Head direction
Head Final
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p b t d k g ʔ
Fricative f s ʃ ç
Affricate ts
Approximant j
Flap ɾ
Lateral app l
Lateral flap ɺ

Fricatives are voiced intervocalically or following a nasal, such as the /v/ in omves.

Consonants are romanized as their IPA symbols, except for ʃ ('sh' or 'zh'), ç ('c' or 'j'), ɾ ('r'), ɺ ('rl'), j ('y') and ʔ (' ' ').

/ɺ/ is a rare consonant and only found in certain dialects while most speakers pronounce as /ɾ/; in the dialects that produce it as /ɺ/, /l/ is commonly closer to /ɮ/.


Front Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open æ

Close-mid vowels become near-close in unstressed syllables. e [-stressed] > ɪ and o [-stressed] > ʊ.

There is vowel harmony shown in the verb morphology. The first vowel in the root or derived word is used to determine whether the front or back agglugnating prefixes are used.

Some word-final vowels have different realizations. æ e i o u -> æ ə i ʊ ɯ / _#


(C)V(C) structure. Words have a tendency to start with a vowel that is followed by two consonants. For example, omv in omves


Stress lands on the first syllable of the main morpheme. 


Omves - [omvɪs]

Rla'ep - [ɺaʔɪp]

Kere - [keɾə]



Non-Past 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person
Nominative Singular ed kova tsu
Nominative Paucal edka kovek tsuek
Nominative Plural edya kofya utsya
Accusative Singular edu kovau tsau
Accusative Paucal etuk kovuk tseuk
Accusative Plural edyu kofyau utsyau
Past 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person
Nominative Singular amni komva tsun
Nominative Paucal amnek komvek tsen
Nominative Plural anya komvoya tsa
Accusative Singular amnu komvau tsaun
Accusative Paucal amnuk komvuk tsen
Accusative Plural ashyau komvoyau utsau

Using the first person nominative pronouns can be considered self-centered and rude. Instead, it is preferred for one to use the passive voice. The reflexive voice works like normal in this situations. With gender agreement, the personal pronouns are always animate.

Pronouns can be shown to possess something by either placing the other noun into the possessed case, or by using these suffixes:

Genitive Suffixes 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person
Singular -am -ko -tsu
Paucal -ame -koi -utse
Plural -an -kom -utsa

For example, isamyo means my books and iskom means your (pl.) book.


NP stands for non-past, and P stands for past.

Pro-forms Pronoun NP Descriptor NP Pronoun P Descriptor P
Proximal icsa icsau imsa imsau
Medial iku ikau imku imkau
Distal izu izau imzu imzau
Universal inem inemu imnem imnemu
Many i'ari i'aryu imari imaryu
Some i'ar i'aru imar imaru
Few ikepu ikepau inkepu inkepau
Negative itsou itsau intsou intsau

The pronoun forms are treated like regular inanimate nouns during declension and gender agreement. Negative pro-forms are generally preferred over negative verbs in active clauses. The proximal, medial and distal pronouns may replace third person pronouns if the antedecendent is unclear from context; this is more commonly done with inanimate objects.


Verbs are usually constructed by adding suffixes to other words. For example, on means speech and su means to do, so to speak/say is onzu. Verbs conjugate to show mood, voice and negativity, and agree in number with the main argument. Each suffix has two forms which are chosen depending on the last vowel in the root.

Moods Front Back

Indicative (General)

-(i)l -(u)l
Indicative (Sensory) -dem -dom
Indicative (Deduction) -shi -su
Imperative -ya -co
Prediction -em -om
Decision -pei -pu
Possibility -(e)kyei -(u)pyu
Condition -sa -som
Wish -gis -gul
Requirement -nem -nom
Voice Front Back
Active None None
Passive -ki -ko
Reflexive -(e)kis -(u)kos
Number Front Back
Singular None None
Paucal -na -no
Plural -re -ro
Negativity Prefix
Positive None
Negative tsof(p)-
Question kof(p)-

Here is a fully conjugated verb: onzulkoro

Because verbs do not conjugate to show tense, the third person pronouns are instead used to show the past tense. The pronoun is put after the main argument with which it agrees in number. This is usually only done for the past, but for emphasis it may be done for the non-past as well.

Negative clauses are created by adding the prefix tsof(p)- e.g. tsofponzul. Both subject and object are placed in the accusative case in negative clauses. The is included if the phonotatics allow it. This is done similarly for questions, but with the prefix kof(p)-

Adding -(e)s to a verb root makes the action involuntary. For example, onko means to listen and onkos means to hear.

Word Order[]

SOV. Pronouns may be put after the verb on dropped entirely if their meaning is clear from context. Descriptors being used as adverbs go before the verb.


Restrictive descriptors go before a noun, and unrestrictive descriptors go after a noun.

Nouns decline for several cases and three numbers. They do not show any kind of vowel harmony, unlike the verb conjugation.

Nouns Singular Paucal Plural
Nominative None -ou -yo
Accusative -au -yau -yau
Genitive -eis -yeis -yeis
Possessed -u -yu -yu

For example, omvesyau is omves in the accusative plural.

Some descriptors can only go with animate nouns; to solve this problem an -i can be added to an inanimate noun to allow it to be used with an animate-only descriptors. This suffix can also be a method of expressing personification. For example, aras means happy, but since inanimate objects cannot literally be happy, the noun phrase the happy book would be aras isi.

Possession is shown by either placing the possesser into the genitive case, or by placing the possessed into the possessed case, depending on which one wants to emphasize. For example, tejeis is and izu tec both mean the boy's book.


There are some particles that can have a noun phrase before or after them which adjusts their meaning. For example, the particle ufko means to for a noun phrase before it, or from for a following noun phrase. These particles can have a noun phrase both before and after it, as well. For example, from the tall boy to the person would be sonvau ufko sereli tec. Nouns are left in their plain form when used with a particle.

If a noun has particles on either side, it is possible that the noun could have both particle meanings applied to it, but this can be worked out from how many connected noun phrases the particles in question may take.


TODO -i makes descriptors animate unless the descriptor is animate only


The copula i is used just like a normal verb. It is, however, irregular. The negative and question forms are the same as normal.

Mood Singular Plural
Indicative (Reporting) i il
Indicative (Sensory) ide idre
Imperative ya yara
Prediction yem yere
Decision ipe ipre
Possibility ikye ikyere
Condition isa isara
Wish ig igra

Relative Clauses[]

Relative clauses function like descriptors and as such can be placed before or after a noun/descriptor to indicate restrictiveness. A relative clause is closed with a relative particle shown in the table below.

The top row is for the function in the main clause and the left column is for the function in the suboodinate clause. If the relative particle needs extra particles to show the relationship, these are affixed onto the main particle.

Relative Particle Nominative Accusative Particle
Nominative rla(') rlau rli
Accusative rlua rluau rlu
Particle rlas rlaus rlos

To create a relative clause between two descriptors, one may use the relative particle rlo.

Example: I am the boy who reads booksed isyau iskol rlau tejau i.

Example: I read as fast as you [read]. ed rlo kova [iskol] ofta iskol.

Indirect Objects[]

There is no simple way for adding indirect objects like a particle or affix, but instead one must add an extra verb to describe the indirect object's relationship to the main action. For example, this English sentence has ambiguity: I read the book to the boy. Did the boy just hear what I was saying, or was he listening? In Omves, one must carefully choose the verb to express an indirect object.

To add an indirect object, one adds the verb after the main verb followed by the indirect object in the accusative case: amni izau iskol onkol tejau. I read the book to the boy (who listened).

That Clauses[]

That clauses are formed with an introductory particle si and end with a closing particle lom (nominative) or lok (accusative).

Example: I heard that you are happyed si kova aras i lok onkosul.

Passive Voice[]

One may reintroduce the actor at the end of a passive clause by preceding the noun phrase with eu, and putting the noun in the nominative case. For pronouns, the prefix e- is added to them instead of the particle eu.


Word Gloss Category Gender
aras happy descriptor Animate
arasnam to unmake happy verb
arasnef to make happy verb
bi to create verb
danzhe sun noun Inanimate
du to move verb
gontu moon noun Inanimate
ilec girl noun Animate
ik motion noun Inanimate
ikdu to go/come verb
is text/book noun Inanimate
isbi to write verb
isko to read verb
akpi to feel verb
akpira to care about verb
ko to destroy verb
mori animal noun Animate
nam to unmake verb
nef to make verb
tec boy noun Animate
tikso tree noun Inanimate
ofta fast descriptor
on speech noun Inanimate
ombi to write (speech) verb
omves language noun Inanimate
onko to listen verb
onkos to hear verb
onzu to say verb
serel tall descriptor
sonvau person noun Animate
su to do verb
ud sight, picture noun Inanimate
udzus to see verb
udzu to look verb
fes order, structure noun Inanimate


Number Word
0 cem, cemo
1 ma, mau
2 ka, kau
3 igdo, igdou
4 uspe, uspeu
5 ano, anou
6 aktom, aktomo
7 egvu, egvu'o
8 unji, unjis
9 enoi, enois
10 kaus, kauso
11 rovu, rovu'o

Omves' numbers are made in base 12. A number is built from pairs of numbers followed by a place value marker. The place value markers are for the 144s and 1728s, nosta for the 20,736s and 248,832s. Bigger numbers had no method of construction. 

0-11 each have two forms. The first form is used at the end of a number pair, and the second form is used at the start of a number pair or in isolation.

For example, 160 would be mau a mauuspe, and 2,985,983 would be rovu'orovu nosta rovu'orovu a rovu'orovu.

Example Text[]