Middle Pelhaforan was a stage of the Pelhaforan language after Old Pelhaforan (OP).



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ (ny)
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative f s ʃ (sh) x h


ʋ (v)

ɾ (r) j (y)


/ts/ (z), /tʃ/ (ch)


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
Close i u
Mid e
Open-mid ɔ (o)
Open a

Long vowels are expressed by double vowels (i.e. a: -> 'aa').

Unstressed /e/ is realized as [ə]; unstressed /i/ can be realized as [ɪ].


/ai/ /au/ /ei/ /oi/



is the Pelhaforan syllable structure, where:

  • C₁ is an optional consonant onset;
  • C₂ is a optional medial consonant which is either /j/ or /w/;
  • V₁(V₂) is either the monophthong or diphthong nuclei, or lengthened vowel;
  • and C₃ is the optional consonant coda, which can be /n/, /t/, /k/, and /ɾ/.

Within a word, a consonant coda followed by a vowel becomes the onset of the next syllable.

Sound Changes From Old Pelhaforan[]

The symbols used follow the convention of Index Diachronica.

  • Vs -> V:∅ / _%
  • h -> ∅ / V_V
  • C0h -> C0C0
  • g -> ∅ / KV_
  • u -> w / _V ! uu
  • i -> j / _V ! ii
  • e -> j / _B
  • e -> e: / _E
  • B -> u / a_
  • a{e, i] -> ai
  • oB -> o:
  • o -> w / _E ! _i
  • d z -> z r / V_V
  • z -> ts
  • o -> ɔ
  • sj si -> ʃ ʃi
  • tj ti -> tʃ tʃi
  • m -> ∅ / _w
  • b -> ʋ / _B
  • nj -> ɲ
  • g -> ∅ / _w
  • e -> i / #_
  • C0C0 -> C0


Pelhaforan nouns are not marked for grammatical gender, number, or articles. Pelhaforan has a possession marker, “ki” (also the conjunction for comparisons), which is placed after the possessor and before the possessed object. Unlike in Old Pelhaforan, ki is almost never omitted in formal writing, although dialectally it may be dropped in cases of inalienable possession.

Personal pronouns[]

Personal pronouns are marked by person and number. An intensive pronoun can be expressed with the suffix “-sur” placed after the personal pronoun. Placed alone after the verb, sur may also express the reflexive.

Singular Plural
1st person het, zoo1 sau
2nd person an kyan
3rd person tee, kor, kaa 2 gare

1 zoo derives from OP pronoun zos meaning "this person." It is more colloquial and less formal than het.

2 tee (from OP tes meaning "that person"), kor (from OP goza, "woman"), and kaa (from OP kas, third-person singular pronoun) are masculine, feminine, and neuter respectively.


Noun classifiers are necessary when counting nouns. They classify the noun according to its type. As in OP, the format is numeral-classifier-noun. The noun may be omitted when it is clear from context, as the classifier will give a vague notion of what the noun is. A standalone classifier without the numeral is used before a noun to express indefiniteness.

Common classifiers:

  • "ii" - for humans
  • "ne" - for inanimate objects
  • "shu" - for animals
  • "ben" - 'piece of', 'lump of'
  • "bar" - 'cup of'
  • "tar" - 'line of', 'row of'

Table of Correlatives[]

Pelhaforan makes a two-way distinction for demonstratives. The proximal demonstrative (‘this’) is “zo”; the distal demonstrative (‘that’) is “te.” The demonstrative adjective is placed before the noun as a regular adjective. No distinction is made between interrogative and indefinite (“any”) pro-forms.

Query Proximal Distal Existential Universal Negatory Alternative
Determiner nya zo te ora1 tuu baa zin
Pronouns Person nyaa zo ii 2 te ii 2 oraa tusa basa zinaa
Thing nyane zone tene oran tusen basen zinen
Out of many nyaa zone tene oran tusen basen zinen
Pro-Adverbs Place nyachin zochin techin orachin tuchin bachin zinchin
Time nawuu3 apa dowu owuu 3 tuwuu 3 bawuu 3 --
Manner naasu zwasu teesu wasu -- -- --
Reason nyan kuu yun -- -- -- --

1Shortened from OP yora.

2 These pronouns would have been zoo (OP: zos) and tee (OP: tes), but those became personal pronouns. This caused new demonstrative pronouns to be created with the help of ii, the noun classifier for humans.

3 /h/ -> /w/ resolved the conflicting sound changes Vs -> V:∅ / _% and h -> ∅ / V_V.

The above pronouns can be modified with adjectives. For example, sotatorya te ii means "that drunk one."

Another notable determiner is "yo", derived from OP yora, meaning "an unspecified amount or quantity of; some." In this way, the determiner acts similar to a plural marker. It may be used with other determiners, as in "nya yo" ('which ones?') or "zo yo" ('these").


Verbs in Pelhaforan are not conjugated for person, tense, or voice, but they are marked for aspect. Standalone verbs often serve as complete sentences, as Pelhaforan is pro-drop. Pronouns can be dropped when the context is clear.


Aspectual particles follow the verb. Aspect marking is not strictly required and can be omitted when the aspect can be inferred.

  • "na" - progressive aspect
  • "yu" - perfect aspect
  • "hii" - inchoative aspect


To negate a verb, a double negative is used. The particle "ko" (formerly used for negative imperatives in OP) is placed before the verb and the particle "ba" is placed after. For example, Sau ko sota ba means "We do not drink."

For negating imperatives, the OP ko has been replaced by "muba" (grammaticalized form of 'omu ba', lit. "(it is) not good <to do something>") placed before the verb. For example, Muba teni tee means "Don't strike him!"


Adjectives in Pelhaforan differ in predicative and attributive usages. When used as a predicate, the adjective takes the form of a stative verb. As a stative verb, the adjective takes on aspectual particles.When used attributively on a noun, the adjective takes a form ending, in most cases, in -ya. There are some exceptions, due to palatalization from Old Pelhaforan:

Predicative Attributive
-V0V0 -V0sha *
-t -cha

In the first case, the OP final -s has been dropped from the predicative adjective, lengthening the prior vowel. Meanwhile, the OP -sya palatalizes to -sha. In the second case, the OP attributive ending -tya becomes a -cha.

An example: te dayo sotator (lit. "that man drunk") means "That man is drunk," while sotatorya dayo means "drunk man."

In negating an attributive adjective, the particle "ba" follows the word.


The suffix "-not" (from postposition not, meaning "to, at, toward") creates an adverb out of an adjective. An adverb that modifies an attributive-form adjective precedes it. An adverb that modifies a verb can be placed in two locations: either between the subject and the verb, or after the verb and the pronouns.


Pelhaforan comparatives and superlatives are syntactically formed with the comparison adverbs “waa” (OP: was) and “zwa” (OP: zoha) respectively. When modifying adjectival verbs and other adverbs, the comparison adverb follows the word. However, when modifying an attributive adjective, the adverb precedes.

In a comparison, the conjunction used is "ke" (related to ki, the possessive particle). For example, "She is drunker than I" is rendered as Kor sotator waa ke zoo.


  • basen - zero
  • too ('tos-' before a vowel) - one
  • dan - two
  • ge - three
  • ruu ('rus-' before a vowel) - four
  • wet - five
  • fen - six
  • nin - seven
  • zek - eight
  • tut - nine
  • pyat - ten
  • yan - hundred
  • mik - thousand
  • dyo - million
  • mito - billion

Numerals above ten are formed by stacking. Eleven is pyat too (ten-one), twelve is pyat dan (ten-two), twenty one is danpyat too (two-ten one), one hundred and twenty three is tooyan danpyat ge (one-hundred two-ten three), and so on.

Ordinal numerals are formed by the suffix "-ka", which turns the numeral into an adjective. For example, dankaya dayo means "second man."


Most Pelhaforan words that fall under this category are either prepositions (placed before their complement) or postpositions (placed after their complement). Adpositional phrases tend to be placed in three possible locations in the SVO sentence: in the beginning of the sentence, right after the verb, and after the direct object.


  • kin - with, alongside; in addition to
  • kinba - without, lacking; beside, except
  • ni - for, to, directed at (indirect object marker)
  • xak - such as, like


  • faa - in, at, into
  • se – by means of, using, with, in (language)
  • not – to, at, towards; up to, until, as far as
  • mer – from, out of; since
  • bit – near, around; approximately, about
  • zoknot – up, toward the top of; upward
  • garnot – down; downward
  • fasuu – during, throughout, in (time)
  • zoxitos – around, surrounding
  • zokbit – about, regarding, concerning
  • xeerak – along, lengthwise
  • xeetuu – throughout, all through, in every part of
  • nosaga – toward, at, for, in the direction of
  • fasaun – among, between
  • kinee - because of, for the sake of, on account of (shortened form of OP circumposition ni... ki nese)
  • kichin - instead of, rather than, in lieu of (from OP ni... ki tin)
  • inyut - not until, only when, only then (from OP inyudu)

Relational nouns[]

Relational nouns indicate relative position, either spatial or temporal. They differ from 'pure' postpositions in that they cannot be used by themselves after a noun complement. A relational noun must be used in conjunction with either the verb rut ('to be located in') or the postposition faa ('in, at'), or another adposition. Unlike in Old Pelhaforan, the possessive particle ki is not used.

  • saga – before, in front of; by (a certain time); lit. “fore, front; face”
  • yuzu – after, behind; later in time; lit. “back, rear, behind”
  • zok – above, over; on, on top of
  • gar – beneath, below, under
  • zoton – across, on/to the opposite side; through
  • rak – beside, next to; lit. “side, flank”
  • yanik – inside (of), within; during, in (time); lit. “interior, inside”
  • zet – outside (of); lit. “outside, exterior”
  • duu – against, in contrary direction to; lit. “opposite, contrary”


  • zu – and
  • ban – or
  • dak – if, supposing that, whether
  • xak – as, in the same way that (introduces a basis of comparison); lit. “similar, alike”
  • ke – than
  • sho – but, however, although (implies the following clause contrasts with or contradicts the previous statement or belief) (also used as an adverb)
  • kinba – except for, excluding, but
  • naasu – however, in whatever manner; lit. “how”
  • <adjective> ni... not – so (adj.) that... (indicates consequence or result); lit. "for" & "to"
  • nyanse – because, for the reason that; lit. nyan (‘why’) + se (‘by’)
  • ryo – because, for the reason that
  • nikuu – so that, in order that; lit. ni (‘for’) + kus (‘therefore’)
  • nyun – so that, in order that; lit. ni ('for') + yun ('therefore')
  • kuu – therefore, so, as a result, consequently; lit. “herefore, for this reason”
  • yun – therefore, so, as a result, consequently; lit. “therefore, for that reason”
  • zuzu… -- both… and…
  • zwaa - then, in that case (related to zwaasu, meaning "in this way")
  • daksho - though, even though, although; related to dak ('if') + sho ('but')


Modality expresses possibility, probability, and necessity. Deontic modality expresses permission or obligation in terms of the freedom to act, while epistemic modality expresses possibility or certainty of knowledge. The two types of modality often mix. In Pelhaforan, modality is expressed semantically through two means: modal particles and modal verbs.


Modal particles are often used to convey mood or attitude and highlight the focus of the sentence. They are used excessively in colloquial speech. These include sentence-final particles that express evidentiality.

  • bet” – reportative (hearsay or secondhand information; “it is said…”)
  • "mii” – inferential (based on indirect evidence; “must be, probably, would be…”)
  • she” – visual sensory (based on visual evidence; “seems, looks”)

Other modal particles which are also sentence-final include:

  • "aa" - emphatic, self-evident, obvious; often used in conjunction with a predicative adjective
  • "duk" - indicates a fact can't be changed and must be accepted; "simply", "merely", "just"
  • "re" - conveys impatience or urgency; may indicate imperative; "already"
  • "so" - suggests either a piece of knowledge (epistemic) or a type of action (deontic)

The notable exception is the optative "taa", which is placed at the beginning of a phrase that is a wish, blessing, or a curse.

Modal Auxiliaries[]

Auxiliary verbs cannot be modified for aspect or used imperatively. They precede the main verb.

  • "got" - "may, have permission to, be allowed to" (deontic)
  • "pat" - "can, be able to, know how to" (deontic); "may, might" (epistemic)
  • "son" - "must, be required to, have to" (deontic)
  • "ten" - "can, be able to, could" (deontic)
  • "wut" - "should, ought to" (deontic & epistemic)


The basic word order is subject-verb-object. Pelhaforan is a pro-dropping language, which means nouns will be omitted when the context is clear.


Pelhaforan is a topic-prominent language. Oftentimes, the topic-comment structure is used in lieu of the normal SVO structure. This is done using "da" as the topic marker, placed after the noun. For example, te dayo da, tee sotator means "The man is drunk," or literally "That man, he is drunk."


The main copula of Pelhaforan is "za" ('to be'). Because of the stative verb nature of Pelhaforan adjectives, za is used only for noun complements. Most standard za sentences utilize an SOV, topic-comment sentence structure. For example, zoo da ii dayo za means "I am a man." This sentence uses da as the topic marker for zoo ('I, me') and places the copula za at the end of the sentence.

Another verb, "rut" ('to be in, to be at'), is used to indicate location. This verb is used alongside adpositional phrases. The verb rut is another verb that uses an SOV sentence form. For example, gare da chiro-zok rut, meaning "they are on the water." However, unlike za, the verb rut may also be used with a normal SVO form, as in gare rut chiro-zok.

Dependent Clauses[]

Dependent clauses use the same word order as main clauses, namely SVO. Pelhaforan lacks a complementizer to link the main clause with the dependent clause; the dependent clause simply follows without any introductory "that" word.

A adverbial clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb. Adverbial clauses either precede the verb or stand at the beginning of the sentence, with some exceptions. When indicating the result or consequence of an action (using the ni... not format), the adverbial clause comes last, after the verb and pronouns.

Relative (adjectival) clauses modify nouns or noun phrases. A relative clause precedes the noun it modifies and uses a relativizer word that links the relative clause with its noun. The relativizer is "ki", identical to the possessive marker.


Word order is not changed in questions and remains in situ. As Pelhaforan does not have clear-cut counterparts of “yes” and “no,” these questions are typically answered by echo responses.

Polar questions are formed with the sentence-final particle “naa.” Non-polar questions are formed by an optional emphatic particle, "gaa" or "aa", at the end. Indirect questions, on the other hand, are embedded without question particles within sentences. An indirect polar question uses the conjunction "dak", meaning 'if, whether'.


Although Pelhaforan has a passive structure, the passive is not used often due to the existence of the topic-comment structure. The passive is expressed syntactically, in a quasi-topic-comment structure. The grammaticalized adposition “kato” (lit. “to give’) is placed after the patient noun and before the optional agent noun. The verb is at the end of the sentence. For example, zo nivo kato sota yu means "This beverage was consumed," while zo nivo kato het sota yu means "This beverage was consumed by me."

Xut Structure[]

The auxiliary "xut", placed in front of the object, allows the object to be placed before the main verb. This allows for greater flexibility with sentence construction.The verb xut is most often used with perfect aspect. The use of this verb does not imply a more removed level of agency, as in English; "zoo xuri-yu tee" ('I have killed him') becomes "zoo xut tee xuri-yu" (akin to 'I had him killed', but still with the same meaning).

Derivational morphology[]

  • ‘-wan’ – verbal nouns
  • ‘-kat’ – abstract nouns denoting a state or condition; from adjectives
  • ‘-sar’ – agent nouns
  • ‘-tuu’ – adjectives from nouns
  • ‘-si’ – diminutive suffix; also adjectives from nouns
  • ‘-xak’ – adjectives meaning “similar or reminiscent of”; lit. xak “alike, similar”
  • -wi’ – causative verbs denoting change or transformation; -ify, -ize
  • ‘-chin’ – nouns of place or location
  • ‘-duu’ – against, hostile to; opposite of, reverse; counteracting; “anti-”; lit. “against”
  • baa-’ / 'bas-' – adjectives meaning “lack of, without”
  • kan-’ – chief, extreme; surpassing, superior; above, “super-,” “over-”; lit. kan “high, tall”
  • zet’ – outward (prefix); outside of, beyond, “extra-” (suffix); lit. “outside”
  • gar-’ – deputy, subsidiary, secondary; subordinate; “vice-,” “sub-”; lit. “beneath”
  • mur-’ – excessively, too; beyond, surpassing; “over-,” “super-”; lit. “too, excessively”
  • ten-’ – able to be done; “-able”; from modal verb ten “can, be able to”
  • 'sak' - before, pre-, in front; shortened form of saga
  • 'yut-' - after, behind, in the back; shortened form of yudu

Writing system[]

Changes to the language produced spelling irregularities for Pelhaforan's abugida script. [1]


dokdok (adv) - sometimes, occasionally, time to time (from OP frequentative aspectual particle)

wesar (n) - bandit, robber, thief (from OP mohessar "soldier")