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Definiteness Gender
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Voice Mood
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Tense Aspect

General information[]


An old Mentekan idiom: "Hurting like a door."

The language of Mentekan is a language spoken on an isolated island, and formerly a language spoken on the mainland. A small number of islanders migrated to the mainland, taking the language with them and inventing several writing systems for the formerly only spoken language. After many thousands of years, the dialect of Mentekan spoken on the mainland diverged to form Emitìnehänə. The dialect on the island stayed more or less the same as when the mainlanders left.



Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Epiglottal Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive t tʰ tʼ d ɖ

k kʼ kʷʰ g gʼ

Fricative s z ʃ ʒ x xʷ
Affricate ts tsʰ tsʼ tʃ tʃʼ dʒ
Approximant j w
Flap or tap
Lateral fric.
Lateral app.
Lateral flap

Possible consonant clusters are included in the chart.


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close i u
Near-close ɪ
Close-mid e
Open-mid ʌ
Near-open æ
Open ɑ


The three diphthongs are /eɪ/, /aɪ/, and /aʊ/. They are counted as single vowels in the syllable.


IPA Transcription
tʃʰ č"
tsʰ c"
ts c
ɪ ì
ʃ š
ɑ a
ʒ ž
kʷʰ kw
ɖ dd
ʔ -
ʼ '
ʌ o
æ ä
ʊ u


The syllable structure of Mentekan is CV(n). C is any consonant or consonant cluster and V is any vowel or diphthong. The glottal stop /ʔ/ cannot be placed at the initial consonant of the initial syllable of a word. n is optional and comprised of /z/, /ts/, /n/, /m/, /tʃ/, /ʃ/, and /s/. Noun roots are triconsonantal and tritonal in nature, while other words are not. The pattern of stress for the words usually stresses the close (includes near-close) vowel syllables. If there are two of the same close vowel syllables adjeacent to one another, the initial one takes precedence. If there are two different close vowel syllables adjacent to each other, /i/ takes precedence over /u/ and /u/ over /ɪ/. If there are no close vowel syllables in the word, the first syllable takes precedence. The particles and affixes are always unstressed, except for pronomial affixes which follow the normal stress rules.


The tones in Mentekan are only found in the tritonal noun roots, and are not part of the stress pattern rule. There are four tones used in the noun roots, which are represented by their respective numbers in superscript attached to the syllable.

  1. Neutral
  2. High
  3. Falling
  4. Rising


Gender Cases Numbers Tenses Persons Moods Voices Aspects
Verb Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nouns Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Adjectives No No No No No No No No
Numbers No Yes No No No No No No
Participles No No No No No No No No
Adverb No No No No No No No No
Pronouns No No No No No No No No
Adpositions No Yes No No No No No No
Article No No No No No No No No
Particle No No No No No No No No

Sentence Structure[]

The canon word order of Mentekan is SOV, with subclauses being SVO. The subclauses are attached to the modified word by a conjunction preceding the subclause. There are two kinds of subclauses, relative and causative.


je2ji1džeš1xwu žečt"u jeì2ke1wan1xwu nìndajaziddauc činsaxwanwi

honored-stranger.nom cnj house.nom dei.cop.pfv.dur

The honored stranger who built the house is here.

The verb inside the subclause takes on a passive voice in order to accept the real subject, the builder of the house.


je2ji1džeš1xwu džaìm jeì2ke1wan1xwu nìndajaziddauc činsaxwanwi

honored-stranger.nom cnj house.nom dei.cop.pfv.dur

The honored stranger who caused the house to be built is here.

In this sentence the passive voice functions normally inside the subclause.


There are several conjunction words that are placed at the end of a clause to link to another clause, or placed as a case marker to link two nouns.

Conjunction Meaning
dun effect and cause (clause link)
džic if (clause link)
džiz would if (clause link)
xwäč and (clause link)
t"a and; list (noun link)
gu but (clause link)
dženi thanks to (clause link)
g'i to; action and purpose (clause link)
can end to start; duration (noun link)
žečt"u relative (clause link)
džaìm causative (clause link)


There is a base 10 numeral system in Mentekan. Cardinal numbers 1 to 10 have unique words, while the numerals 11 to 19 are formed by attaching a "plus 10" suffix /čat"us/ to the numerals 1 to 9. The numerals 20-100 are formed by attaching a multiply 10 suffix /t"uccos/ to the numerals 2 to 10. Numbers can only be used as nouns, unless the case dictates otherwise, or as part of a compound word.

Base Numeral +10 x10
(1) cač (11) caččat"us -
(2) t"ič (12) t"iččat"us (20) t"ičt"uccos
(3) čìč (13) čìččat"us (30) čìčt"uccos
(4) čuc (14) čucčat"us (40) čuct"uccos
(5) niš (15) niščat"us (50) ništ"uccos
(6) xwez (16) xwezčat"us (60) xwezt"uccos
(7) č'äc (17) č'äcčat"us (70) č'äct"uccos
(8) t"eč (18) t"eččat"us (80) t"ečt"uccos
(9) duč (19) duččat"us (90) dučt"uccos
(10) t"iš - (100) t"išt"uccos

To form cardinal numerals higher than 20 between the multiples of 10, one must suffix the ones digit to the tens digit. The multiplicative suffixes takes on its respective combining form /cos/.

20 40
t"ičt"uccos čuct"uccos
21-29 41-49
(21) t"ičcoscač (41) čuccoscač
(22) t"ičcost"ič (42) čuccost"ič
(23) t"ičcosčìč (43) čuccosčìč
(24) t"ičcosčuc (44) čuccosčuc
(25) t"ičcosniš (45) čuccosniš
(26) t"ičcosxwez (46) čuccosxwez
(27) t"ičcosč'äc (47) čuccosč'äc
(28) t"ičcost"eč (48) čuccost"eč
(29) t"ičcosduč (49) čuccosduč

The cardinal numerals 100-900 may be formed by attaching the combining form of the multiplication suffix /cos/ to the numerals 1 to 9 and then adding the shortened word for hundred after. Any numbers with the addition suffix attached to this changes the addition suffix into the combination form /ča/. The numerals beyond 900 can be formed in the same way.

Base Numeral x100
(1) cač (100) cačcos t"išcos
(2) t"ič (200) t"ičcos t"išcos
(3) čìč (300) čìčcos t"išcos
(4) čuc (400) čuccos t"išcos
(5) niš (500) nišcos t"išcos
(6) xwez (600) xwezcos t"išcos
(7) č'äc (700) č'äccos t"išcos
(8) t"eč (800) t"ečcos t"išcos
(9) duč (900) dučcos t"išcos
(10) t"iš (1000) t"išcos t"išcos


The noun roots in Mentekan are triliteral and tritonal, with six aspects of inflection through vowels and tones. The case of the noun is marked by a case prefix. The possible combinations of all six aspect inflections are counted as genders.


Nouns can be formed by manipulating abstract three consonant roots. For example:

m - t - k - is the root with the general meaning of communication.

men1te1kan1 means the language.

neuter | action related concept | definite | inanimate tool honorific | singular

Vowel 1 Tone 1 Vowel 2 Tone 2 Vowel 3 Tone 3
Human male a living 2 superior e definite 1 person honorific eš singular 1
close relative a
neuter e arbitrary 1 far relative ä dual 2
close friend o
female ä deceased 3 acquaintance ì  indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
stranger i
subordinate u plural 4
Animal male o living 2 wild a definite 1 animate tool honorific ìs singular 1
neuter ì arbitrary 1 domesticated tool e dual 2
 female aì deceased 3 domesticated food ä indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
plural 4
Plant male o living 2 wild a definite 1 inanimate tool honorific an singular 1
neuter ì arbitrary 1 domesticated tool e dual 2
female aì deceased 3 domesticated food ä indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
plural 4
Place neuter eì accessible 2 familiar/owned place e definite 1 inanimate tool honorific an singular 1
arbitrary 1 new place a dual 2
inaccessible 3 public place ä indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
other place o plural 4
Object male az accessible 2 owned tool e definite 1 inanimate tool honorific an singular 1
neuter ez arbitrary 1 public tool ä dual 2
female äz inaccessible 3 body part ì indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
other object o plural 4


male ac neutral 1 action related concept e definite 1 inanimate tool honorific an singular 1
neuter en relational concept aì concept honorific ic dual 2
female äč other concept eì indefinite 2 neutral e trial 3
plural 4

The classification of these subgenders are quite arbitrary.


There is an expansive system of case prefixes in Mentekan, with categories of Syntax, Relation, Semantics, and State. Some cases are redundant and/or archaic in everyday speech.

Case Prefix Usage Word Position Example Translation
nominative xwu agent; experiencer subject tez21kan1xwu nìndajač'enxwau The door was pushed just now.
accusative dič patient; direct object of transitive verb object tez21kan1dič nìnnicezjač'enxwau I pushed the door just now.
instructive t'ìc means; how? preceding modified tez21kan1t'ìc j2ke1wan1dič nìnnicezjamuzc"aun I entered the house by means of the door just now.
instrumental t'ič instrument; using which thing? preceding modified tez21kan1t'ìč jeì2ke1wan1dič nìnnicezjamuzc"aun I entered the house using the door just now.
Case Prefix Usage Word Position Example Translation
aversive ddiz avoiding or fear preceding modified tez21kan1ddiz jeì2ke1wan1dič nìnnicezjamuzc"aun I entered the house avoiding the door just now.
benefactive näz for; for the benefit of; intended for preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1näz tez21kan1dič nìnnicezjaziddauc I built the door for the house just now.
causal čìc because; because of preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1čìc tez21kan1dič nìnnicezjaziddauc I built the door because of the house just now.
comitative čudi in the company of something preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1čudi tez21kan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The door in the company of the house was built just now.
dative xwäs shows recipient preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1xwäs nìnnicezjazuc-au I gave the round object to the house just now.
distributive gis distribution by piece preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1gis tez22kan2dič nìnnicezjaziddauc I built a pair of doors per house just now.
distributive-temporal gaz how often something happens preceding modified ten1jeì2nic1gaz tez22kan4dič nosanicezjaziddaìc I build doors daily now.
genitive nucmun shows relationship; possession preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1nucmun tez21kan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The house's door was built just now.
ornative endowed with something preceding modified tez22kan1nä jeì2ke1wan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The house equipped with a door was built just now.
possessed nusnu possession by something preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1nusnu nìnnicezjaziddauc I built the house owned by someone just now.
privative t'uka lacking something preceding modified tez22kan1t'uka jeì2ke1wan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The house without a door was built just now.
semblative čučt'ìc similarity to something preceding modified mo2ga2me1čučt'ìc jeì2ke1wan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The house like a thick, wild tree was built just now.
sociative č'oč along with something; together with something preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1č'oč tez21kan1xwu nìndajaziddauc The door along with the house was built just now.
Case Prefix Usage Word Position Example Translation
partitive zi used for amounts preceding modified čìčzi jeì2ke1wan4dič nìnnicezjaziddauc I built three of the houses just now.
vocative čict"in used for addressing someone preceding clause je2ji1džeš1čict"in jeì2ke1wan1dič mematočnìnnicezjaziddauc Honored stranger, I built your house just now.
Case Prefix Usage Word Position Example Translation
adverbial käc being as something; deriving adverbs from nouns/verbs preceding modified tez22kan1käc sat"ezšenunk'u Hurting like a door.
essive-modal kwez marking a condition as a quality of being preceding modified mo2ga2me1kwez sanicezxwank'u I am as a thick, wild tree.
essive-formal k'iz marking a condition as a quality of shape preceding modified mo2ga2me1k'iz sanicezxwank'u I am the shape of a thick, wild tree.
exessive ko marking a transition from a condition preceding modified  mo2ga2me1ko jeì2ke1wan1dič nìnnicezjaziddauc I built the house from a thick, wild tree just now.
identical g'amänt'o showing that something is identical preceding modified mo2ga1me1g'amänt'o mo2ga1me1xwu xošjagìčč'auč The thick, wild tree being the thick, wild tree did not fall in the nonfuture.
orientative dži oriented towards something preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1dži mo2ga1me1xwu xošjagìčč'auč The thick, wild tree turned towards the house did not fall in the nonfuture.
revertive t"o backwards to something preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1t"o mo2ga1me1xwu xošjagìčč'auč The thick, wild tree against the house did not fall in the nonfuture.
translative t'ančič change of a condition into another preceding modified jeì2ke1wan1t'ančič mo2ga1me1xwu xošjagìčč'auč The thick, wild tree turned into the house did not fall in the nonfuture.


There are many postpositions that can be attached to nouns to make postpositional phrases that express both place and time. The postpositional phrase then is placed preceding the modified noun phrase. The postpositions can also be pattached to verbs for pronomial statements. The postpositions are similar to case markers in every way except in that they are attached at the end of the noun. Most cases can be used for temporal location as well as spatial location.


Case Postposition Usage Example Translation
adessive t"ez adjacent location jeì2ke1wan1t"ez mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree near the house is here.
apudessive duni location next to something jeì2ke1wan1duni mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree next to the house is here.
inessive sidžiz inside something jeì2ke1wan1sidžiz mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree inside the house is here.
intrative t"ä between something jeì2ke1wan1t"ä mo2ga1me2xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree between the pair of houses is here.
locative cu location jeì2ke1wan1cu mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree at/on/in the house is here.
pertingent t"inč'ìt'o in contact with something jeì2ke1wan1t"inč'ìt'o mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree touching the house is here.
subessive t"eddu under something jeì2ke1wan1t"eddu mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick, wild tree under the house is here.
superessive mäz on the surface jeì2ke1wan1mäz mo2ga1me1xwu činsaxwanwi The thick. wild tree on top of the house is here.

Motion From[]

Case Postposition Usage Example Translation
ablative zìn movement away from something jeì2ke1wan1zìn nošnicezjaničnau I ran away from the house.
delative č'uč movement from the surface jeì2ke1wan1č'uč nošnicezjaničnau I ran from the top of the house.
egressive marking the beginning of a movement or time jeì2ke1wan1 nošnicezjaničnau I ran beginning at the house.
elative t'ìn out of something jeì2ke1wan1t'ìn nošnicezjaničnau I ran out of the house.
initiative džinčiz starting point of an action jeì2ke1wan1džinčiz nošnicezjaničnau I ran beginning from the house.

Motion To[]

Case Postposition Usage Example Translation
allative džeckit'o movement to the adjacency of something jeì2ke1wan1džeckit'o nošnicezjaničnau I ran to the adjacency of the house.
illative t'ut'i movement into something jeì2ke1wan1t'ut'i nošnicezjaničnau I ran into the house.
lative džo movement to something jeì2ke1wan1džo nošnicezjaničnau I ran to the house.
sublative das movement under something jeì2ke1wan1džo nošnicezjaničnau I ran under the house.
terminative k'u marking the end of a movement or time jeì2ke1wan1k'u nošnicezjaničnau I ran as far as the house.

Motion Via[]

Case Postposition Usage Example Translation
perlative ddač movement through or along jeì2ke1wan1ddač nošnicezjaničnau I ran through the house.
prolative dičdžič movement using a surface or way jeì2ke1wan1dičdžič nošnicezjaničnau I ran by way of the house.


Case Postposition Usage Example Translation
temporal kwunt"u specifying a time č'äcdžac1neì2ke4kwunt"u nošnicezjaničnau I ran at the seventh hour.


The most important element in Mentekan is the verb, consisting of an abstract stem and any number of inflectional and/or derivational prefixes. All verbs must have at least one prefix, and the prefixes are to be added in a specific order. Verbs also replace the role of adjectives. Verb stems, while mostly bisyllabic, have no specific rules of construction, and are not triliteral.

Verb Template[]

The way of assembling prefixes is very convoluted and filled with exceptions and archaic constructions. A verb does not have to fill all of the categories in the template. The prefixes can be generally split into dynamic and stative templates with disjunct and conjunct categories as follows:


The dynamic verb template is used when the verb is an action.


Conjunct Stem Postposition
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
postposition object adverbial- thematic iterative plural direct object deictic adverbial- thematic tense subject classifier type stem postposition

The stative verb template is used when the verb is a state of being.


Conjunct Stative Construction Stem Postposition
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
postposition object adverbial- thematic inchoative plural direct object deictic adverbial- thematic tense subject classifier thematic state type stem postposition

Mode and Aspect[]

The mode category affects which aspects can be used; often the mode is in fact an aspect. Each mode has a null form for stand alone use. The iterative and inchoative prefixes are placed in their respective positions in null form instead of being expressed in the stem, if not linked with an aspect. Some verbs are incompatible with certain modes/aspects. The modes are:

  1. Imperfective - an event or action that has begun but is not complete
  2. Perfective - an event or action that has been completed
  3. Progressive - an incomplete event/action that is ongoing without reference to the beginning or end
  4. Usitative - a repetitive event/action that takes place customarily
  5. Iterative - a repetitive event/action that takes place repeatedly and customarily
  6. Inchoative - a state that has just begun
  7. Optative - a desire or wish

The modes below are not expressed in the verb stem but instead are placed in null form after the clause.

  1. Jussive - a plea or insistence (null form /gì/)
  2. Imperative - a command (null form /t"uc/)
  3. Interrogative - a question (null form /sin/)

The aspects are:

  1. Momentaneous - takes place in a point in time
  2. Continuative - indefinite span of time, movement with specified direction
  3. Durative - indefinite span of time, non-locomotive uninterrupted continuum
  4. Repetitive - continuum of repeated acts or connected series of acts
  5. Conclusive - like durative but in perfective mode terminates with a static sequel
  6. Semelfactive - single act in a repetitive series of acts
  7. Distributive - distributive manipulation of objects or performance of actions
  8. Diversative - movement distributed among things
  9. Reversative - results in directional change
  10. Conative - attempted action
  11. Transitional - shift from one state to another
  12. Cursive - progression in a line through time/space (only progressive mode)
  13. Completive - event/action takes place
  14. Terminative - stopping of action
  15. Stative - sequentially durative and static
  16. Inceptive - beginning of action
  17. Terminal - inherently terminal action
  18. Prolongative - arrested beginning or ending of action
  19. Seriative - interconnected series of successive separate and distinct acts
  20. Reversionary - return to previous state or location
  21. Semeliterative - single repetition of event/action

The verb copula /xwanna/ shall be used in this paradigm of mode and aspect. If a verb has more than two syllables, the last two syllables shall be used to inflect in the manner of this paradigm.

Imperfective Perfective Progressive Usitative Iterative Inchoative Optative
null maì jau wac -e/ce -o/no xeì ku
Momentaneous xwannaì

null vowel replace 2nd vowel

xwannau xwannac xwanne xwanno xwanneì xwannu
Continuative xwanmaì

null syllable replace 2nd syllable

xwanjau xwanwac xwan-e xwan-o xwanxeì xwanku
Durative xwant'e

replace 2nd syllable

xwanwi xwank'u xwanjä xwanse xwant'a xwanc"e
Repetitive xwanxwamaì

duplicate 1st initial to 2nd initial implant null syllable

- - - - xwanxwaxeì -
Conclusive nanxwamaì

switch 1st initial with 2nd initial implant null syllable

nanxwajau nanxwawac nanxwa-e nanxwa-o nanxwaxeì nanxwaku
Semelfactive xwane

remove finals replace 2nd vowel

xwano xwaneì xwanä xwanu xwana xwanì
Distributive xwaìnna

null vowel replace 1st vowel

xwaunna xwacna xwenna xwonna xweìnna xwunna
Diversative xwaìt'e

remove finals null vowel replace 1st vowel replace 2nd syllable

xwaut'e xwact'e xwet'e xwot'e xweìt'e xwut'e
Reversative xwaìmake

remove finals null vowel replace 1st vowel replace 2nd syllable with double null initial replace 2nd initial

xwaujake xwacwake xwe-ake xwo-ake xweìxake xwukuke
Conative xwannanaì

implant 2nd syllable null vowel replace 3rd vowel

xwannanau xwannanac xwannane xwannano xwannaneì xwannanu
Transitional xwati

replace 2nd syllable

xwakun xwagoc xwatus xwaga xwato xwakìs
Cursive -

implant null syllable null vowel replace 1st vowel

- xwacwacna - - - -
Completive -

1st initial replace 2nd initial null initial replace 1st initial

janxwa wanxwa canxwa nanxwa - kanxwa
Terminative xwanma

null initial replace 2nd initial

xwanja xwanwa xwan-a xwan-a xwanxa xwanka
Stative xwaìnnaì

null vowel replace both vowel

xwaunnau xwacnac xwenne xwonno xweìnneì xwunnu
Inceptive xwannen

replace 2nd vowel

xwannic xwannam xwannaz xwannos xwannun xwannìm
Terminal maìxwan

truncate 2nd syllable implant null syllable

jauxwan wacxwan cexwan nexwan xeìxwan kuxwan
Prolongative xwaxwaìna

remove finals implant 1st syllable null vowel replace 2nd vowel

- xwaxwacna - - xwaxweìna -
Seriative xwanmaìnaì

implant null syllable null vowel replace 3rd vowel

xwanjaunau xwanwacnac xwan-ene xwan-ono xwanxeìneì xwankunu
Reversionary manna

null initial replace 1st initial

janna wanna canna nanna xanna kanna
Semeliterative xwaìn

null vowel replace 1st vowel truncate 2nd syllable

xwaun xwac xwe xwo xweìn xwun


There are two prefixes which determine whether the verb template is dynamic or stative: the dynamic prefix /ja/, and the stative prefix /še/. The copula does not apply to any type, and thus has no type prefix or stative construction.

Stative Construction[]

The stative construction is one syllable with the thematic being the initial consonant and the state being the rest. Most speakers omit this construction when there are pronomial prefixes. The thematic has no distinguishable meaning anymore and changes based on the state and the verb stem. The state communicates the category of the stative verb. There are three categories:

  1. Physical - /um/
  2. Mental - /ez/
  3. Other - /o/

The thematic varies first based on the category, then mutates according to the prevalent vowel of the verb stem. The prevalent vowel is either the vowel that occurs first or the most commonly occuring vowel.

Prevalent Vowel Physical Mental Other
e, a, ä, o k d w
i, ì g t j
u, aì, eì g' t" ž


The classifier prefix decides transitivity and voice. The prefix /da/ signifies a passive voice, while no prefix signifies an active voice. The prefix /wa/ transforms a transitive verb into an intransitive verb. The transitive verb has no prefix. If the intransitive verb requires a passive voice, the prefix /wa/ changes into /wä/. Speakers usually employ passive voice to keep sentences shorter.

Pronomial Inflection[]

Mentekan verbs have prefixes that act as pronouns which mark both subjects and objects, thereby forming a clause within the verb. The prefixes can by modified by pronoun modifiers attached preceding the prefix to change the type of pronoun. The pronoun prefix is placed in the postposition object, the direct object, or the subject position in the verb template.

Person Gender Category Subject Object
Singular Dual Trial Plural Singular Dual Trial Plural
First General nicez č'u nucčäz doc
Second Human matoč mat"o manì mac čt"ic če nto m
Animal motìč mot"ì mona moc mičt"ac miče minto mim
Plant mutoč mut"o muna muc maìčt"ac maìča maìnta maìm
Place meìtač meìt"an meìčt"ac meìčt"an
Object maztoč mazt"an zčt"ic zc"an
Abstract macmun čmun
Third Human t'ankuc t'ank"o t'andì t'ac t"äct"uš t"äce t"änto t"äm
Animal t'onkuc t'onk"ì t'onda t'oc t"ict"aš t"ice t"into t"im
Plant t'unkìc t'unk"o t'unda t'uc t"act"aš t"aìca t"aìnta t"aìm
Place t'eìkac t'eìk"a t'eìnda t'eìc t"eìct"aš t"eìca t"eìnta t"eìm
Object t'azkuc t'azk"o t'azdì t'az t"äzt"uš t"äzce t"äzto t"äz
Abstract t'ackuc t'ack"o t'acdì t'acne t"äčt"uš t"äčce t"äčto t"äč
Fourth Human č'adžeč č'adžo č'adžì č'ac č'äčddi č'äče č'änto č'äm
Animal č'odžeč č'odžì č'odža č'oc č'ičdda č'iče č'into č'im
Plant č'udžeč č'udžo č'udža č'uc č'aìčdda č'aìča č'aìnta č'aìm
Place č'eìdžač č'eìdžan č'eìčdda č'eìčddan
Object č'azdžìč č'azdžo č'azdžì č'az č'äzddì č'äzče č'äzto č'äz
Abstract č'acdžìč č'acdžan č'äčdda č'äčddan
Indefinite Human gamicč'en gamicč'o gamicdì gamic gäčuz gäče gänto gäm
Animal gomicč'en gomicč'ì gomicda gomic gičuz giče ginto gim
Plant gumicč'en gumicč'o gumicda gumic gaìčaz gaìča gaìnta gaìm
Place geìmicč'an geìmicč'a geìmicda geìmic geìčaz geìča geìnta geìm
Object gazmicč'en gazmicč'o gazmicdì gazmic gäzčìz zče zto z
Abstract gacmicč'en gacmicč'o gacmicdì gacmic gäččìz gäčče gäčto gäč
Interrogative Human ddandži ddandžo ddandžì ddac ddät'u ddäce ddänto ddäm
Animal ddondži ddondžì ddondža ddoc ddit'u ddice ddinto ddim
Plant ddundži ddundžo ddundža dduc ddaìt'a ddaìca ddaìnta ddaìm
Place ddeìndža ddeìndžane ddeìndžana ddeìc ddeìt'a ddeìca ddeìnta ddeìm
Object ddazdži ddazdžo ddazì ddaz ddäzt'u ddäzce ddäzto ddäz
Abstract ddacdži ddacdžo ddacì ddacne ddäčt'u ddäčce ddäčto ddäč
Reciprocal Human t'amun t"ämun
Animal t'omun t"imun
Plant t'umìn t"aìman
Place t'eìman t"eìman
Object t'azmun t"äzmun
Abstract t'acmun t"äčmun

The reciprocal prefix only occurs if there is no other pronomial prefix, and cannot take pronoun modifiers.

Pronoun Modifiers[]

The pronoun modifiers inflect based on the syntax and person of the prefix being modified.

Modifier Person Subject Object
Possessive First ne
Second me
Third t'e t"ì
Fourth č'e č'ì
Indefinite ge
Interrogative dde ddì
Reflexive First nau neì
Second mau meì
Third t'au t"eì
Fourth č'au č'eì
Indefinite gau geì
Interrogative ddau ddeì
Intensive First nez nen
Second mez men
Third t'ez ten
Fourth č'ez č'en
Indefinite gez gen
Interrogative ddez dden

Tense Inflection[]

This prefix marks the tense of a verb. There is an extensive system of tenses developed in the concise literary tradition of Mentekan, but only a few are used in the spoken language.

Future Tense[]
Immediate Near Hodiernal Vespertine Post-Hodiernal Crastinal Remote Relative
Affirmative right now




later today


this evening


after today




in the far future


in the arbitrary future


Negative not happening right now


not happening soon


not happening later today


not happening this evening


not happening after today


not happening tomorrow


not happening in the far future


not happening in the arbitrary future


Present/Other Tense[]
Nonfuture Present Nonpast
Affirmative not in the future




not in the past


Negative not happening not in the future


not happening now


not happening not in the past


Past Tense[]
Immediate Recent Hodiernal Matutinal Prehodiernal Hesternal Prehesternal Remote Historical Ancestral Relative
Affirmative just now


in the last few days


earlier today


this morning


before today




before yesterday


more than a few days ago


action/state was part of an event in the past


in the legendary past


in the arbitrary past


Negative not happening just now


not happening in the last few days


not happening earlier today


not happening this morning


not happening before today


not happening yesterday


not happening before yesterday


not happening more than a few days ago


action/state was not part of an event in the past


not happening in the legendary past


not happening in the arbitrary past


Adverbial-Thematic Inflection[]

There are relatively few adverbs in Mentekan, and they must always be accompanied by a thematic prefix. The thematic is required to occur with adverbs of different categories. The prefix for adverbs of manner is /že/, for probability /kon/, and for frequency /jeì/.

Demonstrative Prefixes[]

The demonstrative prefixes are placed in the deictic position in the verb template. The demonstrative series consists of four prefixes:

  1. Proximal (this) - /čin/
  2. Mesioproximal (that near you) - /wač/
  3. Mesiodistal (that over there but still near) - /t'ä/
  4. Distal (that over there far away) - /mìš/

Plural Inflection[]

The plural prefix is a rarely used feature that expresses how much the entire verb has been done. There are four prefixes corresponding to the number:

  1. Singular/Ambiguous - none
  2. Dual - /duz/
  3. Trial - /zin/
  4. Plural - /zac/

Classificatory Verbs[]

There are several verb stems that classify objects by physical characteristics and describe the manner of motion as a dynamic verb.

Half-Stem Characteristic Examples
zuc solid roundish object bottle, ball, boot, box, etc.
nada load, pack, burden backpack, bundle, sack, saddle, etc.
c'es non-compact matter bunch of hair or grass, cloud, fog, etc.
mon slender flexible object rope, mittens, socks, pile of fried onions, etc.
kwega slender stiff object arrow, bracelet, skillet, saw, etc.
zaz flat flexible object blanket, coat, sack of groceries, etc.
mume mushy matter ice cream, mud, slumped-over drunken person, etc.
gaun plural objects eggs, balls, animals, coins, etc.
k'aum other plural objects marbles, seeds, sugar, bugs, etc.
joz open container glass of milk, spoonful of food, handful of flour, etc.
c"uc animate object microbe, person, corpse, doll, etc.

The other half of the stem placed after the first describes the state of the object. There are three states:

  1. Handling (carrying, lowering, taking) - /-u/
  2. Propelling (tossing, dropping, throwing) - /nau/
  3. Free Flight (falling, flying through space) - /-aì/


To change a verb into a noun, one must remove the prefixes and use the infinitive form of the verb.

Example text[]

Dolgopolsky List[]

Used for comparisons with Emitìnehänə. The closest prefixes are given for the English with no equivalent words in Mentekan.

English Mentekan
I/me nicez
two/pair t"ič
you (singular, informal) matoč
who/what ddandži/ddazdži
tongue säz21kan1
name men1naì1wic1
eye nez21man1
heart xez11dan1
tooth sez21kan4
no/not xije
nail (finger-nail) tez21kan4
louse/nit 2t'a1ze1
tear/teardrop sez11me1
water säz11man1
dead saseìjaun

Writing System[]

There were several writing systems used to transcribe Mentekan, but only on survived to transfer to the mainland, while the others slowly died off as the islanders became illiterate and isolated.


Dduzdoddeč is the only extant writing system of Mentekan, the name of which is the verb to make one understand. Dduzdoddeč is an abugida with 27 consonant characters, 14 final consonant characters, 10 vowel diacritics, 18 vowel final characters/diacritics, 4 tone diacritics, and 11 number logographs. The consonants with the capability to be finals get separate final characters, and if the initial of the next syllable is the same, the final character becomes a final-duple character. The vowels get characters if they are the final of a word, and have different diacritics when attached to a final-duple. The consonants have an inherent vowel of /e/.