Swamp Gothic
Type Fusional
Alignment SVO
Head direction Initial
Tonal No
Declensions Yes
Conjugations Yes
Genders 3
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect
Progress 6%
Nouns 0%
Verbs 0%
Adjectives 0%
Syntax 0%
Words 2000 of 1500
Creator IHCOYC

Swamp Gothic is, together with the closely related Crimean Gothic, one of the few remaining remnants of the Ostrogothic language. It is spoken in a few villages in the marshy areas of Volhynia around the Pripyat and Bug rivers, in territory in contemporary Belarus and Ukraine.

Classification and Dialects[]

Pinsk Marshes

The area between the Pripyat and the Berezina rivers is the home of Swamp Gothic.

Swamp Gothic is an East Germanic language, descended from the language spoken by the Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) who settled in Eastern Europe north of the Black Sea. There are two major dialects of the language; the western Pripyat dialect and the eastern Berezina dialect. The two dialects are mutually intelligible, and the standard orthography serves for both of them. They differ mostly in the realization of nasal vowels.

Historical phonology[]

Swamp Gothic is an East Germanic language, and like its sister language Crimean Gothic it preserves a number of specifically East Germanic sound changes. *vallaz > Bible Gothic waddjus > vađovs "wall"; *triwwiz > triggws > trinžovs "true"; *ajja > *addja > jožo "egg"; cf. Crimean Gothic ada.[1]

  1. Graphic ai, au > e, o. I am assuming that Ulfila, who assembled his own alphabet and was free to draw distinctions, spelled them all the same way because they sounded alike to him. airþa > *erto > jereto "earth"
  2. a/o, ā/ō > o/a
  3. θ, ð > t, d; þliuhan > teljuchõ "flee"
  4. q > k; hw > v; w > v hwaila > vjelo "while"; *bliwa > blivo "lead"
  5. Open syllable rule: Closed syllables are reduced, in the following stages:
    1. Nasals: *N indicating either *n or *m not immediately followed by a vowel: aN, eN, iN, oN, uN → õ, ẽ, ẽ, õ, ỹ; swinþs > svẽts "strong"
    2. In a cluster of stops or fricatives + another consonant, the obstruent is deleted unless the cluster can occur word-initially; nahts > nochs "night"
    3. Liquids: eR, oR > eRe, oRo (see below)
    4. But final -s is preserved where it has grammatical significance, without regard to the nature of the resulting cluster. However, final -s will be lost after a palatized consonant: fisks > višč "fish" (nominative case).
  6. Consonants are palatalized by an immediately following *j:
    • sj, zj > ʃ, ʒ
    • nj, lj, rj > ň, ľ, ř
    • tj, dj > ʧ, ʤ
    • bj, pj, mj, wj > bl, pl, ml, wl; *betists > blešč "best"
  7. Prothesis: Before a word-initial vowel, j or w is usually inserted, depending on the vowel: je, ji wo, wu, but either ja or wa. Grammatical particles such as prepositions are not always affected: asans > josons "harvest, crop"
  8. Palatalization. k, g, x > ts, *dz, *ʃ before or occasionally after e, i. This leads to regular alterations in the morphology.
  9. Vowel quality shifts: All pairs of long/short vowels become differentiated as well by vowel quality:
    • a, ā > o, a
    • e, ē > je (with palatizations)
    • i, u > ɪ, ʊ
    • *ī, *ū, *ȳ > i, u, y
  10. Breakup of liquid-final syllables: or, ol, er, el > oro, olo, ere, ele; gards > horods "town, enclosure"; fairþs > vereds "world"; wairstwo > vorostva "husband". This also holds true before semivowels; *farwa > forovo "color"
  11. ur, ul, ir, il > syllabic r, l, ř, ľ
  12. Word final stops are devoiced.
  13. g > h; dags > dohs "day"
    1. Except in cases of VgC, in which g > j: bagms > bojms "tree"; fugls > vujls "bird"
    2. ŋg > ŋ, written ng.
  14. hj > j
  15. Word-initial h is often lost. Elsewhere, it becomes ch.
  16. Word-initial f often becomes v.
  17. VhV > VchV, and occasionally elsewhere; hiuhma > juchmo "heap, pile"
  18. CwS, CuS > Covs; fotus > fatovs "foot"; triggws > trinžovs "true"
  19. VfV > VvV


While umlaut is not a feature of the inflectional system of Swamp Gothic, palatization does figure prominently and tends to be strongly regular. The following table indicates the palatized forms of the stops and sibilants. These are the palatizations that are marked specifically by diacriticals in the orthography. Other consonants are subject to palatization besides these; for these, a following j in the orthography indicates the consonant quality.

Velar Palatal
t č
k č / š
d đ
h ž
(g) ž
z ž
s š
sk šč
st šč


Labial Coronal Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive pʲ pˠ bʲ bˠ tˠ (tʲ > ʧ) dˠ (dʲ > ʤ) ʧ ʤ kˠ (kʲ > ʧ) (*gˠ > ɦ; *gʲ > ʒ)
Affricate ts dz ʃtʃ
Fricative s z ʃ ʒ x ɦ
Trill r
Lateral l ʎ
Approximant ʋ j


Front Central Back
Close i ɪ ɨ ʊ u y
Mid e ɛ o ɔ
Open ʌ ɑ
Front Central Back
Mid ɛ̃ ɔ̃
Open ɑ̃


The maximal size of a syllable in Swamp Gothic is SCCVCS, where S is either s or š. While Swamp Gothic exhibits a large number of consonant clusters, generally only those clusters that can begin a word can begin a syllable, and there is a historic preference for open syllables. The exception is for grammatical -s when it appears in noun paradigms, and is generally preserved.

The stressed syllable is rather unpredictable. It is almost always the first syllable of the "historic root". This means that various inflectional features, such as the imperfective prefixes of the verb, do not affect the accent; nor do modifying particles such as on-, bi-, or vỹ-. It is complicated, however, by the large number of epenthetic syllables added during the history of the language. The many words in which formerly syllabic l and r sounds attract epenthetic vowels are affected. One or another of the resulting vowels is stressed and the other reduced. This is also a dialect difference; the western dialects favor the first vowel - volofs /'ʋɔ.ɫʌfs/ "wolf" - while the eastern dialects favor the second: /ʋʌ.'ɫɔfs/.

Writing System[]

For most of its history, Swamp Gothic was a purely oral language. The standard orthography was devised by the missionary Fjodor Polešuk in the late nineteenth century, and is meant to create a written norm that applies equally to the eastern and western dialects.

The two dialects differ in their realization of the historically nasal vowel sounds, written Ã, Ẽ, Õ, and Ỹ. In the more conservative, western Pripyat dialect, these sounds are realized as short nasal vowels. In the eastern Berezina dialect, the nasal feature of the vowels is dropped and the underlying vowels are lengthened, making Ã, Ẽ, and Õ identical in realization to Á, É, and Ó. The historic nasal feature is retained in the orthography. The dialect spoken in the Pinsk area varies in the adoption of this sound change, although the substitution of /o:/ for /ɔ̃/ is usual in when Õ appears as the infinitive ending of the verb. In ordinary speech the majority of speakers drop the nasal quality in closed syllables, and preserve it in open syllables.

The two dialects also differ in their realization of the sound represented by the character F, which in the western dialects is /f/ and in the eastern dialects /ɸ/. The westernmost dialects also realize L as /w/ unless it appears between two high vowels; this is considered extremely basilectal and rustic.

A number of digraphs are used: ch represents /x/, and lj and nj will be realized as /ʎ/ and /ɲ/ respectively, and /i:/ is represented by ij.

The letter G was formerly used as a sort of an opposite to J; where j was written to indicate a palatized pronunciation, g would be used with a non-palatal consonant. This written convention is obsolete except in the digraph ng representing /ŋ/.

Letter Sound Letter Sound
A a [ɑ], Á á [ɑ:]
à ã [ɑ̃] ~ [ɑ:] B b [b]
C c [ʦ] Č č [ʧ]
D d [d] Ď đ [ʤ]
E e [ɛ] É é [e:]
Ẽ ẽ [ɛ̃] ~ [e:] F f [f] ~ [ɸ]
G g see text H h [ɦ]
I i [ɪ] ~ [ɨ] J j [j]
K k [k] L l [l]
M m [m] N n [n], [ŋ]
O o [ɔ] ~ [ʌ] Õ õ [ɔ̃] ~ [o:]
Ó ó [o:] P p [p]
R r [r] ~ [ɾ] S s [s]
Š š [ʃ] T t [t]
U u [u], [u:] V v [ʋ]
Y y [y] Ỹ ỹ [ỹ] ~ [y:]
Z z [z] Ž ž [ʒ]



First declension, type A: non-palatal stems[]

The first declension contains masculine and neuter consonant stems. Historically, these are a-stems, and o-stems in Indo-European. For stems whose final consonant is subject to palatization changes, several pattens emerge. For roots with non-palatal stems subject to palatization, the genitive singular and plural will be subject to change. For stems whose final consonant is already in the palatized series, it is the dative singular and plural that change. The consonant to which the root changes back is lexical.

As in most Indo-European languages, for neuters the nominatives and accusatives are identical. Masculine nouns of this declension have -s in the nominative.

volofs, "wolf" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative volofs vɔɫʌfs volofas vɔɫʌfɑs
Vocative volof vɔɫʌf volofas vɔɫʌfɑs
Genitive volofis vɔɫʌfɪs volofje vɔɫʌfjɛ
Dative volofo vɔɫʌfɔ volofõ vɔɫʌfɔ̃
Accusative volof vɔɫʌf volofa vɔɫʌfɑ

Also declined like volofs: vujls "bird", himils "heaven", lebs "bread", ljubs "leaf", vlabs "grease" and many more.

Note also that in this declension, a distinction is drawn that does not entirely map onto gender in Swamp Gothic. Animate nouns that name people or familiar animals, such as volofs and vujls, have -a in the accusative plural, but -as in the nominative and vocative plurals. Inanimate masculine nouns have -as in both. Neuter nouns will have -a in all forms.

Nasal stem[]

ščẽs, "stone" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative ščẽs ʃʧɛ̃s ščenas ʃʧɛnɑs
Vocative ščẽ ʃʧɛ̃n ščenas ʃʧɛnɑs
Genitive ščenis ʃʧɛnɪs ščenje ʃʧɛnjɛ
Dative ščeno ʃʧɛnɔ ščenõ ʃʧɛnɔ̃
Accusative ščẽ ʃʧɛ̃n ščenas ʃʧɛnɑs

Also declined like ščens: čudõs "people, folk, nation".

Neuter nasal stems[]

korõ (n) "grain".

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative korõ kɔrɔ̃ korona kɔrɔnɑ
Vocative korõ kɔrɔ̃ korona kɔrɔnɑ
Genitive koronis koronɪs koronje kɔrɔnjɛ
Dative korono kɔrɔnɔ koronõ kɔrɔnɔ̃
Accusative korõ kɔrɔ̃ korona kɔrɔnɑ

Also declined like korõ: ogorõ (n) "fruit", jezorõ (n) "iron", and many more.

First declension, type B: palatizing stems[]

vorod "word" (n)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative vorod vɔrɔt voroda vɔrɔdɑ
Vocative vorod vɔrɔt voroda vɔrɔdɑ
Genitive vorođis vɔrɔʤɪs vorođje vɔrɔʤɛ
Dative vorodo vɔrɔdɔ vorodõ vɔrɔdɔ̃
Accusative vorod vɔrɔt voroda vɔrɔdɑ

Many Swamp Gothic nouns are declined like vorod, including jets "oath" (m), višč "fish" (m), vẽds "wind" (m), vosts "twig" (m). The masculines all lose the -s prefix in the vocative and accusative cases. Masculines also have -as in the nominative and accusative plural.


Historically, these nouns have -g as the final vowel of the stem, which regularly changes to -h in Swamp Gothic. This becomes before the palatizing genitive endings.

dohs, "day" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative dohs dɔs dohas dɔɦɑs
Vocative doh dɔɦ dohas dɔɦɑs
Genitive dožis dɔʒɪs dožje dɔʒjə
Dative doho dɔɦɔ dohõ dɔɦɔ̃
Accusative doh dɔɦ dohas dɔɦɑs

Also declined like dohs: vehs "road" and vihs "soldier".

First declension, type C: pre-palatized stems[]

herežis, "shepherd" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative herežis ɦɛrɛʒɪs herežas ɦɛrɛʒɑs
Vocative hereži ɦɛrɛʒɪ herežas ɦɛrɛʒɑs
Genitive herežis ɦɛrɛʒɪs herežij ɦɛrɛʒi:
Dative heredo ɦɛrɛdɔ heredõ ɦɛrɛdɔ̃
Accusative hereži ɦɛrɛʒɪ hereža ɦɛrɛʒɑ

Other nouns declined like herežis include onis "end", vičis "wheat" (dative stem vit-), ličis "doctor, physician" (dative stem lik-)

bođi, "bed" (n)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative bođi bɔʤɪ bođja bɔʤjɑ
Vocative bođi bɔʤɪ bođja bɔʤjɑ
Genitive bođis bɔʤɪs bođij bɔʤi:
Dative bodo bɔdɔ bodõ bɔdɔ̃
Accusative bođi bɔʤɪ bođja bɔʤjɑ

Other nouns declined like bođi include neči "net", veđi "vow", čẽđi "family".

Second declension, type A: invariant stems[]

The second declension is historically the 'o' declension, corresponding to the Indo-European h2 declension. Most nouns of this declension are feminine in gender.

hibo, "gift" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative hibo ɦɪbɔ hibos ɦɪbɔs
Vocative hibo ɦɪbɔ hibos ɦɪbɔs
Genitive hibas ɦɪbɑs hiba ɦɪbɑ
Dative hibje ɦɪbjɛ hibẽ ɦɪbɛ̃
Accusative hibo ɦɪbɔ hibos ɦɪbɔs

Also declined like hibo: ovo "river", koro "care", njelo "needle", gorovo "ditch", vjelo "time", runo "secret", and many more.

Second declension, type B: palatizing stems[]

The only place the palatizing stems of this declension alter the root is in the dative singular.

jereto, "earth" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative jereto jɛrɛtɔ jeretos jɛrɛtɔs
Vocative jereto jɛrɛtɔ jeretos jɛrɛtɔs
Genitive jeretas jɛrɛtɑs jereta jɛrɛtɑ
Dative jereče jɛrɛʧɛ jeretẽ jɛrɛtɛ̃
Accusative jereto jɛrɛtɔ jeretos jɛrɛtɔs

Many nouns are declined like jereto, including bludo "question", böko "book", heredo "herd", soroho "pain", and many more.

Second declension, type C: pre-palatized stems[]

These technically belong to this declension despite the divergent appearance of their nominatives. Being palatized already, the root does not change.

bõđi, "band" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative bõđi bɔ̃ʤɪ bõđas bɔ̃ʤɑs
Vocative bõđi bɔ̃ʤɪ bõđas bɔ̃ʤɑs
Genitive bõđas bõđɑs bõđa bɔ̃ʤɑ
Dative bõđje bɔ̃ʤɛ bõđẽ bɔ̃ʤɛ̃
Accusative bõđi bɔ̃ʤɪ bõđas bɔ̃ʤɑs

Many other nouns are declined like bõđi, including heči "field", movi "virgin", vošči "clothes", horođi "city", and many more.

Third declension, type A: invariant or nasal stems[]

The third declension continues the Proto-Germanic i-stems and u-stems. These are masculine or feminine nouns.

orõs, "arm" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative orõs ɔrɔ̃s oromjes ɔrʌmjɛs
Vocative orõ ɔrɔ̃ oromjes ɔrʌmjɛs
Genitive oroms ɔrʌms oromje ɔrʌmjɛ
Dative oromo ɔrʌmɔ oromẽ ɔrʌmɛ̃
Accusative orõ ɔrɔ̃ oromẽ ɔrʌmɛ̃

Many other nouns are declined like orõs, includibg boroms "breast" (f), čẽs (oblique stem čen-) "woman" (f), vẽs (oblique stem ven-) "friend" (c), homỹs (oblique stem homun-) (f) "memory", and mỹs (oblique stem mun-) "thought" (m). Most nouns in -ovs decline under this pattern, such as fatovs (m) "foot".

Third declension, type B: palatizing stems[]

The palatization here is simple. All plural forms get palatized.

oroblets, "work" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative oroblets ɔrʌbʎɛts oroblečes ɔrʌbʎɛʧɛs
Vocative oroblet ɔrʌbʎɛt oroblečes ɔrʌbʎɛʧɛs
Genitive oroblets ɔrʌbʎɛts orobleče ɔrʌbʎɛʧɛ
Dative orobleto ɔrʌbʎɛtɔ oroblečẽ ɔrʌbʎɛʧɛ̃
Accusative oroblet ɔrʌbʎɛt oroblečẽ ɔrʌbʎɛʧɛ̃

Many other nouns are declined like oroblets, including bolohs "belly" (m), mots "meat" (m), stods "place" (m), fljuhs (m) "fly", õst "favor" (f), đeds "act, deed", haborots "birth" (f), huds "thought" (f), vorots "root" (f).

Note that there are no pre-palatizing nouns in the third declension, because ancestrally all of these nouns were i-stems.

Fourth declension: N-stems[]

These are nouns that take a suffix n with a theme vowel in the oblique cases. Since nouns in n are almost always invariant, these nouns do not exhibit palatalization variations. These nouns can be masculine, feminine, or neuter.


hono, "chicken" (m)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative hono ɦɔnʌ honõs ɦɔnɔ̃s
Vocative hono ɦɔnʌ honõs ɦɔnɔ̃s
Genitive honẽs ɦɔnɛ̃s hononje ɦɔnʌnjɛ
Dative honẽ ɦɔnɛ̃ honõ ɦɔnɔ̃
Accusative honõ ɦɔnɔ̃ honõs ɦɔnɔ̃s

Many nouns are declined like hono, including atta "father", bljumo "flower", mjeno "month", snoho "shirt, tunic", and many others.


čunga, "tongue, language" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative čunga ʧuŋgɑ čungẽs ʧuŋgɛ̃s
Vocative čunga ʧuŋgɑ čungẽs ʧuŋgɛ̃s
Genitive čungẽs ʧuŋgɛ̃s čungana ʧuŋgɑnʌ
Dative čungẽ ʧuŋgɛ̃ čungẽ ʧuŋgɛ̃
Accusative čungẽ ʧuŋgɛ̃ čungẽs ʧuŋgɛ̃s

monohje, "crowd" (f)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative monohje mɔnʌɦjɛ monohjẽs mɔnʌɦjɛns
Vocative monohje mɔnʌɦjɛ monohjẽs mɔnʌɦjɛ̃s
Genitive monohjẽs mɔnʌɦjɛ̃s monohjena mɔnʌɦjɛnɑ
Dative monohjẽ mɔnʌɦjɛ̃ monohjẽ mɔnʌɦjɛ̃
Accusative monohjẽ mɔnʌɦjɛ̃ monohjẽs mɔnʌɦjɛ̃s


hereta, "heart" (n)

Singular Plural
Written Phonetic Written Phonetic
Nominative hereta ɦɛrɨtɑ heretano ɦɛrɨtɑnɔ
Vocative hereta ɦɛrɨtɑ heretano ɦɛrɨtɑnɔ
Genitive heretẽs ɦɛrɨtɛ̃s heretonje ɦɛrɨtʌnjɛ
Dative heretẽ ɦɛrɨtɛ̃ heretõ ɦɛrɨtɔ̃
Accusative hereta ɦɛrɨtɑ heretano ɦɛrɨtɑnɔ


As in other Germanic languages, adjectives are either strong or weak, depending on the syntax of the noun phrase. Adjectives also agree in case, gender, and number with the nouns they modify. On the other hand, many of the distinctive features of adjective declension have been dropped in Swamp Gothic.

Strong adjectives[]

Strong adjectives are of two types:

  • The first group uses first declension endings in the masculine and neuter forms, and second declension forms in the feminine. These bear inflections identical to the corresponding nouns.
  • The second group uses third declension forms corresponding to the gender of the modified noun. In the strong paradigm, these too are identical to the corresponding noun inflections.

Weak adjectives[]

All weak adjectives are declined in a way similar to fourth declension nouns, and derived by rule from that declension. Where a nasal vowel appears in the noun paradigm, in the adjective paradigm the vowel is denasalised and the nasal consonant appears instead as m in the dative, and n in other cases or when followed by another consonant.


bilẽdo, "blind" (m)

Singular Plural
Nominative bilẽdo bilẽdons
Vocative bilẽdo bilẽdons
Genitive bilẽdens bilẽdonje
Dative bilẽdem bilẽdom
Accusative bilẽdon bilẽdons


bilẽda, "blind" (f)

Singular Plural
Nominative bilẽda bilẽdans
Vocative bilẽda bilẽdans
Genitive bilẽdans bilẽdana
Dative bilẽdam bilẽdam
Accusative bilẽdan bilẽdans

bilẽda, "blind" (m)

Singular Plural
Nominative bilẽda bilẽdano
Vocative bilẽda bilẽdano
Genitive bilẽdens bilẽdonje
Dative bilẽdem bilẽdom
Accusative bilẽda bilẽdano


Personal pronouns[]

Subject pronouns are not routinely dropped in Swamp Gothic, though they can be and frequently are dropped when clarity allows it. In the past tense their use is more mandatory, since the past tense verb forms are declined according to gender and number rather than being conjugated by grammatical person. Here, too, the pronouns can be dropped once the identity of the subject is established.

I we you (singular) you (plural) he she it they (m) they (f) they (n)
Nominative jič viš tu jus jiš ši jičo jéš jijas jija
Accusative mič vỹčis tuk jivis jino jijo jičo jẽs jijas jija
Genitive ména vỹsoro čéna jivoro jiš jižas jiš jiže jižy jiže
Dative miš vỹsis tus jivis jima jijé jima jẽ jẽ jẽ

Demonstrative pronouns[]

In many cases, these have the force of an article.

Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative so to tos
Genitive čis čiza čis čiže čižá čiže
Dative tam čiže tam čem čem čem
Accusative ton to tõs tas

Interrogative pronouns[]

Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative vos vo vos
Genitive vis vizas vis viže vižá viže
Dative vam viže vam vem vem vem
Accusative vono vo võs vas


The Swamp Gothic verb is much less well preserved than the noun. The conjugated past tenses have been replaced by a form that does not inflect for person, but rather for the gender and number of the subject; in origin it is a participle. The present tense also serves as a future tense, and can be made explicitly future by adding an adverbial particle. Because of this, the distinction between strong and weak verbs is much less salient, if not entirely gone, in Swamp Gothic.

On the other hand, the past tenses inflect for perfective versus imperfective states via a number of unpredictable variants.

In the present tense, the endings of the strong verbs have generally prevailed. The dual number is lost, as is the Gothic second weak conjugation.

So in essence, the conjugations of Swamp Gothic have been reduced to two: the immutable and the mutable stems. The strong/weak distinction persists in the formation of the preterit and participles.

nimõ, "to take", immutable stem[]

Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Indicative Written nimo nimiš nimič nimõ nimič nimõt nimodo
Phonetic nʲɪmɔ nʲɪmɪʃ nʲɪmɪʧ nʲɪmɔ̃ nʲɪmɪʧ nʲɪmɔ̃t nʲɪmɔdɔ
Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Subjunctive Written nimó nimješ nimje nimjemo nimječ nimjeno nimjedó
Phonetic nʲɪmo: nʲɪmjeʃ nʲɪmje nʲɪmjemɔ nʲɪmjeʧ nʲɪmjenɔ nʲɪmjedo:
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Perfective Written nimono nimonje nimona nimonõs nimonjẽs nimonano
Phonetic nʲɪmɔnɔ nʲɪmɔnjɛ nʲɪmɔnɑ nʲɪmɔnɔ̃s nʲɪmɔnjɛ̃s nʲɪmɔnɑnɔ
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Imperfective Written honimono honimonje honimona honimonõs honimonjẽs honimonano
Phonetic ɦɔnʲɪmɔnɔ ɦɔnʲɪmɔnjɛ ɦɔnʲɪmɔnɑ ɦɔnʲɪmɔnɔ̃s ɦɔnʲɪmɔnjɛ̃s ɦɔnʲɪmɔnɑnɔ

jetõ, "to name", mutable stem[]

Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Indicative Written jeto ječiš ječič jetõ ječič jetõt jetodo
Phonetic jɛtɔ jɛʧɪʃ jɛʧɪʧ jɛtɔ̃ jɛʧɪʧ jɛtɔ̃t jɛtɔdɔ
Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Subjunctive Written jetó ječješ ječje ječjemo ječječ ječjeno ječjedó
Phonetic jɛto: jɛʧjeʃ jɛʧje jɛʧjemɔ jɛʧjeʧ jɛʧjenɔ jɛʧjedo:
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Perfective Written jetono jetonje jetona jetonõs jetonjẽs jetonano
Phonetic jɛtɔnɔ jɛtɔnjɛ jɛtɔnɑ jɛtɔnɔ̃s jɛtɔnjɛ̃s jɛtɔnɑnɔ
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Imperfective Written bijetono bijetonje bijetona bijetonõs bijetonjẽs bijetonano
Phonetic bɪjɛtɔnɔ bɪjɛtɔnjɛ bɪjɛtɔnɑ bɪjɛtɔnɔ̃s bɪjɛtɔnjɛ̃s bɪjɛtɔnɑnɔ

vjesõ, "to be", irregular[]

Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Indicative Written jẽ jiš jišt šõ šič šẽt šodo
Phonetic jɛ̃ jɪʃ jɪʃt ʃɔ̃ ʃɪʧ ʃɛ̃t ʃɔdɔ
Singular Plural Both
First Second Third First Second Third Impersonal
Subjunctive Written šó šeš še šemo šeč šeno šedó
Phonetic ʃo: ʃeʃ ʃe ʃemɔ ʃeʧ ʃenɔ ʃedo:

The past tense of vjesõ is regular, and inflected for gender and number, agreeing with the subject.

  • Perfective: vjaro &c.
  • Imperfective: bino &c.


Vo af chudo čẽs, nivis ši kõ poloh čuchje?

Generally speaking, the syntax of Swamp Gothic is quite free, and the language relies on case markers rather than word order to define the syntactic roles of words and phrases. The default word order is SVO. Adjectives can either precede or follow nouns.


Prepositions can take any of the oblique cases.

Prepositions with the accusative[]

These prepositions govern the accusative case:

  • for "before, in front of"
  • inoch "without"
  • drech "through, by"
  • unnar "under, beneath"
  • vidro "against, contrary to, backwards from"

Prepositions with the dative[]

  • af "of, from, composed of"
  • du "to"
  • olje "except, but for"
  • foro "for"
  • ferem "from"
  • njevo "near to"
  • o "of, from"
  • us "out of, from"

Prepositions with the genitive[]

  • čil "at, by, with"
  • šej "with, at, in the company of"

Prepositions with accusative or dative[]

  • bi "by, around"
  • hẽdro "behind, around"
  • mit w. acc. "against"; w. dat. "with"
  • on - w. acc. "through, towards, along"; w. dat. "on, upon"
  • ot "at, by, to"
  • ovar "after, according to"
  • u "under"
  • uvor "over"
  • ỹd w. acc. "until, up to, as far as"; w. dat. "for"

Prepositions with accusative, dative, or genitive[]

  • in w. acc. "into, at, towards"; w. dat. "in, inside, among"; w. gen. "because of"


  • u, "and"; u viščas u vujlas "both fish and birds"
  • jeto "either, or"; jeto lõdo jeto sevo or jeto lõdo ve sevo "either by land or by sea" (BG aiþþau)
  • och "but"
  • ók "also, since, because"
  • ja "also, too"
  • toruch "therefore"
  • vỹči "for, since, because"
  • toči "so that, in order to"
  • jobe "if"
  • nibe "but if"
  • vis "if"
  • nivis "unless"
  • své, svo "like, as"
  • "then, next"
  • tẽ "than"
  • vjevo "how" (BG hvaiwa)

The noun phrase[]

Definiteness and indefiniteness[]

Swamp Gothic can use the demonstrative adjective so, sá, to as a definite article: so ščẽs "the stone", sá jereto "the earth", to vorod "the word". The same adjective can be used to mean "this": vorod to, "this word". Generally, when used as an article so precedes the word, and when used as a modifier it follows the word.

The definite article is much less used in Swamp Gothic than in English or French, and is usually omitted where the referent is otherwise clear. A text full of definite articles will have a decidedly stuffy and formal feel, like an English text full of "heretofore" and "aforesaid". The core meaning of a definite phrase in Swamp Gothic is closer to "that same...."

The definite article comes into its own when converting an adjective into a noun: reds "brave"; tos redans "the brave women". The adjective will in these phrases be in the strong or weak form depending on the animate or inanimate state of the referent.

Strong and weak adjective phrases[]

Swamp Gothic preserves the separate strong and weak adjective declensions, as do other Germanic languages. But, with the relatively restricted use of articles in Swamp Gothic, the weak form has other uses.

It is used, as expected, in definite noun phrases.

It is also used as a marker of animacy, and will be used predicatively for adjectives describing animate beings. Animate beings are people, animals, trees (not plants), vehicles, and the names of rivers, countries, mountains, and bodies of water:

  • njevo ščenõ mičilõ "near the large stones"
  • njevo bojmõ mičilom "near the large trees"

The weak form is also used predicatively when the subject to be described is animate:

  • Meniščas šẽt bilẽdons "The people are blind" (not **Meniščas šẽt bilẽdas)

The accusative case[]

The accusative case is used with prepositions that take the accusative. It is also used as the predicate of transitive verbs.

Double accusatives are possible when the underlying meaning of a verb takes two objects:

  • Jéš jetonõs jino Jesum - "They named him Jesus"
  • Ši léšiđe jijas monohjẽ ovar fatovspjeleka. "She taught them a lot about soccer."

The accusative case is also used with impersonal verbs idiomatically. Hungžõ "to be hungry" and torošõ "to be thirsty" typically take accusative subjects, and are conjugated in the impersonal form:

  • Hungžodo mič "I am hungry".

The dative case[]

The accusative case is used with prepositions that take the dative. It is, of course, the case for the beneficiary or topic of bi-transitive verbs.

A number of verbs can take what in English would be direct objects in the dative, such as:

  • beregõ "keep, preserve"
  • fračõ "understand"
  • kučõ "kiss"
  • overepõ "discard, throw out, throw away"

The verb onhofjõ "answer" takes both dative and accusative; dative for the person who is answered, and accusative for the reply itself.

Several adjectives require a dative complement. These include:

  • borochs "useful for"
  • chuds "good, good for"
  • kỹds "known, known to"
    • vỹkỹds "unknown to"
    • svékỹds "obvious to"
  • mádohs "angry at"
  • ožec (stem ožet-) "easy, easy to"
  • skolods "guilty of, liable to"

In addition to these specific adjectives, it follows comparatives and translates English "than"

  • Svẽtazo tus jišt. "He is stronger than you."

The dative is also used instrumentally to identify means or instrumemts:

  • Ši homro slahonje hobit jiš. "She struck his head with a hammer."

The genitive case[]

Several prepositions govern the genitive. The genitive case is used, as in English, to identify possessors. Unlike some other Germanic languages, the genitive of personal pronouns is an invariant case form rather than an adjective. Genitives can be used cumulatively:

  • jižas vorostvẽs hỹds "her husband's dog"

A number of adjectives take a genitive complement:

  • fuls "full (of); mjedovs fuls "full of liquor"
  • frija "free (of)"
  • lazovs "empty of, free from"
  • verets "worthy of"
  • vons "lacking in, needful of"

The adverb filu "much", and the noun nevechs "no one, nothing" also can take genitive complements. In these constructions, verbs usually agree with the notional number rather than the formal grammatical number: nevechs herežij ljebõt "none of the shepards stayed". The genitive is also used with most numbers greater than two.

The genitive case of the weak neuter adjective is one way to make an adverb from an adjective: bilẽdens "blindly".



Adjectives form a comparative with the suffix -azo (for first or second declension adjectives) or -izo (third and fourth declensions), and superlatives in -usto (first/second declensions) and -isto (third and fourth declensions): Third declension adjectives in -ovs drop the -ov before adding the endings.

  • svẽts - svẽtazo - svẽtusto "strong, stronger, strongest" (BG swinþs)
  • horodovs - horodizo - horodisto "hard, harder, hardest" (BG hardus)

Adverb formation[]

A number of ways to regularly form adverbs from adjectives exist in Swamp Gothic:

  • The adjective may be cast into the genitive case.
  • The suffixes -ubo (first/second declension) or -ibo (third/fourth declension) may be added: svẽtubo "strongly", horodibo "with difficulty."

The verb phrase[]

Modal particles[]

Swamp Gothic has a number of modal particles that modify verbs with respect to modality, tense, and aspect. Historically, many of these were former verbs, mostly preterit-present verbs, that lost their inflections in the analogical paring down of the Swamp Gothic verb. These include:

  • ni - negation. The negative particle functions syntactically like a modal particle. (BG ni)
  • mu - futurity. Converts a present indicative or subjunctive into a future statement. Can also be used with the past formation, in which case it means "will have" (< *munnan)
vos uch lóbje on jima ni mu kiščič nje, och liben mu habje on jevẽ
"whoever believes (SUBJ) in him will not ever get lost (IND), but will have (SUBJ) life in eternity"
  • vurus - formerly. Adds a past and perfective aspect to any word with which it is used.
Jažõ jišt Britannia in sevo; mẽ vurus jetonõs tẽ Albion.
"Britannia is an island in the sea; but formerly it was called Albion."
  • - ability, "can, is able"
  • kẽšči - possibility or doubt; "maybe"
  • = obligation; "must, shall" (< *munnan)
  • vỹš - hope, desire. (< BG wilja)
  • durš - dare
  • - "even, indeed, anyways"
  • jẽhong or hong - "already, finally, just, at last, for once"
  • - "indeed, after all"

The modal particles typically immediately precede the verb. The verb bears its normal inflections for person and number (if present indicative or subjunctive) or gender and number (if past tense).

These particles may be combined. If mu is one of them, it typically comes last and immediately precedes the verb. Ni precedes any particle it negates:

  • Tu má ni durš derenkiš to. - "You must not dare to drink it".
  • Jiš ni vỹš mu ljubodo. - "He doesn't hope to ever be loved."

All of the modal particles except mu can be attached to adjectives and adverbs.

The impersonal form[]

Gothic verbs also have an "impersonal form" in their present indicative and subjunctive forms. This continues the Bible Gothic passive, which exhibited very little variations in its inflections. For example, BG niman' "to take" had the inflections nimada in the first and third person singular, nimaza in the second singular, and nimanda in all persons in the plural. The subjunctive was similar, with nimáidáu, nimáizáu and nimáindáu the three attested forms.

Swamp Gothic simplifies these to invariant nimodo in the indicative, and nimjedó in the subjunctive.

The impersonal form functions as a middle or passive voice. It is used when there is no acting subject in verbs describing weather and the like. It is also used where the nominal subject does not really participate in the action described by the verb:

  • Snjevodo "It is snowing".
  • Čenodo ja jezas af kuparis. "It produces copper ores...."
  • Morjesvinas uffa fachodo hjer. "Porpoises are often caught here."
  • Mit tam skerodo vis dohas šẽt filu langas. "By this it is clear that the days are much longer."


Swadesh list[]

No. English
2you (singular)tu
5you (plural)jus
8thatto di
37man (adult male)vér
38man (human being)manišč


  1. jẽs (BG ains)
  2. tvé (twai)
  3. trij (þrija)
  4. fjedvar (fidwor)
  5. fẽv (fimf)
  6. šech (saihs)
  7. šibỹ (sibun)
  8. atto (ahtau)
  9. njỹ (niun)
  10. čejn (taihun)
  11. jeliv (ainlif)
  12. tveliv (twalif)
  13. trijčen (*þrijataihun)
  14. fjedvarčen (fidwortaihun)
  15. fimčen (fimftaihun)
  16. šečen
  17. šibčen
  18. attčen
  19. njỹčen
  20. tvétižov (twai tigjus)

Only jẽs continues to be declined; it is a IIIa adjective with stem jen-. Numbers greater than three take the genitive of the item counted: čejn hononje "ten chickens".

Further glossary[]

  • berechtõ - brighten, illuminate (BG brechtan)
  • busns - shape, manner (BG busns)
  • cluachs - sewer
  • fẽtõ - find (BG finþan)
  • forẽds - traveller
  • lukorons - lantern (BG lukarns)
  • mots - food (BG mats)
  • poloč - street (BG platja)
  • porongs - press (BG praggs)
  • riurjõ - uproot (BG riurjan)
  • ščopõ - create, make, design
  • skoloč - servant (BG skalks)
  • strojõ - strew, spread (BG straujan)
  • tẽrjõ - build (BG timrjan)
  • tochts - pipe, duct

Example text[]

Bede's Ecclesiastical History[]

Jažõ jišt Britannia in sevo; mẽ vurus jetonõs tẽ Albion. Vilič ẽt norodo u vješčo, vidro, ma vóro, va Čudišlẽdo, Hólo, u Hispanjo, šo Ivropas delos hóbidos.

Britain is an island in the ocean, formerly called Albion, lying between the north and the west, opposite, though far apart, to Germany, Gaul and Spain, the chief divisions of Europe.

Račič norodas atto hỹdra milos, u tvé hỹdra milos beredo jišt.

It runs northward for 800 miles, and is 200 miles broad.

Sutvara võti ta spečič hójs Gallia Belgica jetona.

It has on the south opposite to it the province called Gallia Belgica.

Josonos u bojmos sumos jišt jažõ fulano, u ha-máta ef lammos u fjechos fođõ, u vinhorodas jalodo in hójõ sumõ.

The island is rich in crops and trees of various kinds, and it is suited for grazing sheep and cattle, and vineyards are grown in some places.

Čenodo ók lẽdo jičo vujla kunje sumje u đyza morjeseva, u jabija boronje u java fulana o viščje.

This land also produces birds of various kinds and marine animals, and (it abounds) in springs and waters full of fish.

Selkas, valas, u morjesvinas uffa fachodo hjer, u sumos kunes ščeledviščje u midije uffa nimodo, u in tõs morohoričo bleščon volje forovje uffa fẽtodo.

Seals, whales, and porpoises are often caught here, and various kinds of shell-fish and mussels are commonly taken, and in these are often found the finest pearls of every colour.

Hjer ja monohje snilja, fero čem tovodo forova 'róda ščeledviščje'; tá ni sóls kunič blečinõ, ni rijn onmočõ, u voročič mjer skóno čer jalodam.

There is also here abundance of molluscs, from which is made the dye of ‘shell-fish red’; this neither the sun can bleach nor the rain mar, and it grows fairer with age.

Lẽdo jičo ja habič čerkas ef soloto u vodan voroman, u botanas voromas in sumõ hojõ, ha-mátas ver volõ jalodõ u beđõ kunjẽ,

The land also has salt-pits and hot water, and hot baths in various localities, suitable for every age and both sexes.

Čenodo ja jezas af kuparis u ježoronis, blivo u šilobor in juchmẽ.

It also produces ores of copper and iron, lead and silver in masses.

Koroban ja fẽtodo hjer; ši jišt žuvlo svoroto, vis je verepodo in fono, teljuchõt fro tiže voromos.

Jet is also found here, which is a black gem; if put in the fire, adders fly from it.

Vurus jažõ sá ja ukrašodo bajm borohõ jotaliston, tve tižu u njỹ rokanje, vỹdrádinon vađõ, čelicnõ, dórõ, u lukõ svẽtuston, vasto borohõ võtoron vỹrokaninon je lečilon.

Formerly this island was also embellished with the noblest of towns, twenty-nine in number, furnished with walls, towers, gates and the strongest of locks, besides countless other towns of smaller size.

Vi jažõ sá vilič noch up čis veredis filu norods, u noches hjer šẽt bereches in sumoro, své uffa in mižinocho sakons kumič an vachvẽs, je še jovẽdis dimmo, je še morohinis vostars; mit tam skerodo vis dohas šẽt filu langas in sumoro, u ja nochas in vẽtoro, tẽ in veredis delõ sutfarõ.

As this island lies close under the very north of the world and the nights here are light in summer so that often at midnight a question arises among the spectators, whether it is the evening gloaming or morning dawn-by this it is clear that the days are much longer in this island in summer, and also the nights in winter, than in the southern parts of the world.

The Lord's Prayer[]

Atta vỹsoro, tu in himinõ,
vjechnje noma čéna,

Čimje čudonrjeks čéna,
voroče vilja čéna
svo in himino, ja on jereče.

Hib vỹsis ton doh ljev vỹsoro šinčéna,
u bilat vỹsis skulõs vỹsoro
svo viš bilatõ jẽs skulanas vỹsis.

U ni berengje vỹčis in frjestnisa
ok lóše vỹčis af vubilẽ.

Vỹči čéna jišt čudonhorodi u mochs u volodovs in jevẽs, amen.

𐌰𐍄𐍄𐌰 𐌿𐌽𐍃𐌰𐍂 𐌸𐌿 𐌹𐌽 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌹𐌽𐌰𐌼,
𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌽𐌰𐌹 𐌽𐌰𐌼𐍉 𐌸𐌴𐌹𐌽.
𐌵𐌹𐌼𐌰𐌹 𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌹𐌽𐌰𐍃𐍃𐌿𐍃 𐌸𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃.
𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍂𐌸𐌰𐌹 𐍅𐌹𐌻𐌾𐌰 𐌸𐌴𐌹𐌽𐍃,
𐍃𐍅𐌴 𐌹𐌽 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌹𐌽𐌰 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌰𐌽𐌰 𐌰𐌹𐍂𐌸𐌰𐌹.
𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌹𐍆 𐌿𐌽𐍃𐌰𐍂𐌰𐌽𐌰 𐌸𐌰𐌽𐌰 𐍃𐌹𐌽𐍄𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌰𐌽 𐌲𐌹𐍆 𐌿𐌽𐍃 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌼𐌰 𐌳𐌰𐌲𐌰.
𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌰𐍆𐌻𐌴𐍄 𐌿𐌽𐍃 𐌸𐌰𐍄𐌴𐌹 𐍃𐌺𐌿𐌻𐌰𐌽𐍃 𐍃𐌹𐌾𐌰𐌹𐌼𐌰,
𐍃𐍅𐌰𐍃𐍅𐌴 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐍅𐌴𐌹𐍃 𐌰𐍆𐌻𐌴𐍄𐌰𐌼 𐌸𐌰𐌹𐌼 𐍃𐌺𐌿𐌻𐌰𐌼 𐌿𐌽𐍃𐌰𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌼.
𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌽𐌹 𐌱𐍂𐌹𐌲𐌲𐌰𐌹𐍃 𐌿𐌽𐍃 𐌹𐌽 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌹𐍃𐍄𐌿𐌱𐌽𐌾𐌰𐌹,
𐌰𐌺 𐌻𐌰𐌿𐍃𐌴𐌹 𐌿𐌽𐍃 𐌰𐍆 𐌸𐌰𐌼𐌼𐌰 𐌿𐌱𐌹𐌻𐌹𐌽.
𐌿𐌽𐍄𐌴 𐌸𐌴𐌹𐌽𐌰 𐌹𐍃𐍄 𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰𐌽𐌲𐌰𐍂𐌳𐌹 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐌼𐌰𐌷𐍄𐍃 𐌾𐌰𐌷 𐍅𐌿𐌻𐌸𐌿𐍃 𐌹𐌽 𐌰𐌹𐍅𐌹𐌽𐍃. 𐌰𐌼𐌴𐌽.
Atta unsar þu in himinam,
weihnai namo þein.
Qimai þiudinassus þeins.
Wairþai wilja þeins,
swe in himina jah ana airþai.
Hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga.
jah aflet uns þatei skulans sijaima,
swaswe jah weis afletam þaim skulam unsaraim.
Jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai,
ak lausei uns af þamma ubilin;
unte þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts jah wulþus in aiwins, amen.

John 3:16[]

Vỹči Hods ton vered svolots ljubodo, toruch habono sunov jiš ton jẽs fiton, toči vos uch lóbje on jima ni mu kiščič nje, och liben mu habje on jevẽ

The 13th Warrior prayer[]

En, ševo jič attõ ména,
en, ševo jič jéči ména,
svistrõs ména u borodrõs ména.

En, ševo jič erebi čudẽs ména,
afta čil frumiščas.

En, mič ropjõt,
béđõt mič stod nimõ šej jiže
in Valhallas zalõ
var té redons libječ on jevẽ.

Lo there do I see my father; Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers; Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.


  1. Proto-Germanic and other reconstructed words are transcribed in *bold with a preceding *. Bible Gothic words are transcribed in bold. Swamp Gothic and Crimean Gothic words are transcribed in italics.