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Tumata is an inflectional agglutinative, nominative-accusative, right-branching (though postpositional) language with relatively free word order. Although it is somewhat grammatically complicated, it is designed to have much fewer words in a sentence, especially adpositions and other small words with little or weak meaning.


The phonology of Tumata is extremely regular. Each consonant and vowel have a normal and a geminate pronunciation. The geminate pronunciation is used when a consonant or vowel is doubled in a word. For the most part, the pronunciation is exactly the same, simply geminated (i.e. held for longer). Only the letter R is different, in which case it is tapped when single and trilled when geminated, just like in the Spanish language.


Tumata consists of three voiceless plosives /p t k/, four voiceless frictive /f s /, two liquids /ɾ l/, two nasals /m n/, and three approximates /w j h/, bringing the total consonant count to fourteen. However, when spelling the language using Latin orthography, there are an additional seven consonants which would otherwise be assumed based on location.

IPA Letter Geminate IPA IPA Letter Geminate IPA
/p/ P p /p:/ /ɾ/ R r /r:/
/t/ T t /t:/ /l/ L l /l:/
/k/ K k /k:/ /m/ M m /m:/
/f/ F f /f:/ /n/ N n /n:/
/θ/ Θ θ /θ:/ /w/ W w /w:/
/s/ S s /s:/ /j/ J j /j:/
/ʃ/ Ʃ ʃ /ʃ:/ /h/ H h /h:/

There are an additional seven letters which are used in the Latin transcription of Tumata which would not be written in the Tumata orthography because they are inferred through consonant gradation. Each of the plosives /p t k/ and the frictives /f s / all become voiced /b d g v z / when the rules of consonant gradation apply.

Consonant Gradation[]

There are two types of syllables in the Tumata language: open and closed. Open syllables end in a vowel while closed syllables end in a consonant. Consonant gradation takes place on the final syllable of a polysyllabic word if the first letter in that syllable is a plosive or a frictive /p t k s/ and the syllable is closed. The plosive or frictive then becomes voiced (i.e. /p/ becomes /b/, /t/ becomes /d/, /k/ becomes /g/, /f/ becomes /v/, /θ/ becomes /ð/, /s/ becomes /z/, and /ʃ/ becomes /ʒ/). Gemination is not changed.


Tumata consists of eight vowels.

IPA Letter Geminate IPA IPA Letter Geminate IPA
/ɑ/ A a /ɑ:/ /e/ E e /e:/
/æ/ Ä ä /æ:/ /u/ U u /u:/
/o/ O o /o:/ /y/ Ü ü /y:/
/ø/ Ö ö /ø:/ /i/ I i /i:/

Vowel Harmony[]

Tumata employs a vowel harmony system based upon frontness. There are three classes of vowels: back /a o u/, neutral /e i/, and front /æ ø y/. When a word contains a back vowel, all vowels in that word will be back, and if it contains a front vowel, all vowels in that word will be front. Neutral vowels do not change, and are transparent, meaning that they do not affect any of the other vowels in any way. Compound words are not subject to vowel harmony. Each back vowel is paired with a front vowel. A is with ä, o is with ö, and u is with ü.

Back Neutral Front
u i ü
o e ö
a ä

To demonstrate, the word Tumata consists entirely of back vowels. However, if one of them were to be front, all of the rest would have to be front: Tümätä. It is impossible to have, for example, Tümata, Tümäta, Tumäta, or any other combination thereof.


Syllables take the form (C) [j, w, h] V (C)

All uninflected words in Tumata are open (meaning that they end with a vowel) with only a single vowel. The inflected forms can be closed or have a double vowel ending.


The Tumata alphabet consists of twenty-two letters which correspond to the Latin letters P T K F Θ S Ʃ R L M N W J H I E A Ä O Ö U Ü.

When transcribed using the Latin alphabet, there are twenty-nine: P B T D K G F V Θ Ð S Z Ʃ Ʒ R L M N W J H I E A Ä O Ö U Ü.


For the full article on Tumata grammar, see Tumata Grammar

Tumata is an inflectional agglutinative language. This means that, nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are inflected to show grammar, but these inflections, as well as derivation, are shown by the addition of affixes. Tumata is nominative-accusative, which means that it uses those two noun cases to signify the subject and the object. Tumata has three numbers and four persons.



There are sixteen inflected cases for nouns.

  • Nominative/Vocative - This denotes the subject or agent of a verb./This names the addressee.
  • Accusative - This denotes the direct object or patient of a verb.
  • Dative - This denotes the indirect object or recipient of a verb.
  • Genitive - This shows relationship and posession.
  • Partitive - This is used for amounts.
  • Instrumental - by means of, with the aid of
  • Benefactive - for, for the benefit of, intended for
  • Causal - because, because of, due to
  • Comitative - in company of, with
  • Privative - lacking, without
  • Locative - location (in/on/at/between/etc.)
  • Lative - motion to (into/onto/to/etc.)
  • Ablative - motion from (from in/from on/from/etc.)
  • Prolative - motion via (by way of, through)
  • Temporal - time (before/during/after/at)
  • Stative - state (into being/while being/from being/as being)


Adjectives are inflected in the same way as nouns, by case and by number. They can also inflect to show comparison in the same way that adverbs do.

  • Sublative - i.e. "Least fast."
  • Negative - i.e. "Less fast."
  • Positive - i.e. "Fast."
  • Comparative - i.e. "Faster"
  • Superlative - i.e. "Fastest"



There are five inflected tenses for verbs.

  • Past - An action which happened in the past
  • Recentive - An action which just took place
  • Present - An action which is happening or happens
  • Prospective - An action which is about to take place
  • Future - An action which will take place in the future


There are five inflected aspects for verbs.

  • Telic - An action which is complete
  • Atelic - An action which is incomplete
  • Progressive - An action which is in progress
  • Frequentative - An action which is repeated
  • Momentane - An action which is single or short lived


There are nine inflected moods for verbs.

Realis Moods:

  • Indicative - A statement of fact.
  • Generic - A generic statement of fact. The difference between this and the indicative is the difference between saying "A/The rabit is fast" as opposed to "Rabits are fast"
  • Energetic - A statement which the speaker strongly believes or wishes to emphasize.

Irrealis Moods:

  • Dubitative - A statement which the speaker doubts, or of which the speaker is uncertain.
  • Potential - A statement which the speaker considers likely or probable.
  • Conditional - A statement whose realization is dependent upon another condition.
  • Desiderative - A statement which expresses the speaker's wishes or desires.
  • Imperative - A statement expressing direct commands, requests, and prohibitions.
  • Interrogative - A yes or no question.


  • Anticausative - Forces an object to lose its subject (i.e. The vase broke vs. John broke the vase. Or, I rise vs. I raise it. The first of both are anticausatives)


  • Negative - Expresses the fact that the verb is not taking place.


  • Singular - One
  • Dual - Two
  • Plural - More than two


  • First Person - I/We
  • Second Person - You/You
  • Third Person - He/She/It/They
  • Fourth Person- One (It is also used to form passive-voice-like statements)


Adverbs inflect to show comparison in the same way that adjectives do.

  • Sublative - i.e. "Least quickly."
  • Negative - i.e. "Less quickly."
  • Positive - i.e. "Quickly."
  • Comparative - i.e. "More quickly."
  • Superlative - i.e. "Most quickly."

Word Order[]

Word order in Tumata is relatively free, though it tends to be right-branching (the subject is placed at the head of a sentence while the dependents come after). Despite its right-branching tendencies, Tumata is postpositional.

Word order can be changed to place difference emphasis on the various words.

Kümmätsi sonnati sen. = I will walk to your house.

Kümmätsi sen sonnati. = I will walk to your house.

Sonnati sen kümmätsi. = It is your house to which I will walk.

Sonnati kümmätsi sen. =I will walk to your house.

Sen sonnati kümmätsi. = It is your house to which I will walk.

Sen kümmätsi sonnati. = I will walk to your house (but with you as the topic of the conversation).

As you can see, a simple reversal of word order can make a big impact on the emphasis of a sentence. Spoken and standard Tumata are generally written SOV (Subject-Object-Verb), but a change in word order can be very effective, especially in poetry.

Sample Translations[]

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Sonna = House

Koja = Time

Taunna = To carry

Kümmä = To walk

Taunnatle ket sonnati tin sen. = I am about to carry it into your house.