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Ligedas am Nirdaen

The language of Nirdaen



Table of contents

    1. Background
    2. Samples
    3. Phonetics
    4. Phonotactic rules
    5. Morphology
    6. Irregular fusion and symbolic fusion
    7. Grammar and sentence syntax
    8. Registers: sacred, poetic, honorific
    9. Vocabulary
    10. Etymologies


1. Background

Nirdaen is one of the constructed languages that I have been developing for fictional purposes since 1997, inspired by the discussions on the ConLang and TolkLang email lists and by the works of the late Professor J.R.R. Tolkien.

I must apologize for the incompleteness of this material. I am devoting as much time as I can (not much, actually) to transcribing and editing it, but my notes are not organized as I would like.

Please note that like all conlangs, this is a work in progress and is subject to revisions.

If you want to discuss about constructed languages, you can reach me at
Any comments or feedback are welcome.

Note to spammers: usage of any email address on this web page for unsolicited commercial email, mailing lists and/or any other form of advertisement shall be prosecuted.


2. Samples

The following is a text of medium grammatical complexity that I wrote as a sample to be translated in Nirdaen. Both the transliterated and script versions are presented.

When Knaar fell in 441, the land of Vaenthyr barely survived the destruction
by the northern kingdom of Dhamog.
An army of 50,000 horsemen held the once-majestic stronghold of Irhang
against a 27 days-long siege and entered the country.
The people were brought unto bondage, and all of the near villages were
captured or razed.

Over the next two years, Dhamog quickly grew in strength and power.
Having studied the writings found in the ruins of Knaar, they restored
ancient customs and arts.
Suddenly and mysteriously Dhamog became a grand and glorious empire
like Knaar before them.

Soon, Dhamog demanded total enslavement of the entire land of Vaenthyr.
Every kingdom that was not rich enough to make a covenant with them, fell
to their rule and was razed or enslaved. Whole villages were destroyed
overnight, and no trace of the invaders could be found.

In 491, the glorious empire of Dhamog abruptly vanished.
Like Knaar before it, Dhamog disappeared as mysteriously as it had risen.

This is the translation of the above text in Nirdaen:

Shenid lort iadhro Knaar em teur-nas ar, loetras nari Vaenthyr noeg
lac innecorat saer lac imegen Dhamog raun.
Arin i vaenig am ustriel raeyn obennac iorhan am Irhang nim'igrel
baes ast miarth naroch.
Maug edhras, ast iverion an imaen rissaenym iend.

Em endar mig leem, orn thaeln Dhamog em ithien ast verat.
Ylie'ri connach ithrad em Knaar resiel, miger nar udiad maelcor
ast ledar.
Sernad ast magen na Dhamog i naert ast nareith raun il
Knaar elam nar.

Orn edhriat Dhamog noriad lac taeron am lac Vaenthyr noeg.
Na tarnach ast imaen aar taeron, r'yn mai raun egrimor laoth nim
iridhas et nar.
Eom na innecorat blith rissaen, ast r'ylem na ithrad elnar am sindael.

Em teur sil ar, mitien inram lac nareith raun.
Niun Knaar elam nac, iryan Dhamog magennoras ylie midren nac.

This is the Nirdaen script version:

Nirdaen script


3. Phonetics

Nirdaen has six vowels (y, i, e, a, o, u) and twelve consonants (b, c, d, g, h, l, m, n, r, s, t, v).
Diphtongs always begin with the semivowel "y". All other vowel pairs are never bent.

a - open central not rounded
b - voiced bilabial plosive
c - voiceless dorso-velar
d - alveolar plosive
e - open-mid front not rounded
g - voiced velar plosive
h - voiceless glottal fricative
i - high-mid front not rounded
l - apico-dental lateral resonant
m - voiced bilabial nasal
n - apico-alveolar nasal
o - high-mid back rounded
r - voiced uvular
s - voiceless alveolar fricative
t - voiceless dental
u - high back rounded
v - voiced labio-dental fricative
y - semi-vowel and glide
ch - voiceless velar fricative (sometimes represented by "k")
rh - retroflex approximant "r"
dh - voiced "th" (like English "then")
sh - voiceless apico-alveolar fricative
th - voiceless dental double "t" (like Italian "tt" in "gatto")

(under construction)


All material is Copyright © 2000 Reinhart Keim.
All rights reserved, unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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