In Progress
Lesson 4 is basically done. 5 is on the way along, should be ready by soonish. No idea when 6 will be done. I've given up predicting this... writing primers is hard.
Vaior Primer: Lessons 4-6 ($Revision: 1.3 $)

lesson four - terse alio

More on the cases. The Vaior genitive case is used for marking possessive and partitive relationships. There are no special words for my, your, etc. but instead use the genitive of the pronouns:

So ie carme vai This is my book
So aldove nai thare? Where is his house?
So aldove nai rhoni thare? Where is the man's house?
So aldove niri rhonri thare? Where is the men's house?

The default case of most prepositions that don't have to do with motion (and a few that have only a single meaningful direction) will take the genitive case most of the time. So, aith away:

Lerai rhon aith aldovei The man went away from (the/his) home.

Some verbs are typically use gentive objects, such as inlei-, to enjoy, to like. So, inleio va arhtai I enjoy tea.

Finally, the genitive is used to represent the partitive relationship: a cup of tea, three of them, some of these books. So, arhta is tea and cam is cup: cam arhtai is a cup of tea.

Some nouns and pronouns end in -u. The genitive for this is a bit irregular. Instead of *annui for "of that (person)" which would be pronounced AHN-nwee you mark the final -u with the accute giving annúi which is pronounced ahn-NOO-wee.

The last case, the instrumental, gets quite a work-out in Vaior. In addition to the typical use, representing the agency or tool by which an action is accomplished, it can be used to despecify the direct object of a sentence, goes with various prepositions for subtle changes in meaning, the direct object of verbs in the anti-passive form and in an instrumental absolue construction which I'll introduce later.

For now, we'll just use the actual instrumental meaning of the instrumental:

Tuaro na autevul. She sees by-means-of/with eye.
Madathu na tath madathintevul. He will write with a pen.

Please do not use the instrumental when you mean "together with" which would be nus + gen.. For example (CIN climb, dom mountain):

Cinai va doman nus nai. I climbed the mountain with him.
Cinai va doman navul. I climbed the mountain by means of him.

Note the difference in meaning. It's not clear to me when you'd want to actually say the second sentence, but it sounds unpleasant for the other person involved (though the navul could also refer to a horse or a mule). So, when you run across the word "with" in English, take care not to accidentally use the instrumental when you mean something else. Just keep in mind the name "instrumental" - the instrument of some action - and you should stay out of trouble.

Ie andA/au. As I mentioned in a previous lesson, the declension of ie and au is a touch irregular in a few cases. Here is a/au with the irregularities emphasized:

au, a auir
an, aien auran
ai auri
auste auraste
ausse aurasse
aulle, aielle auralle
aunte, aiente aurante
avul aurul

The au form of the nominative singular is preferred before words beginning with a vowel and a before words beginning with a consonant. The au form is also used when for the independent pronoun: so au rhon this is a man versus so a rhon viare this man is here.

The aie- forms of the singular accusative, ablative and benefactive are equally common as the shorter forms; in some speakers they are the preferred form. In analogy with these forms, there are a few alternate forms of the demonstrative ie:

ie ier, eier
ien, eien ieran
iei ieri
ieste ieraste
iesse ierasse
ielle, eielle ieralle
iente, eiente ierante
ievul ierul

Speakers prone to using aien will also prefer eien to ien. Note that there is also an alternative nominative plural form here, eier.

Dialect Note: Some people have started to take the base stem of ie to be eie-, and the base of au to be aie-. The forms listed above are most correct, but the eie-/aie- are also acceptable.

Verbs: Voice and Evidence. There are several verb voices in Vaior. We'll hit one or two a lesson for the next few lessons. So far I have only shown you the active voice, where the subject is doing something and the object is either being done to, or is the focus of the verb (obviously, merely looking at a picture doesn't change it in any way). In the passive voice, the object of the active sentance is made the subject. This is like English. In Vaior, a verb is made passive by suffixing -au- to the stem, then conjugating that. Note the future, where you have to use an -h- to prevent the illegal vowel cluster *uu:

tuarai va I saw tuarauai va I was seen
tuaro va I see tuarauo va I am seen
tuaru va I will see tuarauhu va I will be seen

The passive marker may interact with the derivational suffixes in interesting ways. As with the derivational suffixes, the passive marker applies to everything that has gone before. So:

tuarautuvo va I want to-be-seen.
tuartuvauo va I am wanted to see.
tuarautuvauo va I am wanted to be seen.

The agent of a passive sentence, which in English is marked with the word "by," is expressed in the ablative case:

tuarauo va asulle tathalle I am seen by that woman.
ercorhauai na valle. She was listened to by me.

Do take care, though, to distinguish the agent of a passive sentence from the instrumental:

Campo Nico van. Dick hits me..
Campo Nico van carmevul. Dick hits me with a book..
Campauo va Nicolle. I am hit by Dick.
Campauo va carmevul. I am hit with a book.
Campauo va Nicolle carmevul. I am hit by Dick with a book.

And one reminder about the ablative case: you may omit the final -e: Nicolle or Nicoll. You don't mark the elision with an apostrophe like some languages, but you do keep the accent on the syllable that had it when the -e was still there: niCOLle and niCOLL.

Evidence. It is possible in Vaior to comment on the evidence for a statement you're making. This is of course also possible in English, but the matter is handled very differently in Vaior: evidence markers are suffixed directly to the verb after it has been marked for tense. There are several, but I'll start off with three:

  • -han - reported fact to which to speaker has no direct knowledge
  • -hanin - reported fact from an untrusted source, so the speaker is adding an implication of disbelief with this
  • -s - speaker has direct knowledge about the statement

Some examples:

Leraihan na aldoven. He went home (I heard).
Leraihanin na aldoven. He went home (I heard, but don't believe).
Lerais na aldoven. He went home (I saw).

Normally it isn't necessary to use these evidence markers unless you wish to make it clear how you come by the information you're making a statement about. In formal contexts, however, or when you're being particularly polite, it is expected that you'll use these markers much more frequently. If someone you're talking to suddenly starts using evidence markers on all indicative verbs, then you know he's gone formal on you. Also, if there is some discussion involving questions of evidence, then you should use them.

That and that. In a previous chapter I introduced two words for "that," asu for animate creatures and ase for inanimate things. These words for "that" refer to things at a middle distance. When juxtaposed to au/ie they often mean "that X near you." To refer to things at a greater distance ("yon, yonder") you have annu or the shorter nu for animates and enne or ne for inanimates. So:

Tuarai va eien carmen, asen carmen ach ennen carmen. I see this book, that book near you and that book (way over there.)
Leru nu rhon úeru. That man will go soon.

You may use either the long or the short form of these as you see fit, though enne is more commonly used than ne since the latter is easy to confuse with en and na.


aune - sister
auach - brother
rhove - hand

ERB - to dwell, reside, live (at a place, not in the sense of alive)

Demonstratives, Pronouns
anda - much, many (animate form)
ande - much, many (inanimate form)
lul, lula - no, not any; no one (animate form)
líe - no, not any; nothing (inanimate form)
cúa - all, every; everyone (animate form)
cúe - all, every; everything (inanimate form)

Note: just like many of the demonstrative pronouns, the word for "much, many" must agree in animacy with the word it goes with. Normally in the singular it means "much, much a, a lot of" or even "a huge, large" depending on context.

ander carmer many books
andar maithir many people
auvi andesse mavesse in front of much (a) door, in front of a great door

The la/líe and cúe/cúa pairs can be used either alone or may modify another word:

Ercorho lul vaste No one listens to me.
Ercorho lul vin vaste No child listens to me.
Tuaro va líen I see nothing.
Tuaro va líen holen I see no chair.
Ertuartuvo na cúen He wants to look at everything.
Ertuartuvo na cúeran He wants to look at all things.
Ertuartuvo na cúan maithen He wants to look at every person.
Paio cúa eien. Everyone knows this.
Paio cúar eien. All know this.

aith + gen. - away (from)
nus + gen. - "together with, with," don't confuse this with the instrumental
thiuhen - why
thíal - how
arelle, arell - because (the form arell is commonly used before words starting with a vowel, but by no means required in that position)

Exercises 4a. Tersia 4a.

  1. Aistauai enne mave aldovei lervinu.
  2. Leruhan na an ennen aldoven annúi rhoni.
  3. Lu paiauo ie andaralle.
  4. Thiuhen erbo va nus ai rhoni?
  5. Lertuvai cúa aith narelle.
  6. Cathauai ie carme naste aunelle vai.
  7. Erbo sa nus thei? Erbo va nus lulai.
  8. Campai vinne auachan rhovevul. Campauai na vinnelle rhovevul.
  9. Paituvus cúa eien.
  10. Thíal evarauai ie naste?
  11. Lero va aldoven nus sai, arelle penthatuvo va.
  12. Viaren talai na nus aunei vai.
  13. Tuarautuvo vinach cúalle.
  14. Thiuhen cathai sa cúen naste?
  1. This man went into this town with me.
  2. That woman was seen yesterday (I saw).
  3. No one will want to remain.
  4. That was not seen by many (people).
  5. She read these books because she wanted to know everything.
  6. We will go with no one.
  7. That book will be given to this man.
  8. She will live with this woman soon (so I've heard, but don't believe).
  9. The boy was hit by the girl with a rock (nal).
  10. He went home with no one.
  11. No one will want to go there with us (incl.).
  12. Where do they live now?
  13. The man hit me with his hand.
  14. Why does no one listen?

But, but, but... One of the most important little words in the Vaior language is ta. It is a conjunction, which means it joins sentences. In dictionaries the meaning of ta is give as "but, and" but this misses the real flavor of the word. Often it does mean "but." However, it just as often doesn't necessarily imply a very strong contrast, so "and" may be the better translation. Finally, often ta can be translated as "and then." This use of ta to connect several sentences which logically follow one another is extremely common - much more common than the same words "and, but" are in English.

Moreover, not only is ta quite common, it has a tendency to deform the syntax of the language to meet its needs. So far we have stuck with the basic Vaior word order: Verb Subject Object Indirect-Object. In the most common usage ta will leave the word order intact, but will insert itself immediately after the first word of the phrase. This is an enclitic particle, which means that ta is never allowed to start a sentence or a phrase:

Lero va aldoven, penthu ta va. I go home and then will sleep.
Apeiai vin, lu ta silho na. The child sat down but doesn't remain.
Tuaro va annun rhonan, ais ta lu lairho va nan. I see that man, but I still don't know him.

This location for ta - second element in a phrase - is quite common. However, it may be found deeper in a sentence or phrase, but we'll hold off on the discussion of that for a later lesson where it pairs up with another similar particle.

Probably the most confusing use of ta is purely emphatic. If you wish to emphasize a word or item in a sentence you can simply shift it to the head of the sentence: annun tathan lu lairho va I don't know that woman. Very often this emphasized phrase or word will take ta mark it even more clearly: annun ta tathan lu lairho va. Often translating ta as "but" works fine in these cases, but not always:

Carme ta vai so thare? Where is my book?
Vin ta faunai maven The child closed the door.
Nen ta maven faunai vin The child closed that door.
Tha ta so nu rhon? Who is that man?

Sequence of Tenses. Now that we have the tools to form more complex sentences, it is necessary to mention a vitally important facet of how the tenses are used when you string several phrases together:

Once a tense is established in the primary clause, all other verb tenses are in realtion to that tense.

This is quite different from English, but is common in some other languages. Note very carefully the tenses of the Vaior sentences below and the tenses of the verbs in the English translations:

Lerai va aldoven, arelle penthatuvo va. I went home because I was tired.
Paiai va eien, arelle pionai va carmen sai. I knew this because I had read your book.
Evarai va ennen, arelle leru va aithu. I said this because I would go/be-going away.

In each of these sentences above the primary tense is in the past. All subsequent statements are thus in relation to the past. In English, if we have two events happening at the same time in the past, then both events are given in the past tense. So, in the first sentence, the "because" clause is cast in the present tense to indicate that it happened at the same time as the primary clause. Thus, "I went home because I was tired (at the same time.)" In the second sentence, we have to translate the verb as "had read" to indicate that the action was in the past to an already past statement. Finally, in English, to say something is happening in the future relative to past time, you have to use the word "would."

This use of tenses relative the tense of the main clause applies to all types of complex sentences, as well as particles and complement infinitives which we shall see in later chapters. So, pay attention to the tense in the exercises, and especially when checking them against the answers. This relative tense usage isn't terribly odd, really, but is surprising to native speakers of English and a few other modern Indo-European languages.

Ro: the Perfect particle So far we have seen the three base tenses of the Vaior verb: past, present and future. As in many languages, Vaior has a perfect form. The general meaning of perfect verbs is simply that the action was completed and that it is still completed at the time represented by the tense of the verb..

In English, the perfect is indicated with the helping verb "have" followed by a past participle: I have seen, I have run, I have closed. In Vaior, the perfect is indicated by the little particle ro which always immediately precedes the verb, with the single exception that ta and me are allowed to come between ro and its verb: ro me fauno va maven I have also shut the door.

So, the present perfect, ro fauno va maven, simply indicates I have closed the door without reference to when that happened, merely that the door is still closed at the moment. Ro faunai va maven means I had closed the door and depending on context may well include the meaning "but it isn't closed now."

Some examples:

lero vachir we go
lerai vachir we went
ro lero vachir we have gone

ro lerai vachir we had gone
ro leru vachir we will have gone

Derivations. Another basic part of speech in Vaior is the adverb, which indicates manner or degree, and modifies verbs and adjectives. Several, like úeru, have been introduced in the vocabularies and are primitive adverbs. That is, they aren't derived from other words. Derived adverbs are quite common, and are normally marked with the suffix -íal: ciaríal healthily, maithíal humanly, etc.

Adverbs are used very often when a single word comment is being made, even from verbs that you might not think are suitable. So, instead of saying tispo ie compute van this computer is irritating me you could more laconically say tispíal irritating.

-env- - "finally X." You can also attach this to nouns, to create things like rhonenve the finally man (it took him long enough to grow up). A more common use, tharenvo va eien I finally understand this.

-thum- - "willingly." For example, lerthumu na aldoven she will go home willingly.

-saum- - "unwillingly." For example, Orsaumu nir saste they will speak to you unwillingly.

-chall- indicates the action benefits the speaker in some way. This is a more subtle derivational marker than we have seen so far. It can be attached to any verb, but may sometimes be tacked onto a noun which was the agent of some benefit to the speaker, such as computachalle a computer which benefited the speaker or tuarchallai va nan I saw him - to my benefit.. Do not attach this to people's names or nouns that refer to people like rhon, vin, aune, etc.... it's incredibly rude.

Being and Nothingness: IL and NUCHAL. The idea conveyed by the English phrase "there is/are" is expressed in Vaior with the verb IL:

ilo carme there is a book
ilo carme viare or viare ilo carme There is a book here
nare ilu caua there will be coffee there

To express "there is/are not," though, you do not use the negative with IL but instead the special verb NUCHAL:

nuchalai carme there wasn't a book
nuchalo caua viare there isn't coffee here


Take note of the definitions of verbs. While most verbs take direct objects in the accusative case, some take other cases. You will notice below that telefonath- takes the dative, however: telefonathu va niraste tavinu I will telephone them tomorrow.

arhta - tea
astia - friend
caua - coffee (pronounce KAH-wah)
cauaire - coffee house
compute - computer; you can also use the native Vaior word ospathinte for this
telefone - telephone

CON - drink
FID - be fast, rapid
inlei- - to enjoy, like (something, never someone) + gen.
LUAL - perform, function
SAMP - be correct
telefonath- - call s.o. (+ dat.) on the telephone
UAS - be slow
ULD - send

achur - near, beside
ais lu - not yet (note: don't say lu ais...)
landu - never
lerlailu - last night
lure - nowhere
naldu - then
taul - therefore, and so; often used like an enclitic, similar to ta, but this isn't required.
thaldu - when?

Exercises 4b. Tersia 4b.

A reminder: with prepositions that indication motion or location, the accusative is used to indicate destination, the ablative motion away from and the locative to indicate static non-moving location:

Silho va achur sasse. I stand near you.
Lero va achur san. I go (to) near you, toward you.
Lero va achur salle I go from you.

All other prepositions will take either the genitive or the instrumental, and will be noted as necessary in the vocabularies.

  1. Lairho va nan, lu ta tuartuvo va nan airu.
  2. Au ta rhon lu orohan Vaioran sampíal.
  3. Han inleio sa arhtai, e nath? Conthumo va arhtan.
  4. Thiuhen lu oro sa uasíal?
  5. Landu conohanin annu rhon cauan.
  6. Pionthumu lul eien fidíal.
  7. Inleio va computeri airu, arelle lualenvo en vai sampíal. (en vai - "it of me", i.e., "mine")
  8. Paienvachallo va eien!
  9. So telefone ai tathi thare?
  10. Ro ercorhsaumo na andaran.
  11. "Lerenvu vachir thaldu aldoven nai?" "Landu aldoven nai."
  12. Han ilo telefone viare? Nuchalo.
  13. Han ilo arhta iesse cauairesse? Han ei caua? Cauan ta landu conthumo va.
  14. Silho hol achur thesse an milasse? Achur divesse.
  15. Lu ro tuaro va niran. Han sa?
  16. Ais lu ro lualo ie fidíal.
  17. Lerlailu tuartuvai va lulan, silhai taul va aldoven.
  18. Uldu tath carmen vaste achur astialle.
  1. He speaks correctly.
  2. I will go home slowly with my friend.
  3. No compter works correctly, but every telephone does work correctly.
  4. I will see all (my) friends at the coffee house tomorrow.
  5. I unwillingly said nothing.
  6. This computer works very slowly.
  7. Everyone is calling me today.
  8. I haven't sent this yet.
  9. Many people do not like coffee.
  10. They finally sent me the telephone.
  11. I enjoy coffee, but never willingly drink tea.
  12. When will you finally call us (excl.)?
  13. My friend finally called me, to my benefit.

lesson five - terse serio

One the one hand... Vaior likes to make comparisons and contrasts. Sequences of related sentences will always have some connective words linking them. These linking words often differ from one another in fairly subtle ways. Of course, English does the same thing with "then he said," "before we left," "because it was hot," &c., and Vaior has these conjunctions, too, but it has some others which act rather differently, as you discovered in the previous lesson with ta. There are a few more words which act like ta.

Here is a quick list of the relevent enclitic conjunctions. Remember that the enlitics have no accent of their own and they must follow some other word, generally one you wish to emphasize:

  • ta - this means "but" or "and" but is often used simply to emphasize a word, which may or may not be shifted to the head of the phrase
  • uri - "on the one hand," this sets up a contrast and will, if the speaker isn't interrupted, be followed by a clause using ta.
  • me - "also" like ta often comes after the second word of a sentence, but may also be found anywhere following the word it modifies
  • min - this means "for" in the sense of "because." This always appears near the very beginning of a sentence.
  • taul "and so; therefore; then;" this can be used anywhere in a sentence, but has strong enclitic tendencies. Often used as a filler word, like "well" in English.

While all of the words in the list above are used quite a lot in Vaior, by far the most important are ta and uri which are used very, very often together, with uri setting up some statement to which ta will provide some contrast. You can think of uri... ta... as on the one hand... on the other hand but often the contrast is much more subtle. Here are some examples to give you a feel for these. Often I don't bother to translate them very strongly at all:

Aith uri aldovelle lerai na, an ta aldoven talai va. He went away from (the) house, but I came into (the) house.
Eien uri paio va, ennen ta lu. This I understand, but not that.
Inleio va uri iei enthiari, astia ta vai lu. I like this restaurant, but my friend (does) not.

It's not uncommon to see several of these enclitics piling on top of each other, espcially ta and me. For example, leri vachir, ertuari ta me úai Let's go and take a look!

Of the group, min is used a lot in follow-up sentences which the reason for something, or even why the person made the previous sentence. Vaior really likes to connect sentences together in some way, but this enthusiasm for linking is not terribly common in English. So, when translating Vaior you may not want to translate the min literally as "for" or "because", since both will sound a little stilted if you use them as frequently as they appear in Vaior. For example, in one of the dialogs below, Jane says this, while talking about a restaurant under discussion: Ce corho va landu rul enul. Han cisco ir sater? Lu min inleio va sateri cisciri. I've never heard about this. Are the dishes spicy? (For) I don't like spicy dishes. So, she uses min to make a statement about why she askes about the spiciness of the restaurant's dishes.

Adjectives. We have encountered a few adjectives in earlier lessons. In all those cases I brushed over what most learners will find one of the odder features of Vaior grammar, namely that the adjective is often used as a verb, what I'll call a stative verb from here on. The first example you had was CIAR to be in good health/spirits in han ciaro sa? are you well?

So, all stative verbs (i.e. adjectives) are treated like verbs. Some examples (CHUL to be black, TAIS to be small):

taiso ie this is small
chulo nal the stone is black
ciaru vinne the girl will be in good health

When you wish to use these stative verbs to modify a noun, that is, "the black stone" rather than as a statement, "the stone is black" you can treat the stative verb just like a noun stem. As in many languages, a modifying adjective must agree in number and case with the noun it modifies. In Vaior, modifying adjectives generally follow their nouns. Here are some examples:

  1. so nal chul thare where is the black stone?
  2. tuarai va nalan chulan I saw the black stone
  3. piono vinne ciar carmeran taisran the healthy/happy girl is reading small books

A fair number of stative verbs have a dictionary form which end in consonants that are not allowed to fall at the end of a Vaior word. For example, CISC hot/spicy can be used fine as a stative verb, cisco ne sate andul that dish is very spicy, but *sate cisc is illegal, since a Vaior word cannot end in two consonants. So, you need some special way to handle adjectives in the nominative singular. It turns out that stative verb stems that end in two consonants simply add a final -a: sate cisca a spicy dish. Different verbs handle the problem differently, though many simply add the final -a. In vocabulary and dictionary listings, the adjective form is given in parenthesis after the stem form, like this: CISC (cisca).

Here is a list of the nominative singular substantive form for stative verbs you've seen so far:

  • CIAR, be well, in good health/spirits: ciar
  • FID, be fast, rapid: fin
  • SAMP, be correct: sampa
  • UAS, be slow: uas

Giving commands. When giving commands in Vaior you use the imperative mood. There is an imperative form for each of the three tenses, and it may be confusing to an English speaker to try to understand when you'd ever give a command in the past. This will explained in a later section, so for now you most need to know the present tense imperative for giving commands: simply add -i to the verb stem: leri! go!, tali viaren come here!, &c..

Normally you won't give a bare imperative unless you're speaking to a child or a soldier under your command. It's considered rude to give a bald command to anyone else, and there are ways to moderate the tone of a command. First, you may add the particle úai to the end of the command, which is neutral and is sufficient to moderate an imperative enough for use with anyone. Next, you can add the phrase mido va I ask, I request to either the start or the end of the imperative, which is a bit more formal. Most formally, you'd replace mido va with mido uinna where uinna is a rather formal way of saying "I."

Silhi viare! Stay here!
Silhi viare úai. Stay here, please.
Silhi viare, mido va. Stay here, please.
Mido va, silhi viare. I ask (that) you stay here.
Mido uinna, silhi viare úai. One asks that you please remain here.

Even though mido va means "I request" you're still giving commands in all the sentences above even if they are very polite commands, since you're using the imperative. Making a polite request is handled differently, and will be discussed in a later chapter.

Finally, you can use the imperative with other pronouns. For example, if you were telling a bunch of kids to go away, leri sir aithu! You can also use it with the first person pronoun, in the sense of "let us, let's:" leri vachir aldoven airu (úai) let's go home now.

Middle and Reflexive Verbs. In the previous lesson I introduced the passive voice, that is, the difference between "I see" and "I am seen." It turns out that there are many more voice possibilities than just the active and the passive. Different languages have different numbers of voices available to them. Vaior has seven.

When thinking about these different voices there are two things to keep in mind about what a change in voice represents: valence and salience. First, the agent (do-er) and patient or focus (do-ee) often move about in a voice change. For the passive example, in "I am seen by him" what was once the object of the sentence ("me" in "he sees me") has become the subject. You can even say "I am seen" and in this case the original subject has disappeared altogether. This arrangement and number of subjects and objects is the valence of a verb. A switch in voice also entails a switch in salience, in what the speaker considers most important. Obviously the relationship between salience and valence is quite high, but keeping both in mind during discussions of voice will help you understand what is going on and why it is important.

Middle: -i-
Reflexive: -ei-

In the middle voice, the object of an active sentence becomes the subject, and the original subject disappears altogether. You can do this with a passive, too, tuarauo va I am seen but in the passive the original subject is at least implied. In the middle, you cannot even mention it: the agent is irrelevant:

tuaro na van he sees me
tuarauo va (nalle) I am seen (by him)
tuario va I am seen

lairho va nu maith I know that person
lairhauo nu maith valle that person is known by me
lairhio nu maith that person is known

As you can see in these examples above, it's often easiest to translate the middle into English as an agentless passive.

The reflexive voice simply indicates that the agent and the patient of a verb are the same: tuareio va I see myself.

It is vitally important for native speakers of English to pay close attention to the use of voice in Vaior. It turns out that English does in fact have a middle voice, but it is indicated entirely by syntax. It's easy to overlook how complex a verb like "move" (PARV, is in English:

parvai va holan I moved a chair
parvauai hol valle a chair was moved by me
parviai hol a chair moved

parveiai va aithu I moved (myself) away (by my own effort)
parviai va aithu I moved away (who knows how)
parvauai va aithu I was moved away

So, please note very, very carefully the difference between parvauai en hol the chair was moved, parviai en hol the chair moved and the rather spooky parveiai en hol the chair moved (itself). The situation for people is a little more complex: parvai va aithen I moved something, parvauai va I was moved (by whom/what unspecified but implied), parviai va I moved (agency irrelevant) and parveiai va I moved (by my own agency).

Howdy. As you've seen in the dialogs, there are several ways to say hello and good-bye in Vaior:

  • saremon - a polite greeting, sometimes formal, only for greeting
  • airenen - used in both formal and informal contexts, can be used for both "hello" and "good-bye"
  • arau - an infromal variety of airenen

Each of these may be followed with the words euei, pini or laili for "good morning", "good day" and "good evening" respectively (eue - morning, pin - day, lail - evening, night). So, airenen euei "good morning." Some people put the time words at the front: euei arau! good morning!.

Some vocabulary:

carsone - waiter, waitress; this is from the French word garçon. While that word is expressly masculine in French, the Vaior version has no gender significance at all.
covambe - bill, lit. "collection of costs"
cual - fruit; squash, cucumbers and zucchini all count as fruit
dalvia - work, labor
enthiar - restaurant
fil - garlic
foth - vegetable
iettinn - meat; flesh
irvasinn - mirror
lef - bread
lune - soup; stew; you drink soup, not eat it, in Vaior
meich - mushroom
míe - rice
mos - bowl
nace - knife
osrin - cheese
roch - spoon
satambe - menu, lit. "collection of dishes"
sate - "a dish," as in "main dish;" a food course

CISC (cisca) - to be hot (as in spicy, piquant... not temperature)
DALV - to work, to labor
ihinath - to be clear, transparent; to be bland (in flavor, &c.)
LARTH (lartha) - to be fresh (of food)
LUD - to cook
MALCH - ( to (take a) taste
MARIT (marith) to be hungry
NUAL (nual) to be new
PARV ( to move
SAIT - to eat
UIR - to be thirsty

culdu - always
ei... ei...; eia... eia... either... or...
haulu - often
lor - without + gen.
ol - out, out of, out from; + genitive due to, because of
rhai - perhaps, maybe
sía, síe - a few, a little (bit of)
see (pronounced "sehhhh") means something like "yeah" and "well..." You can draw it out if you wish, seeee, with a dropping pitch.
tuvíal - at will, as you wish, as one wishes

Olorathatier: when describing dishes, the main ingredient of a dish will typically be in the genitive. So, a "cheese dish" is sate osrini; a meat stew is lune iettinni.

In addition to it's location/motion meaning, the preposition ol can be used with the genitive to indicate origin or cause: ol irvasinni because of the mirror.


(Friends meeting accidentally after work)
Nico: Hei, e Sein, han valdai dalvia sai?
Sein: Arau, e Nico. Seri, valdai. Han ciaro sa?
Nico: Ciar andu. Nus vai leri enthiaran nualan úai!
Sein: Then enthiaran nualan?
Nico: Enthiaran Irvasinnan. 1
Sein: Ce corho va landu rul enul. Han cisco ir sater? Lu min inleio va sateri cisciri.
Nico: Seeee, ilo sater ciscir uri, ilos ihinathir 2 ta me.
Sein: Valdíal, 3 e Nico, leri vachir, malchi ta me úai! 4 Marito va andul.

Nick: Hey, Jane, was your work pleasant?
Jane: Hi, Nick. Yes, it was fine. How are you?
Nick: Very well. Come with me to a new restaurant!
Jane: To what new restaurant?
Nick: To the "Mirror."
Jane: I have never heard about it. Are the dishes spicy? I don't like spciy food.
Nick: Wellll, there are spciy dishes, but there are also plain (ones)
Jane: OK, Nick, let's go and try (them)! I am very hungry.


  1. Enthiar Irvasinn - when giving the name of an establishment normally you always say what sort it is. So, never just "The Mirror" but "Restaurant The Mirror."
  2. ilos ta ihinathir me - if it's clear what it refers to, you can drop the noun an adjective is modifying. In this phrase, since we know we're talking about sater there is no reason to repeat it, though you could also say ilos ta sater ihinathir me.

    Also note ilos. It is ilo with the evidence marker -s indicating the speaker has direct knowledge about the matter.

  3. Valdíal - this is a catch-all phrase for "good, great, let's!" and so on.
  4. malchi ta me úai - again, since we know what is refered to, the dishes at The Mirror, there is no need to mention them explicitly. Jane could have said, more fully, malchi ta me iran úai.

(Enthiarass Irvasinnasse) 1
Carsone2: Mido va, e nathir,3 apeihi úai.
Sein: E carsone nath, latiaren.
Carsone: Ilo satamber. Han coniaran?4
Nick: Ais lu, e nath
Sein: Han ilo arhta?
Carsone: Ilo5, e nath.
Sein: Arhtan6 taul, mido va.
Carsone: E nathir....7
Nico: Saitu sa then saten? Han síeran, rhai?
Sein: Ais lu paio va. Theri ta sateri inleio sa, e Nico?
Nico: Lunei ta fili inleio va. Lartho min fil andul.
Sein: Han míei meichi?8
Nico: See, lu inleio va meichi, astiar ta vai inleio satei.
Sein: Va ta inleio meichi andul!
Carsone: Theran ta sateran, e nathir?
(to be continued...)

Waiter: Please, be seated.
Jane: Thank you.
Waiter: Here are menus. Something to drink?
Nick: Not yet, please.
Jane: Is there tea?
Waiter: There is.
Jane: Tea, then, please.
Waiter: Very well.
Nick: What dish will you have? Or dishes, perhaps?
Jane: I don't know yet. Which dishes do you like, Nick?
Nick: I like the garlic soup. The garlic is very fresh.
Jane: And the rice with mushroom?
Nick: Well, I don't like mushroom, but my friends like the dish.
Jane: I like mushrooms a lot!
Carsone: Which dishes for you then?


  1. This part of the dialog is much harder to capture correctly in English: the Vaior is fairly casual and abbreviated, while still being polite. The politeness is conveyed primarily by addressing people with nath and use of tone-moderating particles such as úai.
  2. Carsone could refer to either a waiter or a waitress.
  3. There is no single, gender neutral word to translate nathir here. In any case, the carsone is asking both of them to seat themselves (ap-ei-hi).
  4. In the phrase han coniaran the word for drinks is in the accusative. This is because the carsone has abbreviated the phrase from "would you like to have drinks" or something similar. In any case, the verb would take a direct object, so coniar must be in the accusative.
  5. Since every knows that tea is being discussed, there's no need for the carsone to say anything more than "there is" even though this leaves ilo without a stated subject.
  6. We'll cover the vocabulary for different kinds of tea later. See note 4 for the use of the accusative here.
  7. Here the carsone simply acknowledges his guests before leaving.
  8. Here míei is again in the genitive since it is the object of the omitted inleio.

Exercises 5a. Tersia 5a.

  1. Lualo telefone uri vai sampíal, compute ta lu.
  2. Lu inleio va uri ennei enthiari, arelle cisco sater andul. Astiar ta vai inleio.
  3. Saitai mir me iesse enthiarasse.
  4. Ol satei larthi saito va haulu ness enthiarasse. (ness < nesse, ne-sse, "at that")
  5. Saitio ie sate thíal? Ei rochul ei ol mosalle.
  6. Lairhio asu tath.
  7. Penthi vachir úeru, e nathir!
  8. An aldovesse vai saitio sater ciscir fidíal.
  9. Iei ta satei cisci inleio va andul.
  10. Evariohanin eier.
  11. Lu ludo na uri aune, va ta haulu.
  12. "Han uiro sa?" "Seri. Leri vachir cauairen."
  13. Han aistio mave? Lo, faunios en.
  14. Nus ta thai tuarauai sa iess enthiarasse?
  1. My sister likes meat dishes, but I do not.
  2. My brother likes cheese dishes, but does not eat fruit. Note: use "fruits" for the general notion here.
  3. This woman also likes coffee.
  4. I tasted a very spicy vegetable soup.
  5. The hungry child wants to eat now (I know for sure).
  6. With whom will you drink at the cafe?
  7. Their spicy dishes are eaten.
  8. Come with me to my friend's home!
  9. In this restaurant the plain dishes are eaten quickly. (agency irrelevent)
  10. She was seen here yesterday (I hear).
  11. Why did he move (to) near the door?


  1. har
  2. tin
  3. san
  4. al
  5. ser
  6. pam
  7. cen
  8. fur
  9. rith, ri
  10. auta
  11. atarr
  12. atinn
  13. aussann
  14. atall
  15. autaser
  16. autapam
  17. autacen
  18. autafur
  19. autarith
  20. tinde
  21. tinde har
  22. tinde tin
  23. tinde san

The cardinal numbers in Vaior are basically adjectives. They are declined like adjectives to agree in case with the noun they modify, but they don't change for number. Unlike most adjectives, but similarly to most demonstrative pronouns, numbers tend to come before their noun:

  • Tuaro va haran rhonan. I see one man.
  • Tuaro va sanan tathran. I see three women.
  • Tuaro va alan maithran ciarran I see four healthy people.

Time. Now that we have a few numbers, we can start to talk about time. Already we have encountered a few words such as apinu today, tavinu tomorrow, and so on. When talking about time there are generally four ways you can go: 1) you can talk about how long, 2) you can talk about when, at what time, 3) you can talk about since when and 4) you can talk about until when. English has slightly different ways to represent these, and so does Vaior, sometimes by using a particular case for the time word, and sometimes, as in Enlgish, by using a preposition:

  • how long (thíaldu or even sometimes thíaldulle) - use the ablative, pinrall alalle for four days

  • when, at what time (thaldu) - use the accusative, lailan in the evening

  • since when (ol thaldu) - use ol with the genitive, ol pinri seri since five days (ago), but not when the time word is an adverb ending in -u when there is no case marking at all: ol lervinu since yesterday.

  • until when (an thaldu) - use an with the accusative, an lailan until evening. Again, no case change when using an adverb: an alailu until this evening.

Probably the hardest part to remember will be the since when syntax, since ol would not normally take the genitive case. In a future lessons I'll introduce some more time words and will review this briefly again there.

Adverb Groups. There are all sorts of qualifications you can work into a sentence to make the meaning more precise. You can say when the action of the sentence happened, both by tense and other time words, you can say where something happened and you can say how something happened.

Once again, it turns out different languages expect the Time, Manner and Place to go in a different order. In English, we generally put place before time: I went yesterday to the restaurant sounds a little strange. In Vaior, the general order is Manner - Time - Place/Direction with the exception that any of these phrases can be moved to the head of the sentence for emphasis:

Lerai va lervinu enthian. but also...
Enthian lerai va lervinu. and, rarely:
*Lervinu lerai va enthian.

The last sentence is marked with a star to indicate that it isn't quite correct Vaior. When you move a time adverb or a time phrase to the head of a sentence, you have to follow it with ar before continuing the rest of the sentence:

Lervinu ar lerai va enthiaran. Yesterday I went to a restaurant.

Good. There is no single word for "good" in Vaior. In English, the word covers a lot of ground, with meanings from "pleasant" to "ethical" which is quite a stretch. In Vaior, you must choose the correct one:

  • LAM for "skillful, functional, appropriate for a function"
  • SEN for "ethical, nice, kind"
  • VALD (valda) for "pleasant"

Most of the time when you want to say say "good" during a conversation mostly as filler, you should normally use valdíal. Matching all these words for "good," though not quite perfectly, are several "bad" words:

  • ullam- "broken, unskillful"
  • SALCH (salcha) "unethical; unkind"
  • URV (urva) "unpleasant"

Again, in normal conversation, you'll usually want to use the word urvíal as a general "this is not so good" filler word.

Good, better, best. Comparing degrees of a quality (better, best, faster, fastest, etc) in Vaior is handled a little differently in Vaior (no surprise). Perhaps the biggest difference is that not only are there -er and -est markers, but the idea of "less X" and "least X" are also indicated with affixes:

  • mie-: more, -er
  • has- + C, hatt- + V: most, -est
  • sal-: less
  • saim-: least

Notice that the superlative prefix is different depending one whether it is prefixed to a word starting in a vowel or a consonant: hatturva most unpleasant, but hasvalda most pleasant.

When you are comparing with something, the thing compared to goes in the ablative. So, na rhon miepauch the stupider man but na rhon miepauch valle the man stupider than me. Some more examples:

mielamo ie this is better
mielamo ie ennelle this is better than that
haslamo ie this is best
haslamo ie ennerelle this is best of those

salrhiso na he is less stupid
salrhiso na valle he is less stupid than me
saimrhiso na vachiralle he is least stupid of us

(Just a note that really, Vaior does have two words for stupid: rhis which usually means "they should have known better" and pauch which implies an innate stupidity, and isn't really a very nice word.)

English will sometimes use "most" as a simple emphatic, "that party was most enjoyable." You can not use the superlative this way in Vaior.

Participles. Another very useful and very common verb form available in Vaior is the participle. This is basically a verbal adjective which modifies a noun, specifying it in some way, "the sleeping child," "the walking student," etc. In Vaior participles have tense though it takes a little work to translate that into English. The participle is formed by adding -th to a conjugated verb (DAIP to walk):

past: tath daipaith a woman having walked
present: tath daipoth a walking woman
future: tath daiputh a woman about to walk

Just like other adjectives, participles must agree in number and case with the noun they go with:

Tuaro va tathan daipothan. I see a walking woman.
Tuaro va tathran daipothran. I see a walking women.

Though the participle is in some ways like an adjective, it is still a verb form, so the participle can take objects and other modifiers. Some shuffling of the word order of the non-participle phrase may be necessary to avoid ambiguities:

Tuaro va tathan daipothan fidíal aldoven. I see a woman walking home quickly.
Aldoven lero tath daipoth fidíal. The woman walking quickly is going home.
Lero tath daipoth fidíal aldoven. "The woman walking quickly is going home." or "The woman walking quickly home is going."

Because of these ambiguities, participle phrases modifying the subject of a sentence are particularly prone to shifting to the head of a sentence. Also, it is quite common for the objects and other modifiers of a participle/noun pair to be wedged between the two: tuaro va tathan fidí aldoven daipothan.

Participle phrases can be a little tricky to translate into English. They sometimes represent a contrast, or another amplification of the meaning, for which English speakers would normally use some conjunction:

Ais uiro rhon conaith anden. Having drunk much, the man is still thirsty; although he drank a lot, the man is still thirsty.

So, when doing the English-to-Vaior exercises below, keep in mind how participles can be used.

Amounts. The Vaior word thíam means how much, how many. Sometimes it acts like an adjective, conai sa thíaman cauan? how much coffee did you drink, but just as often it is followed by what's known as the "partitive genitive", how much of coffee did you drink conai sa thíaman cauai. Both of these constructions are correct, but in general individual speakers will prefer one form to another. So, don't mix and match too much: pick one.

When you want to talk about more of something, use miethíam (more-how-much): miethíaman arhtai, úai more tea, please. Be careful, though, to distinguish this "more" from the "more" used to make comparative adjectives, "more intelligent."

Some vocabulary:

arra - minute
assuce - sugar
eue - morning; euatie - dawn
halle - salt
lail - night, evening
pin - day
raide - hour
un - water

CAUHAD (cauhada, cauhan) - to be difficult
HONL (honla) - to be sweet (sugary, or of fruit)
IASIM - to be sweet (of spices or smells)
MAC - get, acquire
MALD - prefer, consider best + abl. of thing compared to: maldo va arhtan caualle I prefer tea to coffee
MIND - to happen, occur
PITH - to be hot
SACHR - to remember, recall
SANTH - to laugh
ULM (ulma) - to be tired

ailidu - sometimes
funíal - of course, naturally
lorull - except, excluding, besides + gen.
miethíam - more (of)
thíam - how much
thíamatíal - a little bit

Exercises 5b. Tersia 5b.

  1. Ais marito tath conaith lunen.
  2. Ludai na evaroth astiaraste.
  3. Lorull auri vinri, maldo tha sateran miehonliran?
  4. Penthaihanin vin cúelle lailalle.
  5. Arhtan honlan maldo rhon silhoth naresse cauall pithalle.
  1. No one having seen this will listen to that man again.
  2. Though not hungry, I ate with friends.
  3. Having worked (for the, all) night, he slept until dawn.
  4. The waiter worked slowly in the restaurant.
  5. The laughing woman prefered the spiciest soup.

A reading. Here's a brief fable entirely in Vaior. I've added some vocabulary and grammar notes at the end to help you with this, since it does include a few things not yet introduced. It's rather short, but it does give you a beginning taste of what running, connected Vaior will look like. Skip it and come back to it later if you find it too difficult.

Sersi siothatiesse coldauai vam dúelte oceninauaith túirru saivalalle. Cervi unchineran ocaith evarai na enneraste, "tuerho va, tíar aitothir ach pitothir thiuhen lu vatauo sir iell saivalall fidalle." Ravothir evarai nir, "rafcenaith min saivalan, sihaunai uri sa. Haudeiai ta mir saivalall haspitalle, taul imsauo mir."

First, lets get some of the vocabulary out of the way. In a few cases I'm going to lie a bit, and give an idiomatic translation to help you get the sense of the story quickly.

sersi across
siothatie stream
COLD throw
vam large
dúelte oak
oceninauaith túirru "felled, thrown down"
saival wind
cervi among
unchine "reed:" un water + chin grass
OC fall
TUERH wonder, be amazed
tíar "that" - connects sentences
AIT be light
PIT be weak
VAT to crush
FID to be strong
RAV to answer
rafcen- to fight, to battle
SIHAUN to fail, to collapse from internal flaw or weakness
HAUD to bend, haudei- "to bend" (intransitive)
haspit- "weakest" has- + PIT
IMS to save, preserve

Now to explain some of the grammar and style points...

In the first sentence there are two verbs, one conjugated, one participle: coldauai was thrown and oceninauaith having been made-to-fall. The participle, being in the nominative case, modifies the subject of the sentence, in this case dúelte oak. Note that the participle phrase is pretty hefty. Very often Vaior will use participle phrases where English would use a more complex clause structure, perhaps a relative clause here. Also, notice that when you have multiple things modifying a noun, some go before. So here, vam dúelte oceninauaith large oak having been made-to-fall.

The second sentence also uses a participle as well as a normal verb, having fallen he said. Then the Oak has a few words, including even more participles, these time acting in a contrastive way, although you are light and week aitothir ach pitothir.

Ravothir evarai nir is a little otiose in English but not infrequent in Vaior, answering they said.... Note how the Reeds use min to set up an explanation. In English you wouldn't necessarily make this effort to highlight what you're saying, but in Vaior you really should.

Finally, notice the contrast set up in the last two sentences with uri and ta: you were destroyed, but we bend and are saved.

I think, I said. One thing people do a lot of is reporting what they said in the past or will in the future, "I said to him that this was a bad idea." The phrase which represents what you said is called a "report clause," because it is a report of someone's words. There is a lot of variation in English in how a report clause may be constructed; in Vaior, there is comparatively little.

All report clauses in Vaior are introduced with the conjunction, tíar which will generally follow a comma. Please keep in mind the rule from the previous lesson about the sequence of tenses:

Once a tense is established in the primary clause, all other verb tenses are in realtion to that tense.

So, when reporting your words, be sure to keep track of the tense of the report clause, which will be relative to the tense of the main clause. Note these sentences and their tense use carefully:

  1. Evarai na, tíar leru sa. He said that you would go.
  2. Evarai na, tíar lero sa. He said that you were going.
  3. Evarai na, tíar lerai sa. He said that you had gone.

You'll notice in sentence (1) that when you need to indicate the future in subordinate clauses in English, you use the word "would." And in (3) you'll see that English requires a past perfect to indicate past relative to the past.

Report clauses don't just follow verbs meaing "say, tell," &c., but also follow verbs of perception, opinion, showing, agreeing and believing. Here are some example verbs that introduce report clauses:

  • CORH hear
  • DURB think, hold an opinion - use this when you're willing to admit you might change your mind
  • eidurb- agree, with the same conditions as DURB
  • EVAR say, tell
  • LAURH think, believe, perceive
  • PION read
  • TUAR see

Finally, the conjunction tíar is frequently shortened to just ti in all but formal language.


-(i)ttal- - "start to X." For example, orittalai sa vaste you started to speak to me.

-llac- - "stop X-ing." For example, pionallacai nu rhon carmen that man stopped reading a book.

-lsin- "to regard-as/consider X." For example, andul urvalsino va eien I consider this very unpleasant. This can also go with nouns: lu maithalsinai na van he didn't consider me human.

-nhir- "should X, ought to X." Piling up on the example from -lsin-, andul urvalsinanhiro sa eien you should consider this very unpleasant.

ul- "un-, in-; opposite." This is used more freely in in Vaior than in English, even when an opposite already exists. So, although valda already has an opposite in urva, one may also use ulvalda when the mood strikes.

lau- "non-, not." Take care to distinguish this from ul-. Ullartha means stale but laulartha is simply non-fresh.

Using both prefixes, lau- and ul-, in the same word is considered silly.

Exercise. Dialog? Introduce two more prepositions. Focus on evidence markers, reports, middle

ofnia - notion, idea

OFN - to have a notion, an idea



Exercises 5c. Tersia 5c.

  1. Nen ta saitallaci! Laulartho min en síu.
  2. Tuaro va tíar ais lu ro talo na carsone viaren.

lesson six - terse pamio

The Correlatives. One very important set of words is the correlatives. If you take a look at this chart you might first find the arrangement a little strange if you're unaccustomed to reading grammars. basically, the horizontal axis tells you what you're talking about, and the vertical gives you the type of word. For example, take the "any, some" row, and then read across you get this: "some person" that is "someone", "some thing/something," "some place/somwehere", etc. The same thing with "no" gives you the meanings "no one, nothing, nowhere, never, no how, for no reason."

A number of these correlatives have already been introduced in the vocabularies, such as cúe/cúa, etc. In the next few lessons we're going to focus on introducing related families of correlatives to help you get a better feel for the system. Most of these words are terribly useful, so if you feel inspired to memorize the whole group now, all the better, but know that many people would find memorizing such a large set of words, all with related meanings, a little confusing.

Anaphora and Cataphora. As we've seen in the discussion on uri/ta, Vaior likes to set things out nicely in connected clauses. Another aspect of that tendency is the extensive use of anaphora and cataphora in connected Vaior. These words mean "carry up" and "carry down" respectively. In grammaticalese, these terms refer to referencing things earlier and later in a sentence. So, technically, pronouns are already anaphoric: ilo rhon, tuaro ta va nan there's a man, and I see him.

In addition to this basic anaphora, Vaior has a prefix you can add to demonstrative pronouns ("this, that") to indicate that they refer to something previously mentioned. English legalese sometimes uses "said" in this way: "said party disclaims all responsibility for painting the monkeys blue." The anaphoric prefix is i-. When this is added to a pronoun starting with a vowel, it becomes í-. So, i + nu > inu; i + annu > íannu. Note that í- + ie collapses into íe.

In addition to the anaphoric prefix, Vaior also has a cataphoric prefix, which is used to mark that the pronoun refers to something not yet mentioned, but coming up shortly. The prefix is alti- and the final i in that has the same behavior when it runs into a vowel as i- does. So: evarai taul va altíen (< *alti-ie-n): hi ha hu and then I said this: blah blah blah.

Some of the examples given above are, by themselves, a little artificial. Cataphora by itself isn't that uncommon, but most often both anaphora and cataphora are used together to highlight a contrast.

Verbal Mood Swings. So far, we have seen only two verbal "moods:" the indicative and the imperative. The indicative is just the normal form you've seen so far, tuaro va I see, and the imperative is used to give commands, ercorhi! listen!

There are two other moods in Vaior, the optative and the subjunctive, which shade the meaning of the verb in somewhat subtle ways. The optative mood is used to indicate wishes or intent, and the subjunctive mood is for hypothetical unreal or possibly true statements. While both of these moods can be used in simple sentences, by far their most common usage is in subordinate clauses. In this and the next few lessons the various uses and syntax associated with these subordinate clauses will be introduced. But first, the forms and their use in simple sentences...

Subjunctive Optative
past or-airrh or-atimm
present or-orrh or-imm
future or-urrh or-úimm

Please pay particular attention to the optative endings, which are a little different from the usual -ai-, -o-, -u- tense pattern you've seen so far. Also, since all of these forms end in double consonants, remember to accent the final syllable.

As mentioned above, the basic significance of the optative is desire and intent. Translating this nicely into English is difficult since we have nothing quite like it, but in simple sentences, translating the optative with "may" or "let (it be that)" will give the general idea of the meaning:

Lu anthimm ie let this not be true
Tharatimm na let him have understood
Lerúimm vachir úeru may we go soon

The subjunctive mood, on the other hand, makes a statement hypothetical, and is often best translated "may" or "might" in the sence of "maybe:"

Lu anthorrh ie this may not be true
Tharairrh na he may have understood
Lerurrh vachir úeru we may go soon

There are a number of complex sentence types which require one or several clauses to be in either the subjunctive or the optative. Generally, if you keep in mind the basic meaning of the moods, it'll be easy to remember which mood goes with the different clause types.

Report clauses, act II. The previous lesson introduced report clauses, evarai na, tíar leru sa he said that you would go. Sometimes it is prudent to distance yourself from what is being reported, either because the source may be unreliable, or you may have other information. Or, you may simply wish to state your unwillingness to commit to what you're reporting. In Vaior, the standard way to do that is to cast the reported clause in the subjunctive:

Evaro na, tíar valdo sater iei enthiai andul. He says that the dishes of that restaurant are very good.
Evaro na, tíar valdorrh sater iei enthiai andul. He says that the dishes of that restaurant are very good.

In the second sentence, the speaker is disavowing any knowledge about the truth what she's reporting. This sort of thing is prudent for reporters. In some countries with languages that have the subjunctive, newspaper reporters can be sued for the indicative, but not the subjunctive.

"But," some of you may be saying, "can't I use -hanin instead of the subjunctive?" You might think so, but you cannot use evidence suffixes in subordinate clauses, only main clauses.


Anti-passive and Inverse Voices. The last two true voices in Vaior are the anti-passive and the inverse. There is nothing quite like them in English:

Anti-passive: atha- (this is a prefix)
Inverse: -ers-

If you recall that voices change the relevency of participants in a verbal action, then the function of the anti-passive shouldn't be too surprising: it emphasizes the agent of the verb. So, tuaro va I see, but athatuaro va it is I who sees. The only tricky part is that if the direct object of the active verb was originally in the accusative, it usually goes into the instrumental with the anti-passive:

tuaro va I see
athatuaro va it is I who see
tuaro va carmen I see a book
athatuaro va carmevul it is I who see a book

The inverse flips the grammatical roles of the agent and the patient/focus. This is really hard to translate into English. I'll represent it as "is-Xed-by" with hyphens, but don't take this to be like the passive: tuaro va carmen I see a book, tuarerso carme van a book is-seen-by me. The inverse is rarely used without both subject and object expressed, if only by implication.

On A-o, Aron B-o. In spite of some literary theories that frown on the notion of causality, most people are still happy to spend time talking about cause and effect. Grammarians call these sorts of sentences conditional sentences since they mention a condition, and then talk about what happens (or might happen) if the condition is met. In English, "if A happens then B happens."

As always, conditional sentences in Vaior work a bit differently than they do in English. First, on is if and aron is then. The tricky part for speakers of English will be determing what sort of conditional sentence they have in front of them. It turns out there are several:

examples here , including hypothetical

For this lesson, we'll only look at the general and the future conditions. The contrary to fact we'll save for the next lesson.

In English you're allowed to drop the word "then" from a conditional. Vaior requires aron always, but on may be omitted if the condition phrase is in any mood but the indicative. EXAMPLES. (They only see non-indicative in the simple pasts?)

Prepositional Adverbs. In many languages there is a very close relationship between adverbs and prepositions. In many, you can use a preposition as an adverb with no special preparation. For example, in English, "she stood behind the car" the word "behind" here is acting as a preposition. It goes with the word "car." However, in "she stood behind" the word "behind" is acting as an adverb. It's not modifying a noun phrase, but rather the verb.

Vaior makes a clear distinction between prepositional and adverbial uses of prepositions. So far, we have only seen the prepositional uses: silhai na auvi aldovesse she stood in front of the house. If you want rather to say just "she stood in front" you cannot simply say *silhai na auvi. This is incorrect. There are separate adverb forms for most of the prepositions, sometimes several which you may use as your whim dictates. Here are the adverb forms for all the prepositions we've encountered so far:

  • achur - achurru
  • aith - aithu
  • an - annu, annul
  • auvi - auvu, auvíal
  • lor - lorru
  • nus - nurru
  • ol - ollu

So, back to our example, silhai na auvu she stood in front. Using these shouldn't be to difficult. Some of them, though, will seem little peculiar. For example, a sentence like this is perfectly good Vaior: lerai na rhon lorru the man left without-ly. Without context it's not at all clear what the man left without, but with the lorru there we know he left without something. "He went away" is just lerai na aithu.

Impersonal Sentences. When talking about the weather or general situations, English requires you use the preposition "it" with the relevant verbs, since it doesn't allow subject-less verbs. Vaior, however, is perfectly happy with subjectless verbs. So, if EIH is to snow, then you need merely say eiho for it's snowing.

Deriving Stative Verbs. The derivational affix for turning nouns into adjectives (which are also stativbe verbs) is at first glance quite simple: suffix -o. It turns out this complicates things a bit since in Vaior o doesn't really get along with other vowels.

When using an -o word in the genitive, you need the helping -h-: rhoni vinohi of a childish man. All the other case endings are as usual.

More derivations. causative, modals


Exercise. Weather terms?


Here is the vocabulary used in the lesson examples or dialogs but which don't occur in the lesson vocabularies.

CAMP strike, hit