically equivalent in Srínawésin, Verbal Agentives are more commonly used,
especially in casual speech among friends and acquaintances while the Clause Agentives appear to
be used more with strangers, unknown dragons, enemies and others one “isn’t quite sure about.”

Davis notes that Verbal Agentives denote trust and friendship while Clause Agentives at minimal
indicate distance and “formality”—if such a word could ever apply to dragons—if not distrust.

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

5.4. Verb-Noun Affixes
As noted above, noun-verb affixes always occur as prefixes to the root, but the exact meaning of
these various prefixes comes in six grammatical themes, object/subject/reflexive nouns of true-verbs, the
various adjectival prefixes, because of or by means of prefixes, locative and directives, the vocative prefix and the
various proximals. With the exception of proximal infixes and the vocative prefix the various grammatical
classes of noun-prefixes are mutually exclusive and cannot occur on the same noun at the same time. Thus:

*(Subject past tense+Reflexive Past Tense+(IT-IS-A-SPIDER)V)N
*the spider (both a subject and a reflexive subject/object?)

The above utterance is ungrammatical as it has both a subject marker a- and a reflexive marker sha-
attached to the root –xnaqsésha which violates the rules of Srínawésin and is also incredibly nonsensical.
There are certain exceptions to the mutual exclusion of noun prefixes and these are noted below, but they
remain far in the exception rather then the norm.

5.4.1. Inflexion of Prefixes
As noted in section 3.5. Inflection of Affixes, many affixes in Srínawésin are inflected for
tense, whether past, not-past or Cyclical and this is true of all noun prefixes, the only exception
being the proximal infixes as well as certain other markers such as the vocative prefix.

5.4.2. True-Verb Object, Subject and Reflexive Prefixes
This set of prefixes indicates whether the noun they are attached to is the subject, object or
reflexive subject of the true-verb within the clause. These prefixes are inflected for tense in the
usual way although there are several differences in which the draconic language treats the subjects
and objects of its sentences from those of the Younger Races. As noted above, Srínawésin can be
thought of as a tripartite language, although this is not completely true under the definition of this
term. These distinctions have been covered repeatedly in sections §4.1.1. Srínawésin’s Ergativity,
4.6. Voice: Intentional vs. Unintentional, and 5.1. Overview above.

Srínawésin does not seem to possess the concept of an indirect object of certain verbs such as
give, borrowed, threw at and so forth (indirect objects are objects which a verb is directed toward but
usually not acted upon such as I gave Bloody Face the meat, “the meat” being the direct object of the
verb to give and Bloody Face being the indirect object). An “indirect object meaning” is found
however in the directive class of prefixes in section 5.4.5. Locatives and Directives below.
The various object and subject prefixes are (in Non-Past, Past and Cyclical Tenses):



subject (unintentional) of an intransitive verb or agent (either intentional
or unintentional) of a transitive verb
object (intentional or unintentional) of a transitive verb
the subject-object (always intentional) of a reflexive verb

3 The double ‘n’ is a rare case of a geminate consonant in Srínawésin and thus and both are pronounced. Therefore anne- is
pronounced /an-ne/ not /a-ne/

These three sets of prefixes thus form the basis of Srínawésin’s tripartite structure, each

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

prefix group applying as in the chart below:

It is vital to remember that the two sets of prefixes shi-/sha-/shu- and i-/a-/u-, although they

both deal with the subjects of verbs, are not equivalent and cannot be used interchangeably.

For instance in the sentence:

Šutséyawésu uxítsawésu wúx

The trees have probably just begun to lose their leaves
(The trees have probably just begun to sleep (Lit.))

The true-verb tséya- ‘to sleep’ is used in an intransitive sense because the subjects of the verb
are unintentional; therefore the subject prefix u- is used on the word –xítsawésu ‘trees.’ Compare this
to the sentence below:

Šusłełérétséyar utsúhúr’n

The night is putting all the innumerable mosquitoes to

In this case the true-verb tséya- ‘to sleep’ is being used in a transitive sense, i.e. the darkness of
night is making the mosquitoes sleep, therefore the subject prefix u- is attached to the word –tsúhúr
‘night, darkness.’ And compare to the reflexive sense:

Šutséyaréshá shusłełéréshá’n

The innumerable mosquitoes are sleeping (themselves)

Whereby the (intentional) beings ‘the innumerable mosquitoes’ are ‘making themselves
sleep’ and therefore the true-verb has the innumerable Class VI reflexive subject ending –réshá and
the reflexive subject of the verb has the reflexive subject prefix shu-. Therefore, the prefix i-/a-/u- is
used to denote the subjects (either intentional or unintentional) of transitive verbs and the
unintentional subjects of intransitive verbs:

Násuhunwéwałír ananqsatsił nahú!
That over there hawk just suddenly pounced on the song birds! (Transitive, Intentional)

Náxítsawénárasu asasrásu’n
The avalanche suddenly fell all over the forest below. (Transitive, Unintentional)

Nánárasu asasrásu’n
The avalanche just suddenly collapsed. (Intransitive, Unintentional)

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

The prefix inne-/anne-/unne- is attached to explicit objects removed from the verb regardless

of whether they are intentional or unintentional:

Nátsunwałír annehítsá sa nansuhunwéshá ananqsatsił nahú!
That over there hawk just suddenly pounced all over those beautiful song birds!

While the prefix shi-/sha-/shu are used only with intentional reflexive subjects:

Tsixúhá sa xúnéš shihaséš xi, xiTsitsír xahኳisar?
Why are you scratching yourself, Tear of the Sun?

5.4.3. Adjectival Reflexive Subject, Superlative Subject and Contrastive Object Prefixes
The Dragon Tongue treats the relationship between adjectival-verbs and the various nouns
which belong to them in a slightly different way then it does the relationship between true-verbs and
their corresponding nouns. Adjectival-verbs will be treated in greater detail in 6.3 Adjectival-Verbs
below but the various affixes which define the relationship between these constructions and their
noun referents are attached to the nouns so they ought to be treated here. Adjectival verbs are
basically considered to be inherently reflexive in nature to intentional beings and intransitive in
nature to unintentional beings:

Tsišáthéš shiqxísihéš’n
Tsišáthaha iqxíšawaha’n

this dragon is black (to itself) (Reflexive, Intentional)
this stone is black (Intransitive, Unintentional)

I am not sure if the evidence warrants this conclusion, but with the inclusion of adjectival

forms, I would guess that Srínawésin’s structure could therefore be classified as the chart below:

So adjectival subjects are treated identically to subjects of standard true-verbs in these forms.
However, Srínawésin possesses a range of other adjectival prefixes which allow them to denote
differences between how much the subject is in that adjectival state or to compare that state with others.
For instance:

Tsusyáhur shuqsánir nu
Tsusyáhur uwétsitsír nu
Tsusyáhur uwétsitsír húnaqsánir nu The sun is brighter then the moon (Cont. with named object)
Tsusyáhur syurtsitsír nu

The moon is bright (Adj. Reflexive Subj.)
The sun is brighter (Contrastive with unnamed object)

The sun is brightest of all (Superlative)

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

The first instance is a simple adjectival form which indicates that the subject (the moon) has
an adjectival quality (is bright). In the second instance there is a contrast between the brightness of
the subject (the sun) and that of another noun, which happens to be unnamed but would refer to a
noun previously discussed or simply left out by the speaker. This is roughly equivalent to the
English suffix –er such as bigger, brighter and so forth. The third instance is identical to the second,
but the object is named rather then unnamed, i.e. the moon, and is equivalent to then in English.
Lastly, the fourth instance the relationship between the adjectival construction and its subject (the
sun) is superlative, or that the subject’s realization of the adjective is superior to all others without
exception, corresponding to the suffix –est in English. The prefixes used in these adjective verbal
constructions are given below, inflected for tense as usual:


reflexive adjectival subject
contrastive subject of adjective (-er)
contrastive object of adjective (then)
superlative adjectival subject prefix (-est)

Adjective verbal constructions will be discussed in further detail in 6.3. Adjectives but they

can occur with all adjectival voices (see 6.3. Adjectives below).

5.4.4. Because Of, For and By Means Of Prefixes
These series of prefixes form the basis of relating actions taken by the subject with another
being or object, very roughly translating to ‘because of,’ ‘for, for the benefit of’ and ‘by means of’ in

Íš! Rałúhasa sa háqséth sašathíx shaxráxa sa nanqxnéx átsisíwanunasin nihú!
Hah! That foolish human ran away from my (female deer) kill because of my voice!

The Auspices or Agency Of prefix is only translated as “because” when it refers to a noun or a
subordinate clause (see 7.6. Clauses) not between clauses or sentences. “Because” between entire
clauses is treated in 7.4. Conjunctive, Disjunctive, and Conditional Words between Sentences. ‘For,
to benefit’ and ‘by means of’ are used as in the following examples:

Xahú? Xyahaséš nan!?
What (did you say)!? (Who) did it for you/him/her!?

Tsisráhawésu iqxéhawésu srírúnáwéha łinaxítsawésu’łá
I heard that the fire is spreading towards the mountains by means of the forest (jumping

from tree to tree towards the mountain) (Lit.)

The basic forms of these prefixes are:


auspices/agency of (because of), due to
for, for the benefit of
by means of

5.4.5. Locatives and Directives
These prefixes determine the location and direction (usually in regards to motion of some
type) of the noun they modify. They are inflected for tense as usual and can occur with the various
proximals in order to further delineate location and direction. These prefixes are generally

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

uncomplicated and are not usually difficult for translation purposes although they do contain some
concepts which are not usually found in the languages of the Younger Races, such as flying, circling
around a location and so forth (in Non-Past, Past and Cyclical Tenses):



beginning from a state or location and moving toward another
next to or along side
on top of (laying on or physically contacting vs. over)
starting from (a specific point or location)
flying over (circling?)
until, up to, moving up until a location or state is reached
at no place, nowhere, unknown location
into or putting into an object
beneath or under
towards (by flying)
away from (a general location or condition)
past or by
with, along with, in the company of (when used with two different words
it often carries the meaning of between or in between)
towards (either by along the ground or in the water)
within (a place) or during (a specific time)
over (either flying or on another object)
towards and through (by either flying, swimming or on the ground)
flying across

Although these prefixes specify some unique concepts such as moving towards an object by
flying, flying over a location or otherwise, their use is as noted above and all refer to the noun to which
they are prefixed to:


at a hunting territory (present tense, ownership unspecified)
went past thin clouds in the air

In order to create Indirect Object constructions—such as in English “I threw the ball to the
dog,” the ball being the direct object of the verb to throw and the dog being the indirect object, the
thing which the ball was thrown towards—Srínawésin simply uses the various directional prefixes
given above. For instance:

Sráhaséš sahawaqsíhú nan, xixráxašawéš!
I tossed the slab of meat to you, you stupid fool!

In this case sráhaséš means ‘towards him/her/you’ and it is understood as being ‘to you’ from
the context of the sentence. Minor variations on this theme are achieved by using other directional

5.4.6. Vocative Prefix
The vocative prefix of Srínawésin is the primary way in which the Sihá overcome the
deficiency in their language (although they would not see it as such) of the 2nd Person concept.
Essentially, the vocative prefix indicates that the speaker is speaking to the listener, albeit in an

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

indirect way by referring to what he or she is rather then saying you per se, and is used in order to
specify who or what the speaker is referring to in case there is any ambiguity. Thus the sentence

Xitsítsíš, saenlášéch?

O my friend (a dragon), you killed him/her (another dragon)?
or he/she killed you, O my friend? (slightly obscure)

The vocative form thus addresses another specifically, much as in the case of various Indo-

European languages:

Á mo maccu
Quinte, habitas ad casam?

O my sons (Old Irish)
Quintus, do you live in a house? (Latin)

The vocative prefix is not inflected for tense (it would not seem to matter as one is usually

addressing another in the present tense anyway) and thus only occurs in one form:


vocative prefix, O…

This prefix can attach to any noun form, including proper names:

XiSłáya sa Snaréš, xíxúnéš xi?

Bloody Face, are you scratching off your scales again?

As noted above, the vocative prefix bears much of the task of expressing the 2nd Person
which humans use so much but which dragons can do just fine without. The vocative prefix is the
only “noun” prefix which can occur with another noun prefix (although it does this only rarely). In
these constructions the vocative prefix always comes before the second noun prefix:

Xinnesihéš tsyenłášá nin!
O You Kindred who I will slay!

The word xinnesihéš is analyzed as:

(Vocative+(present tense subject+TO BE ALIKE+Class I Refl. Marker)
O You Kindred (who…)

Therefore, it might be more accurate to say that noun-verb morphology should be

diagrammed as:

(Vocative) + {Noun Prefix + (Proximal) + (Inalienable Possessive) + [ROOT


Generally, the vocative is only used when there might be some ambiguity in the utterance
and clarity needs to be expressed. Thus, the example given above would only be used if the speaker
was talking to two dragons (most likely younger dragons in this case) and needed to specify which
one they were talking to. If there was only one other dragon in the vicinity and the speaker was
looking directly at the listener, there would be no ambiguity and they would most likely simply say:

Xíxúnéš xi?

(You’re) scratching off (your) scales again?

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

The semantic and disambiguating usages of the vocative prefix are discussed in section VII

Sentence Structure and Speech Patterns below.

5.4.7. Proximals
Proximals are a group of noun infixes which determine the distance from the speaker (and
sometimes the listener, one of the implicit 2nd Person instances in the Dragon Tongue) in a variety
of ways:


at that hunting territory over there

Essentially the proximal infixes can be translated as various English phrases such as over
there, here, way over there and the like. The proximals are not inflected for tense and always appear in
the forms below. Although the proximals do not alter for tense, they do have an effect on the prefix
preceding them (the required noun prefix). Voiced proximals will alter the proceeding prefix into a
similarly voiced variant while unvoiced proximals have no effect on the proceeding prefix, as in the
example above where the phrase axnaqsésha becomes áwíxnaqséshá with the addition of the proximal
infix –wí-. This voicing assimilation can unfortunately cause some interesting semantic difficulties
although these are usually resolved by the forms of the rest of the sentence.

The proximal infixes are:

Right here (next to me)
Right here (in the general vicinity)
Over there (usually within voice range)
Over there (generally within sight, or 20 miles or so)
Way over there (requires a significant trip to reach)


The notation “´–” indicates the proceeding prefix is voiced through assimilation.
It should be noted that proximals can occur with infixed verbal objects both of the explicit and
implicit kind. In other words, they may appear with noun-verbs infixed as direct objects into
transitive verbs as well as with infixed direct object profixes which stand for the direct object. In both
instances the proximal affix appears before the form it modifies, just as in normal usage:

Sananhastsiqxéhets aTsuwášáréšáwéts nananhaxaha’ła

Sananánaqxéhets aTsuwášáréšáwéts nananhaxaha’ła

I heard that Stargazer burnt down that holly
tree over there on the top of that mountain.
I heard that Stargazer burnt down that
(animate) thing over there on the top of that

5.4.8. `–sé- “But Not…”
There is an additional noun affix which must be treated, the infix `–sé- “but not…” The way
that Srínawésin creates negative sentences will be further discussed in section 7.3. Evidential
Sentence Enclitics, but this infix is part of verb-noun morphology so must be treated here. As will
be shown below, Srínawésin sentences are almost without exception entirely positive in nature or
entirely negative in nature, such as:

Saxinix sa wísyewíwánets na
Hux sawtsqsáthits áqxra

He/she was able to catch that salamander (Positive)
But he/she didn’t want to eat it

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

The exception to this positive/negative duality in the language is found in the infix `–sé-
“but not…” Essentially, this infix negativises not the entire sentence, as the evidential enclitics do,
but rather only the word to which it is attached, keeping the sentence positive (or negative) but excluding
it from the positive (or negative) nature of the sentence, which retains its initial state. For instance
the two sentences below:

Sawała sa wíheyunwánets’łá

Sawała sa wíheyunwánets annésésruthax’łá

I heard that he/she/you leapt upon that
grasshopper and caught it
I heard that he/she/you leapt upon and
catch that grasshopper but not the male

The first sentence is entirely positive in nature, it states that the speaker heard that a certain
action happened, i.e. that a dragon leapt upon a grasshopper and caught it. The second sentence is
different with the inclusion of annésésruthax ‘but not the male rabbit’ which is indicated as the object
of the true-verb wána- ‘to catch.’ The infix `–sé- excludes the word to which it is attached (anne—
sruthax ‘the male rabbit’) and removes it from the sentence’s otherwise positive nature. Generally
this can be translated into English as “but not.” This form can be used with a negative statement:

Sawała sa wíheyunwánets annésésruthax qsa’łá

I heard that he/she/you did not leap upon
and catch that grasshopper but instead on
the male rabbit.

As in modern English, the inclusion of two negative statements (one indicated by the
evidential qsa and the second by the infix `–sé-) makes a positive statement, at least as regards the
second element. Essentially, since the entire sentence is negative due to the evidential qsa the
inclusion of `–sé- makes a double negative (in regards only to what it is attached to) and thus
reverses the general negative quality of the sentence but only to the noun to which applies. This is
honestly one of the most confusing aspects of Srínawésin, at least to me. The infix `–sé- voices the
vowel immediately proceeding it just like the various proximal infixes and only occurs on verb-nouns
never on true-verbs. Morphologically, this infix always occurs immediately after a verb-noun’s noun
prefix, whether it is a subject, object, reflexive object marker, locative, directive or other prefixes as

(Vocative) + {Noun Prefix + `–sé-) + (Proximal) + (Inalienable Possessive) + [ROOT


This is because this infix negativises the relationship between a verb-noun and the rest of the
sentence and is therefore logically prior to all other conditions and qualities of that verb-noun,
whether it is the verb-noun’s proximity, possessive nature, plurality or so on. This infix can be
attached to any type of verb-noun and although “but not” is the most common way of translating it,
`–sé- can also be translated in a variety of other ways depending on whether the noun to which it is
attached such as:

Tsixinix sa ríthírésin ítsísétsnušarésin ni
It can rain without there being heavy clouds in the sky

Tsiraha sa hítsá sa słanewéth ihuhawáwéth iwéséhasawéth hínáqxíháqsan násuhawán nihú!
This dead meat is really good and tasty but it isn’t better then that deer-meat over there!

To make things even more difficult and confusing, the infix `–sé- can be attached to an

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

infixed object of a transitive verb as well!:

Saxinix sa séyasúnqseru nan!
I could not smell the hummingbird (but I could smell something else)!

Although adverbs will be treated later on, it is interesting that although`–sé- causes voicing
on the syllable before it, it does not when in this form, i.e. it does not cause voicing to the particle sa
proceeding it.

5.5. “Pronouns”
Pronouns are words or phrases which stand in for noun, saving the need for constantly repeating the

names of objects within a sentence:

I see the boy (cid:108)

I see him

In this English example the noun phrase “the boy” is replaced with the pronoun “him” which stands
in for the noun phrase and otherwise agrees with the replaced noun in terms of number, gender and other
grammatical factors that are relevant to English. While other languages will divide up the nouns they use
(and therefore the pronouns used to replace them) in different ways then English does, most languages
generally use their pronouns in this basic fashion. Srínawésin’s use of pronoun forms is essentially the
same as those of the Younger Races in most respects although the Sihá rarely make use of pronoun forms,
primarily because of the structure of their language. For instance one translation of the above sentence
would be:


I see the hatchling

To “the hatchling” replaced with pronoun-form:


I see him/her/(you)

Although in English a pronoun is used as a completely separate word, in Srínawésin the usual forms
are those of affixes attached to roots, so instead of “pronouns” as separate words the appear as pronoun
affixes, i.e. affixes which agree in number, class, person and so forth with the noun they are replacing in the

Náhínerisets aQsánir sa Qxéyéš rałuxítsawésu qsanséyusu’n
Moonchild suddenly leapt from the trees into the river and grabbed the fish with her teeth

Altered into a pronoun form (both subject and object):

Náqsrisets rałuxítsawésu qsanséyusu’n
She (dragon) suddenly leapt from the trees into the river and grabbed it (aquatic) with her teeth

It would be redundant so say:

Náqsrisets rałuxítsawésu annehinín asihéš qsanséyusu’n
She (dragon) suddenly leapt from the trees into the river and grabbed it (aquatic) with her teeth

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

But it remains a grammatical (if overly specific) statement and can be used to indicate emphasis or
the like, although see section §7.8. Speech Patterns, Euphemisms and Figures of Speech on the Kindred’s
views on being overly specific. In the above examples the relative lack of pronoun-forms is obvious as the
true-verb of the sentence hardly changes form other then the simple replacement of the infixed noun híne-
‘fish’ to the appropriate object profix –aqs- (agreeing in number, class and so forth). The subject ending –ets
(Class I the Kindred) already serves as a “pronoun” as it must agree with the original explicit subject of the
sentence, –Qsánir sa Qxéyéš ‘Moonchild,’ and thus when the explicit subject of the sentence is removed the
subject ending of the true-verb attains a pronoun-like meaning which it did not originally have.

However, while Srínawésin has a form of built-in pronoun forms which are always used and are
ubiquitous, there are a select number of grammatical forms that necessitate pronouns existing on their own
as separate words rather then affix-forms (these cases do not really need to be enumerated explicitly but the
most common usages are in verb modifier constructions such as possessives as well as location phrases such
as with him, in it and the like). The Dragon Tongue creates these “pronouns” in a remarkably simple and
efficient way by making use of the “empty” root hasa- which seems to have no independent meaning or
semantic association other then to form pronouns. Essentially, in order to form a pronoun the empty
verbal root hasa- has the simple or reflexive subject affix agreeing with the person, number and class of the
original noun attached to it, thus forming the agreeing “pronoun:”

Náwałets ašiSłáya sa Snaréš, xinušéš xa?
You suddenly jumped on top of Bloody Face, my hatch-sister?


Náwałets ašihaseš, xinušéš xa?
You suddenly jumped onto him/her (dragon), my hatch-sister?

Thus, the proper noun Słáya sa Snaréš ‘Bloody Face’ is replaced by the pronoun –haséš which can be

analyzed as:

(“EMPTY” ROOT+Class I Kindred Reflexive Suffix)

This form then serves as the root for further affixes, in this case aši- ‘past tense on top of.’ Therefore

a list of all possible pronoun forms is a combination of hasa- and the appropriate reflexive forms:


I, me (formed by hasa+Ø first person null-affix)
-him/her (Class I)
it (Class II)
it (Class III)
it (Class IV)
it (Class V)
it (Class VI)
it (Class VII)
it (Class VIII)
it (Class IX)
it (Class X)
it (Class XI)


it (Class XII)
who? (Class XIII)

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred

A similar list of plural and innumerable pronouns would be formed in the usual way (ROOT+Plural

Maker+Class Marker):


we, us (very rarely used)
them/you all (Class I)
them (Class II)
them (Class III)
them (Class IV)
them (Class V)
them (Class VI)
them (Class VII)
them (Class VIII)
them (Class IX)
them (Class X)
them (Class XI)
them (Class XII)
who? (Class XIII)

Uses of these pronoun forms are fairly restricted and only crop up in particular instances,

particularly possessive forms:

Rałúhasisu sa yešúha’x?

(You) went away from whose cave?

These pronouns function as nouns in all ways, they can take adjectives, possessives, proximals and

the like, the only difference is that the original root is replaced with the root hasa-.

5.6. Gender
Gender is both a vital aspect of Srínawésin’s system of nouns and one which has virtually no
importance whatsoever. Although this seems contradictory, it is true because gender does occur in a
grammatical format but not at all as it does in Indo-European languages such as French, German, Gaelic,
Welsh, Russian and the like. Instead of grammatical gender, which all of the above languages possess, (all
words without exception have a gender, such as in Modern Welsh tirlun ‘landscape’ being masculine and
gwybodaeth ‘knowledge’ being feminine) the draconic tongue possesses an absolute gender in that gender is
only expressed grammatically in living things which are biologically male or female, or possess the requisite
male or female sexual organs and the capacity to reproduce.

However, the Dragon Tongue goes one step further then this in a rather unique way in though they
have an absolute gender expressed in their language they, in fact, have virtually no non-gender terms for a
species in its totality. For instance, the word –háqsan means ‘female deer, doe’ and –huxén means ‘male deer,
buck’ but there is no term for generic “deer” without referring to gender! This might seem extremely strange,
but it is quite logical when viewed from the dragons’ point of view: male and female animals often behave
in extremely different ways, live separately, meet only to mate, travel separately, smell differently, react to
danger (i.e. the dragon), and taste differently.

Although this is true in general, there are specific ways and rules in which the lack of generic non-
gendered terms is applied, and thus exceptions. The biggest rule is that there are no generic non-gendered
species terms for animals which are considered prey by the dragons, but non-prey animals possess generic
terminology. The biggest example of this would be the term –sihéš ‘dragon’ which is generic and non-

Srínawésin: The Language of the Kindred
gendered. The reason for this is that other dragons are not considered to be prey by other dragons (at least in
the consumptive sense of the word). However, –sríxux ‘male pig, boar’ and –thútsix ‘female pig, sow’ both
refer to the generic concept of ‘boar’ as we know it, but there is no simple word which includes both –sríxux
and –thútsix in the draconic language because they are considered to be prey animals and worthy of a gender
distinction. Other, non-living objects, such as the sun, the moon, clouds, mountains and suchlike are never
gender-differentiated as they possess no biological gender, and inedible and “disgusting” animals such as
birds, insects, arthropods and so forth are also non-gendered.

Class II Predator animals appear to have a haphazard gender assignment and there seem to be
several complex reasons for this. Class II creatures, unlike Classes III and IV are defined by their predatory
status not whether they are edible or not, therefore while many animals which are in this class may be eaten
(and often are) not all are eaten habitually and thus do not warrant a gender distinction. Additionally,
many “new” species (from the dragons’ point of view) are still in a state of flux as to whether they are
edible so a gender distinction has not yet been used with them. Dogs are an excellent example of this, and
show the way in which Srínawésin has developed over its long life. The term –xíyewíł originally referred to
all predatory canines such as wolves, coyotes, dingoes without gender distinctions (it seemed that
Moonchild often referred to Howard’s dogs as –xíyewéx or ‘prey-canines’ as they were non-predatory and
‘looked like a good meal.’ Needless to say Howard tried to keep them away from her as much as possible).
This is because the verbal root xíye- has “recently” been applied to the species we call dogs therefore there
has yet to be a gender distinction attached to them. Bloody Face informed Howard that the term –xíyewíł
originally was applied to an ancient animal which combined the traits of dogs and bears (the ancient
ancestors of both species) which was considered quite edible and thus –xíyewíł meant the female gender of
these ancient animals while –sátsáwíł was applied to the male gender of this species.

Thus, as this species began to differentiate into two definite species over (a very long) time they
entered a semantic ‘gray zone’ as far as the Shúna were concerned. Eventually the word –xíyewíł ‘female
dog-bear’ was applied primarily to wolves and the like while another word –yúšín, which apparently was
used with a wholly different extinct species, was attached to the bears of today. –Sátsáwíł fell completely
out of usage but if wolves and dogs became a big enough part of the draconic diet it would probably be
attached to male canines as opposed to female canines. Similarly, bears have “recently” been eaten more and
more by dragons and therefore the term –xwahin ‘male bear’ has been growing in usage as opposed to –yúšín
‘female bear.’ Moonchild informed Howard that the two terms –xwahin and –yúšín once referred to the
male and female genders of the original extinct prey species mentioned above, so it is likely that words
travel in pairs through the ages and as species come and go they are applied to new species and eventually
(if they are deemed “worthy” of consumption) the gendered terms are once again used to differentiate the
new species’ genders. However, I would have to live many thousands of years to prove this hypothesis
correct, but it seems logical from the descriptions of the various draconic informants in Howard’s notes.

One interesting exception noted in Davis’ papers is that of qxné(hi)- or ‘chatterer, annoying talker’
the root used to describe humans. Although speakers often place this root in Class IV Small Prey (which
would thereby need a gender specification) there does not appear to be any agreement on male vs. female
distinctions amongst speakers regarding the use of this root. Neither Moonchild nor Bloody Face
differentiated between female and male humans, simply using the term qxnéhiréx without pause. Angry
Face and several of the others seemed to use qxné(hi)- to denote ‘chatterer/human (f.)’ and snuha- as
‘chatterer/human (m.),’ although to make matters even more complex Frost Song and Black Honey
reversed this (qxné(hi)- ‘human (m.) and snuha- ‘human (f.)’)! Obviously there is no agreement on the usage
amongst the Shúna or if Davis himself simply invented the language he changed how it was used and
simply forgot that he had done this!Section V: Noun-Verbs image
Section V: Noun-Verbs image
Section V: Noun-Verbs image

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