Conlang: Ori (Verbs and Noun classes)

I wanted to develop the language of the Orikrindians. I knew their language was called Ori, but I wasn’t inspired to flesh it out until recently.


Ori is a nominative/accusative language (like Indo-European languages tend to be). It uses suffixes to indicate different persons/numbers on verbs. There are three different ways to conjugate verbs, depending on the what sound the verbs stem ends with.

The first conjugation includes verbs ending in -i as well as all alveolar sounds (-t, -d, -n, -s, -l, -r). Some of these verbs are below:

meri ‘dance’

boltin ‘keep, save, guard’

culi ‘avoid, go away’

tistit ‘whisper’

pyalir ‘see via divine gift’

sullin ‘flow’

The first conjugation endings determine the subject of the verb. For the first conjugation, the endings are:

-m (1st person singular) meri-m ‘I dance’

-t (2nd person singular) meri-t ‘you dance’

-r (3rd person singular, animate/inanimate) meri-r ‘he/she/it dances’

-l (3rd person singular, celestial/abstract) meri-l ‘he/she/it dances’

-bra (1st person plural) meri-bra ‘we dance’

-dra (2nd person plural) meri-dra ‘you all dance’

-nda (3rd person plural, animate/inanimate) meri-nda ‘they dance’

-lta (3rd person plural, celestial/abstract) meri-lta ‘they dance’

You will notice that in the 3rd person, there are different forms, one for “animate/inanimate” nouns and the other for “celestial/abstract” nouns. These are different forms that agree with different noun cases that Ori has. These are like grammatical genders in some languages (e.g. Spanish, French, German) but come in four varieties: animate class includes animals and people (generally), while inanimate includes any type of inanimate object or thing. However, the other classes complicate things a bit. Abstract class includes most concepts that have no direct physical manifestation (necessarily): death, life, love, enjoyment, resentment, disdain, joy, etc. Celestial is a somewhat special class. It includes things that naturally exist “up” or in the sky, such as: the sun, moon, clouds, stars, the sky itself, wind, light, darkness, planets, etc. But it also includes anything and anyone related to spirituality or religion–anything sacred as well. Such things as: priests, temples, gods, altars, devotions, faith (note this is included here and not in abstract), holy garments, holy places, chants, hymns, sacred objects, etc. These nouns are grammatical categories, lexically determined, but they have semantic origins.

So with verbs, you have to make sure the verb form agrees with the class of the noun you are using. So if you want to say “the priest is dancing” vs “the queen is dancing”, the form of “dance” is different: ti-celunyas meril vs. tu-syalanyas merir. Note the difference of the forms of meri ‘dance’

Examples of nouns in the animate class: 

etyu ‘bird’

lyuha ‘dog’

ori ‘person’

cama ‘horse’

syalanya ‘queen’

porin ‘shepherd’

Inanimate nouns:

bu ‘house’

kapya ‘desk’

pyen ‘blade’

Abstract nouns:

gerum ‘death’

sesta ‘life’

hustu ‘trust’

Celestial nouns: 

cul ‘moon’

aster ‘light’

tellen ‘star’

lya ‘sun’

yutar ‘cloud’

roru ‘darkness’

hilacul ‘sky’

belta ‘wind; air; breath’

comul ‘spirit’

nelca ‘deity’

galacil ‘smoke’

apya ‘fire’

helta ‘voice’




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