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Carnifex Language

by Geoff Gander

Rudiments of the Carnifex Tongue:

Carnifex Word Meaning
ak (suffix) new, young
akach (preposition) after
akha north
an (prefix) will (future tense of following verb)
arh light, goodness
at (plural ata) one (third person indefinite pronoun)
ath (plural atha) river
az' east
azhat (plural azhati) fort, castle, citadel
chaggoth (verb) to succeed, to win
chlesh (verb) to see
chyeg (suffix) that, those
dak (suffix) this
daresh cold
dhal (plural dhalla) book, scroll
dhoch (preposition) before
dhokh (suffix) old
dhozham (verb) to break, to be sundered, to be broken
duurh imperative, used at end of sentence
duurho conditional imperative, used at end of sentence
e and
harak (verb) to kill
hemat (plural hemati) person, Carnifex
hemat-khe he, him
hemat-ye she, her
hresh (plural hresha) warrior, soldier
hreth (plural hretha) land, land of, domain
hreth-kesh (plural hretha-kesh) desert, badlands
hurch (verb) to agree
hurgh brethren, brethren of, companion, companions
imesh (plural imesha) plain, grassland
ith (plural itha) place, region
ithk'hesh (verb) to give
k'ha (suffix) mighty, great, powerful, undying
kal (verb) to say, talk
kanrath (verb) to proclaim
kesh hot
khach yes
kharh cursed
khe (suffix) large
khol hello, greetings, hi
khosh it, them
kuur (plural kuurom) mountain
marek (plural marekka) armour
mog (plural mogham) swamp, bog, wetland
Mwath-khe (plural Mwath-khem) Outer Being
mwathliss power, glory, might
nesh (plural nesha) time, period, occasion
nesh-an tomorrow
nesh-om yesterday
nesh-uss (plural nesha-uss) day
nesh-vhol (plural nesha-vhol) night
okal (verb) to get, to pick up
okh you (singular and plural)
okham (plural okhamma) beast, animal, slave
om (prefix) has (past tense of verb that follows)
omach (verb) to come, to arrive
ozh (suffix) very, highly greatly
pakh (verb) to drop
peram (verb) to serve, to obey
plak'ham (plural plak'hamma) food, human
plak'hamyikh (verb) to be hungry
resh (verb) to be
rh' (prefix) possessive pronoun of preceding noun
rhak water
rhakhor (plural rhakhorran) ocean
rhakhor-sal (plural rhakhorran-sal) lake
rhakhz'al (verb) to rain
rhakyikh (verb) to be thirsty, to thirst (after something)
rostam (plural rostamma) plant, vegetation
sal (suffix) small
sek we
shamath (verb) to fail
ud how
uduch when
udukh who
udush why
uduth where
uduu what
uh (suffix) will (future tense of preceding verb, for nonliving things)
umakh (verb) to leave, to go out
urzakh (verb) to do, to make
urzhek (plural urzhekka) sword
uss (plural ussal) sun, star
uurukh (verb) to give
uuvachh (preposition) here
vakh (preposition) there, to there
valech (plural valecha) report, information
valech-an (plural valecha-an) plan
varem (verb) to pray
vhol darkness
vrugh (plural vrugghar) war, battle
xaresh (plural xaresha) leader, ruler
xoth (plural xotham) port
yal for
yath (plural yathat) pillar
y'hath south
yi I
yian west
yib (plural yibbeth) hill
yikh (verb) to want, to desire
yoch (verb) to go, to move
za interrogative, used at end of sentence
z'al (verb) to fall
zesh (plural zesha) quest, duty
zho (plural zhom) death
zhosh destruction
zhosta (plural zhostamma) weapon
zo conditional interrogative, used at end of sentence

Grammatical Notes:

Verbs are modified by whatever adverb applies, and they are joined by a hyphen, just as adjectives modifying nouns are joined. For example, "Rosheg the Mighty" would be translated as "Rosheg-K'ha".

Verbs in the Carnifex tongue have no conjugations, so the phrase "Rosheg has killed the beasts" would be translated as "Om harak Rosheg okhamma" (literally, "Have kill Rosheg beasts"). As implied by this translation, the Carnifex language also lacks definite articles (such as "the"), and indefinite articles (such as "a", "an"). As shown by this example, in most cases the verb is the first part of any sentence, except where cities or the Outer Beings are involved, in which case their names appear at the beginning. Where verbs are the first elements of a sentence, the subject immediately follows.

When indicating possession, use the possessive pronoun "rh'", which immediately follows the noun possessing the aspect or item in question. Thus, a phrase such as "Khaldek's sword has broken" would be translated as "Om dhozham Khaldek rh'urzhek" (literally "Has broken Khaldek's sword"). A similar rule applies when discussing personal possessions. For example, the phrase "Those are my books" would be translated as "Resh yi rh'dhalla-chyeg" ("Be I my books there"). Note that the word "chyeg", meaning "that" or "those", is always at the end of a sentence, and in this case it is joined to the noun it modifies with a hyphen.

Imperative and Conditional Modifiers:

The Carnifex language, unlike many others, has very little tonal inflection. To an untrained ear, it would sound like a stream of harsh syllables, with individual words being difficult to identify. Those who understand the language can make use of certain words, added at the very end of sentences, to convey emotions and ideas, such as commands, questions, and the like. For example, when the word "za" is added at the end of a sentence, it immediately becomes a question, just as adding the word "durrh" makes it an order. For example, "Uh harak okh hresh za.", means "Will you kill the soldier?", whereas "Uh harak okh hresh durrh." means "You will kill the soldier."

Conditional phrases, such as those that involve words like "would", and "should", also follow this rule. In this case, the sentence "You should kill the soldier.", would be "Uh harak okh hresh durrho." The phrase, "Would you kill the soldier?" would be translated as "Uh harak okh hresh zo." Implicit in the above sentences is the belief that the soldier is not a Carnifex, as the adverb used is "uh", which modifies verbs dealing with nonliving things. Had the soldier been a Carnifex (and thus a "thinking being"), the last sentence would have been "An harak okh hresh zo."

Interrogative Phrases:

Usage of the main interrogative words (who, what, when, where, why, how), does not affect the grammatical rules outlined above. In this case, the imperative or conditional modifier is combined with the interrogative word, and placed at the end of a sentence. Thus, the phrase, "I should go." (Umakh yi durrho), could become "Where should I go?" (Umakh yi uduchdurrho, or "Go I where should?", literally translated), "How should I go?" (Umakh yi uddurrho), or "Why should I go?" (Umakh yi udushdurrho). Of course, the phrase "Should I go?", would be translated as "Umakh yi za."; the "should" is implicit in the question, since what the speaker is asking is "I go?". Likewise, "Must I go?" would be asked in the same manner.

It should be noted that these rules also apply within more complicated sentences, such as those encompassing more than one subject or idea. In such a case, the sentence in question must be broken down into its components. For example, the phrase "I do not know where he was when you arrived." Has three components: "I do not know", "where he was", and "when you arrived" - each section has a distinct subject, which is different from the other two, and thus three distinct thoughts comprise this phrase. The first phrase, "I do not know", is easily translated as "Nal hem-yi", but the interrogative word "where" applies more to the second section ("where he was"), than the first, since the question being asked would have been "Where was he?". Therefore, we need the add the word "uduth" ("where") to the second section - producing the fragment "Om-resh hemat-khe uduth". Thus, if the phrase were merely "I do not know where he was", the Carnifex equivalent would be "Nal hem-yi om-resh hemat-khe uduth". Carnifex syntax always constructs larger sentences simply by adding subsequent thoughts and ideas onto the first section(s); this is perhaps as indication of the language's simplistic origins.

Unfortunately, we still have a third section ("when you arrived") to worry about. As this section is a complete idea unto itself, and has its own interrogative word ("when"), we would translate it as "Om-omach okh uduch". Just as we added the second section onto the first, we add this one onto the sentence - producing the phrase, "Nal hem-yi om-resh hemat-khe uduth om-omach okh uduch." Literally translated, this would be "Not know I was he where arrived you when." When speaking such a phrase, most native Carnifex speakers pause briefly between every two or three thoughts; in this sentence, a good place to pause would be between the second and third sections.


Negation in the Carnifex tongue is quite simple. The word that is being negated is preceded by the word "nal". This word is not a prefix, and in the case of past or future tense verbs, precedes those modifiers as well. For example, while "Resh yi rh'dalla-chyeg" means "Those are my books", the phrase "Those are not my books" would be "Nal resh yi rh'dalla-chyeg". The sentence "I will not speak to my brethren" would be "Nal an kal yi rh'hurgh", as an example of a more complicated sentence.


As with imperative and conditional modifiers (see above), prepositions in the Carnifex language always appear at the end of a sentence.


The Carnifex language is highly phonetic - it is pronounced almost exactly the way it looks. Below is a list of the more common phonemes, and how to pronounce them:

Carnifex Phoneme English Equivalent*
a "ah"
ch "sh", as in ship
dh pronounce as dch
e "eh", as in said
i "i", as in mirror
k'h "k + h", as in seek help (but quicker)
kh "ch", as in loch, or the German word "Achtung"
o "o", as in note
rh, rh' palatalised "r", as in the German word "Vater"
sh a sibilant "sh", as in sssh
th "th", as in thanks
u "u", as in supper
uu "oo", as in cool
x "z", as in zoo
y "y", as in yellow
y'h "y", as in young (but clipped)
z' "ts", as in cats
zh "zh", as in vision

*The English equivalents given are those from the author's own pronunciation of the language; they may not match precisely the dialect spoken by the reader.

Sample sentences:

Below are some phrases to illustrate how the language can work. Words in square brackets ([ ]) indicate implied words; a fluent Carnifex speaker would understand the concept implicitly, or the word has no equivalent in the language.

English Phrase Carnifex Translation
Greetings! Khol.
I wish you good fortune. Varem-yi yal okh rh'chaggoth. (I pray for your success)
It is very hot today. Resh khosh kesh-ozh nesh-uss-dak. (It is very hot this day)
Tonight it will be cold. An resh khosh daresh-ozh nesh-vhol-dak. (It will be very cold this night)
I think it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Hem-yi an-rhakz'al nesh-an durrho. (I think it should [and] will rain tomorrow)
I don't agree with you. Nal hurch-yi okh. (I don't agree [with] you)
You must not go there. Nal yoch-okh vakh durrh. (You will [must] not go there)
We were very hungry and thirsty before our battle. Om resh-sek rakhyikh-ozh e plak'hamyikh-ozh sek rh'vrugh dhoch. (We were very hungry and very thirsty before our battle)
Why should I do that? Urzakh-yi chyeg udushdurrho.
What did you tell him yesterday? Does he know our plans? Kal-okh hemat-khe nesh-om uduuza. Hem-hemat-khe sek rh'valecha-an za.
You will give me your report! Uh-uurukh okh rh'valech durrh.
Get out of there! Move! Umakh vakh durrh. Yoch durrh. (Leave there! Go!)
Don't move! Drop your weapons! Nal yoch-okh durrh. Pakh okh rh'zhostamma durrh. (Don't you move! Drop your weapons!)
I do not know where he was when you arrived. Nal hem-yi om-resh hemat-khe uduth om-omach okh uduch.