Shataranjan was the language of Shataranjans, inhabitants of the tidally-locked planet of Shataran, located around 500 light years from the Solar System.

There are two main descendants, the one spoken on the always bright side which eternally is illuminated by their star, and the other spoken in the darkness of the hemisphere facing against the star.

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



The consonant inventory in noteworthy for having a retroflex series of sounds, no labiodentals and a contrast between voiced and voiceless bilabial trills. [ɾ] is an allophone of /d/ before another voiced stop.

Bilabial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
plain sibilant plain lab.
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ (ŋʷ)
Occlusive unv. p t ts ʈʂ c k (ʔ)
v. b d dz ɖʐ ɟ g
Continuant unv. ɸ ɬ s ʂ ç x h
v. l z ɻ j w
Trill ʙ̥, ʙ


The vowel inventory is rather small and mundane, with [ɨ] being the realization of /i/ after a retroflex consonant.

Front Central Back
High i (ɨ) u
Mid ɛ ɔ
Low a


All diphtongs and are made of either /j/ or /w/ followed by with a vowel. /i/ and /u/ cannot be combined with /j/ and /w/ respectively.

First component Second component Result
/j/ /ɛ/ /jɛ/
/a/ /ja/
/ɔ/ /jɔ/
/u/ /ju/
/w/ /i/ /wi/
/ɛ/ /wɛ/
/a/ /wa/
/ɔ/ /wɔ/


The maximum syllable structure is (C)(L)V(C).


All consonants can serve as onset (for some speakers, /ŋ/ and /ŋʷ/ have merged with null and /w/ in onset). The following onset clusters are permitted:

/m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /p/ /t/ /ts/ /k/ /b/ /d/ /dz/ /g/ /ɸ/ /ɬ/ /s/ /z/
+ ∅ /m/ /n/ /ŋ/ /p/ /t/ /ts/ /k/ /b/ /d/ /dz/ /g/ /ɸ/ /ɬ/ /s/ /z/
+ /j/ /j/ /mj/ /nj/ /pj/ /tj/ /tsj/ /bj/ /dj/ /dzj/ /ɸj/ /ɬj/ /sj/ /zj/
+ /l/ /l/ /ml/ /nl/ /ŋl/ /pl/ /tl/ /tsl/ /kl/ /bl/ /dl/ /dzl/ /gl/ /ɸl/ /sl/ /zl/
+ /w/ /w/ /nw/ /tw/ /tsw/ /dw/ /dzw/ /ɬw/ /sw/ /zw/


The nucleus of a syllable must contain at least one vowel.


/m, n, ŋ, p, t, ts, ʈʂ, k, s, ʂ/ are permitted syllable codas. Obstruent codas are often voiced whenever the following syllable begins with a voiced sound. /t/ becomes [ɾ] when it serves as a coda before a voiced obstruent.


English-based transcription[]

This transcription was created mainly to appeal to English speakers.

m n ɲ ŋ (ŋʷ) p t ts ʈʂ c k (ʔ) b d dz ɖʐ ɟ g
m n ny ng ngw p t ts ch ky k kw ʼ b d, r dz dj gy g gw
ɸ ɬ s ʂ ç x h l z ɻ j w ʙ̥ ʙ i ɛ a ɔ u
f lh s sh hy kh wh h l z r y w pr br i e a o u

Technical transcription[]

This transcription is used for more technical causes.

m n ɲ ŋ (ŋʷ) p t ts ʈʂ c k (ʔ) b d dz ɖʐ ɟ g
m n ñ ŋ ŋw p t c č kj k kw ʼ b d dz gj g gw
ɸ ɬ s ʂ ç x h l z ɻ j w ʙ̥ ʙ i ɛ a ɔ u
f ł s š xj x xw h l z r j w pr br i e a o u



Verb template[]

Negative Imperative Stem Voice Reflexive Mood Tense-Aspect Subject Direct object

Verbs in Shataranjan are highly inflected.


To negate a verb, a prefix su- is added to the word.


There are three voices, from lowest to highest valency, passive, active and causative. A reflexive suffix -dzo- might also be added after the voice suffix.

Affix English equivalent
Passive -on- I am eaten
Active unmarked I eat
Causative -jaš- I make (someone) eat


Affix English equivalent
Present perfective unmarked I eat
Past perfective -juN- I ate
Past imperfective -ni- I was eating
Present imperfective -u- I'm eating
Future -da- I will eat
Prospective -dzjo- I will have eaten


Mood Affix English equivalent
Indicative unmarked You eat
Imperative reduplicated stem Eat!
Conditional -x- You would eat
Potential -fes- You might eat


Verbs exhibit polypersonal agreement.

1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Subject -na- -ñu- -k- -kju- -m-/-∅- -mju-
Object -na -ñu -ak -akju -lom -lomju

Auxiliary verbs[]

Despite its rich verb morphology, Shataranjan makes use of a few auxiliary verbs, which are often located at the very beginning of a sentence. Some of those include:

Auxiliary verb English translation Grammatical function English equivalent
dze- to be Progressive marker I keep eating
dzejuN- to be (past perfective) Past progressive marker I used to eat
wong- to see Future imperfective marker I will be eating
fes- to be able Optative marker May I eat



Nouns have several cases, despite the amount of verb agreement present. This is a relic of Old Shataranjan's extensive case system and less inflected verbs. Nouns also have possessive prefixes. There are multiple types of stems.

Consonant stems[]

Consonant stems, as their name suggests, end in a consonant in their root form and may or may not take an epenthetic vowel if followed by a suffix beginning with a consonant. Their codas undergo voicing when followed by a voiced obstruent or nasal, and are assimilated by place of articulation when they are a nasal. Consonant stems are the most common type of noun in Shataranjan.

Singular Plural
Nominative met metju
Accusative meta metaju
Dative mergi mergju
Genitive merna merñu
Instrumental metłin metłiñu
Ablative mermlo mermloju


h-stems are often roots without a coda. Whenever they take a suffix beginning with a vowel, an -h- is inserted between it and the stem. Whenever a voiced obstruent follows the stem immediately, it gets devoiced.

Singular Plural
Nominative tla tlahju
Accusative tlaha tlahaju
Dative tlaki tlakju
Genitive tlan tlañu
Instrumental tlałin tlałiñu
Ablative tlamlo tlamloju

j-stems and w-stems[]

Some nouns used to end in -w or -j in Old Shataranjan. Those resulted into -i and -u mutating into -j and -w when followed by a vowel suffix.

j-stem w-stem
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative kli klju cu ciu
Accusative klja kljaju cwa cwaju
Dative kligi kligju cugi cugju
Genitive klin kliñu cun cuñu
Instrumental kliłin kliłiñu cułin cułiñu
Ablative klimlo klimloju cumlo cumloju

r-stem and l-stem nouns[]

A few nouns, descended from words that used to end in -r and -l in Old Shataranjan, have since lost those finals, unless followed by another vowel. This creates a set of nouns that gain -r- and -l- in their declension.

r-stem l-stem
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ša šaju dwo dwalju
Accusative šara šaraju dwala dwalaju
Dative šagi šagju dwogi dwogju
Genitive šaran šañu dwalan dwalañu
Instrumental šałin šałiñu dwołin dwołiñu
Ablative šamlo šamloju dwomlo dwomloju

Possessive suffixes[]

1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
-nan -nañu -an -añu -lun -liñu


Adjectives, like nouns, decline for case and number. They have a superlative form marked by reduplicating the root, as such džang = old, džangdžang = very old. To compare two nouns, one of them is placed in the ablative case, and becomes the noun with lesser value compared to the one in the nominative case.


1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative na neju a hju lom lomju
Accusative na naju xa xeju loma lomaju
Dative nagi nagju aki akju lungi lungju
Genitive nan nañu an añu lomon lomeñu
Instrumental nałin nałiñu ałin ałiñu lomłin lomłiñu
Ablative namlo namloju amlo amloju lomlo lomloju
Benefactive naduk nadukju atuk atukju lunduk lundukju


The following table shows the default word order of an extended Shataranjan sentence.

Time indicator Verb Place indicator Manner indicator Subject Direct object Lexical verb in infinitive Indirect object
cjem commloju zarnimlom dardzaju gungaju bratłiñu hongłiñu lom šarajunan kwodle čałin
Three years ago wanted on the cold mountains with passion (lit. with red eyes) he/she my animals to fight with a stick
Three years ago on the cold mountains, he/she wanted to fight my animals with a stick with passion.

Relative clause[]

The particle lem links a relative clause to the main clause.


Shataranjan uses a base 8 number system.


See Shataranjan/Vocabulary.

Example text[]