Grammar

Nouns

Kiitra nouns have a highly regular pattern, with plural and possessive forms created by the addition of suffixes. Verbs, adjectives and nouns can likewise be made into certain concrete noun forms by adding specific suffixes.

  • Plural: add -jiit
  • Possessive: add -luu
  • Person: add -ai (example: “medical science” to “physician” = rekaavaag to rekaavaagai)
  • Group or organization: add -aat (example: “traditional” to “Traditionalist Party” = diirdezna to diirdeznaat)
  • Vehicle or craft: add -juush (example: “sea” to “boat”/”ship” = mura to murajuush)
  • Structure or complex: add -dara (example: “sky” to “airport” = eksa to eksadara)
  • Sub-unit of complex structure: replace -dara with -badra (example: eksabadra for “airport terminal”)

Pronouns

There are fourteen basic pronouns, organized according to person (first, second, third), number, (singular, plural), gender (male, female, neuter, inanimate) and formality.

singular singular formal[1] plural
first person mra inra
second person shra j’la zra
third person male adra adjra
third person female avra avjra
third person neuter/nonbinary[2] ara ajra aira
third person inanimate era iira

[1] formerly used for speaking to/about a person of higher social station; as Kiitra and Alplai society became more democratic, usage declined and is now restricted to deities and respected decedents.
[2] originally used when person’s gender was unknown; now also used for persons who identify as neither male nor female

Kiitra uses four additional words for reflexive pronouns:

  • eifzokh [lit.: “same individual/person/self”] = singular animate
  • eifera [lit.: “same thing”] = singular inanimate
  • eifzokhjiit = plural animate
  • eifiira = plural inanimate

Examples:

  • mra shribiis eifzokh = “I will help myself”
  • eja’kuundrajiit giron jev eifiira = “these/those devices clean themselves”

Familial relationships

Kiitra nouns for relatives are grouped into two general categories:

  • “Horizontal” relationships share the -aita root
  • “Vertical” relationships share the -idra root

Thus the basic words:

  • jaita for “sibling”
  • laita for “cousin”
  • vidra for “parent”
  • pidra for “child/offspring”
  • kidra for “parent’s sibling” (aunt or uncle)
  • zidra for “sibling’s child/offspring” (niece or nephew)

Gender is indicated by prefixing either ”ada-” for “male” or ”ava-” for “female”.

Vertical relationships also have a system of conjugation for indicating generational “levels” based on comparative and superlative indicators:

  • second level (“grand-“): change root to -idriil
  • third level (“great-grand-“): change root to -idriikh
  • fourth level (“great-great-grand-“): prefix ekaa- to third level
  • fifth level (“great-great-great-grand-“): prefix ekiil- to third level
  • sixth level (“great-great-great-great-grand-“): prefix ekiikh- to third level
  • seventh level and above: continue adding prefix as in fourth through sixth level

Example: ekiikhadavidriikh = great-great-great-great-grandfather

Marital status and relationships

Marriage is indicate by the root word takra (“promise” or “pledge”). One’s spouse is therefore takrai (“promised one”); gender-specific versions follow a more archaic form:

  • “husband” = takradai
  • “wife” = takravai

In-laws are indicated by adding the suffix -krai, followed by the appropriate possessive pronoun. Thus:

  • “my brother-in-law” = adajaitakrai mraluu
  • “their daughter-in-law” = avapidrakrai airaluu

Additionally:

  • pekhtakrai = divorced person
  • mlenotakrai = widowed person
  • nitakrai = single or never-married person

Verbs

Kiitra verbs follow simple form and tense conjugation rules:

  • all verbs end in a consonant, both to better distinguish them from other words, and to better enable tense conjugation
  • the same tense form is used for all subject forms; thus there are no irregular verbs
  • past tense is indicated by adding the suffix -iit
  • future tense is indicated by adding the suffix -iis

Example A: adra hosh drof Marif = “he travels to Marif” or “he is traveling to Marif”
Example B: adra hoshiit drof Marif = “he traveled to Marif” or “he has traveled to Marif”
Example C: adra hoshiis drof Marif = “he will travel to Marif” or “he will be traveling to Marif”

Verbs are not conjugated or marked to denote grammatical aspect. The best way to translate the concepts conveyed by aspects in other languages is to use adverbs and/or compound verb forms to delineate the relationship of action and time more specifically:

  • kirzama mra hoshiis efa = someday I travel[future] there = I will travel there someday
  • mra verokhiit zu guujod eja’hobor = I begin[past] eat[infinitive] that-fruit = I began to eat that fruit; I was eating that fruit

Use of g’boz as copula for attributes

For many attributes, Kiitra uses the verb g’boz = “to have” as the copula verb.

  • adra g’boz nonsha = “he has happiness/joy/pleasure” = “he is happy” or “he is experiencing joy/pleasure”
  • eja’bruu g’boz juntra = “this/that bowl has beauty” = “this/that bowl is beautiful.”

Use of zu as infinitive marker for second verb

In cases where one verb follows another, the word zu (“for”) may be used, much as “to” is used in English to indicate the infinitive form of a verb; this is not a hard and fast rule, however (see section on “Compund verb forms” below).

  • f’taa zra ozgariit zu ton eja’tona zu emaijiit inraluu? = “did you remember to give that gift to our friends?”

Compound verb forms

Some actions are indicated by “compound” verb forms, where two verbs are utilized to indicate a single action.
Example A: persh + [person] + kijem = “to beg someone to forgive” = “to apologize”

  • mra persh shra kijem mra = “I beg you to forgive me.” = “I apologize (to you).”

Example B: shrib + [person] + ozgar = “to help someone to remember” = “to remind someone”

  • avra shribiit adra ozgar zaam val goja = “She helped him to remember time for food/meal.” = “She reminded him about mealtime.”

Proper use of ton (to give)

Sentences and phrases using ton (to give) must always be followed immediately by the object given; the receiving person follows the object given, with a preposition in between.

  • adra toniit eja’pojega drof avra = “he gave that book to her” or “he gave her that book”

In most cases, the preposition drof (to, toward) is used, but in cases where the act of giving implies transfer of ownership (such as a gift or purchase) use the preposition zu (for)

  • adra toniis eja’pojega zu avra = “he will give that book for her (to keep)”

Etiquette regarding apologies

While it is grammatically feasible for anyone “to beg forgiveness” of or for anyone else, custom and courtesy places additional limitations:

  • The word miirvan (“please”) may be placed in front of an apology for emphasis, but the phrase miirvan belaam (“please allow”) is seen as fawningly insincere.
  • The imperative jalrii may be used but only if either the subject or object is in the third person, and never when the object is in the first person; in other words, you can insist that someone apologizes to someone else, but it is rude to demand an apology for oneself, and insincere to say one must apologize to the person you are addressing.
  • When immediately responding to a minor breach (ie, bumping into someone), it is appropriate to use the informal kijem mra (“forgive me”); the equally simple response is kijemiit (“forgiven”).

Adjectives, articles and determiners

With three exceptions, adjectives are prefixed to the subject noun; the exceptions are:

  • describing specific or relative quantity; adjectives ending in -iirh always fall into this category
  • specific ethnic, geographic, linguistic and/or religious designations
  • possessive noun forms

In all of these exceptions, the adjective remains a separate word; quantifiers are placed in front of the subject noun, and the other forms are placed afterwards.

  • nuj = “north or northern”; okriina = “monorail”; nujokriina = “northbound monorail”
  • okh = “one”; adabaakh = “boy or juvenile male”; Terai = “Terran”; okh adabaakh Terai = “one Terran boy”
  • nela = “blue color”; bruu = “bowl”; adraluu = “his”; nelabruu adraluu = “his blue bowl”

Some allowances are made when a new compound word is introduced into the Kiitra lexicon, and strict formal usage creates an overly cumbersome term.

  • Example: The invention of telescreens led to the creation of the word bejafaaz (combining “sight” + “system”); when portable versions, like the Terran “smartphone” were developed, the word for “small” (orpa) was prefixed; this was eventually truncated to orbefaaz.

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs are made using the suffixes -iil and -iikh respectively:

  • faan = “good”; faaniil = “better”; faaniikh = “best”
  • kulpabsa = “soon”; kulpabsiil = “sooner”; kulpabsiikh = “soonest”

Kiitra has no indefinite article, and the definite article prefix id’- is used sparingly for things which are unique; hence one could talk of id’hiirha (“the universe, the totality of existence) but refer to the Milky Way Galaxy as either eja’ladrhaagdara ega (“this galaxy”) or ladrhaagdara inraluu (“our galaxy”).

The Kiitra demonstrative prefix eja’- can translate as “this, that, these or those”, but only in adjectival form. To distinguish between “this/these” and “that/those” add ega (“here”) or efa (“there”) respectively.

  • adra tolug eja’zokh ega = “he knows this person”
  • avra tolug eja’zokh efa = “she knows that person”

Pronoun forms would mean prefixing eja’- to the third person inanimate form, therefore eja’era for singular, and eja’iira for plural. Also, these pronoun forms are only for use as objects; for subjective use, correct Kiitra usage is as follows:

  • ega zon … (“Here is/are … “) for “This is … ” and “These are … “
  • efa zon … (“There is/are … “) for “That is … ” and “Those are … “

Adverbs and auxilliary verbs

Most modifications are placed before the verb’s subject:

  • kulpa mra nuujariit = “I almost forgot”

When an adverb modifies the second verb in a serial verb form, it immediately precedes said verb:

  • aira gaziij faan kher eja’geinera = “they tried to do that job well”

With complex sentences, one must be careful to place the adverb before the correct subject:

  • “They saw her quickly take those bowls” = aira bejiit vroja avra reniit eja’brujiit

adverbs which modify descriptors, such as pada (“too”) and shasha (“very”), are placed in front of the words being modified:

  • “She ran too fast” = pada vroja avra vrokajiit
  • “We are leaving very soon” = shasha kulpabsa inra hoshegiis

The negative particle ni- can be prefixed to many verbs; one should be aware, however, of existing polar verb pairs (e.g., ozgar and nuujar = “remember” and “forget”) and use a verb’s existing opposite whenever possible.

Necessitative modality

The word jalrii (“necessary” or “imperative”) is used in much the same way as “must” or “should” in English; it is placed in front of the verb’s subject in a sentence

  • jalrii avra tolug = “she must know”
  • inra lagon jalrii shra persh adra kijem = “we believe you should apologize to him”

Equivalent modes for “may/might”

For English speakers learning Kiitra, it is important to remember that “may” and “might” can be used to indicate one of two modes, for which Kiitra has two forms:

  1. To indicate whether something is possible, the word shipaa is placed in front of the verb’s subject; the opposite of shipaa is nipaa.
    • shipaa avra hosh abaten = “she likely travels today”
    • nipaa adra hoshiis bolsaten = “he will unlikely travel tomorrow”
  2. To indicate whether something is permissible, the word belaamiit (past tense of belaam = “to allow/permit”) is placed before the verb’s subject; the opposite of belaamiit is nipraamiit.
    • belaamiit zra veled = “you are allowed to enter”
    • nipraamiit shra ren eja’era = “you are forbidden to take that”
  3. The phrase miirvan belaam (“please allow”) makes a sentence into a request for permission.
    • miirvan belaam mra guujod aba = “please allow me to eat now”

Questions and interrogative words

All interrogative words begin with ”f’t-”

  • f’tama = “when”
  • f’tara = “who”
  • f’tazra = “why”
  • f’teda = “how”
  • f’tega = “where”
  • f’tejiit = “how many/much”
  • f’tera = “what”
  • f’tiira = “which”

Non-interrogative forms (adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, determiners and/or relative pronouns) are created by changing f’t- to p’t-.

There is also the interrogative particle f’taa placed in front of a spoken sentence to turn it into a question:

  • hiirh g’boz deshal = “Everything is ready.”
  • f’taa hiirh g’boz deshal? = “Is everything ready?”

F’taa? by itself is also an interrogative interjection, like “Huh?” or “Eh?” in English.

F’taa miirvan? is used to ask someone to repeat something not heard or understood clearly (the equivalent of “Come again?” or “Pardon?”)

Yes, No and Maybe

Kiitra may be said to have a multi-form system for indicating agreement, disagreement and/or certainty along a continuum:

generic unmarked generic marked definitive dubitative
affirmative (yes) shaa sheina shasha shipaa
negative (no) naa neija nipaa
uncertain shipaanipaa
  • the generic unmarked forms are basic affirmative and negative responses.
  • the generic marked affirmative is said in response to a negative statment, as in the French “si” or Norwegian “jo”.
  • the definitive forms are used to indicate stronger certainty; the definitive affirmative shasha can also be used to add emphasis to an adjective, as in the English “very” (the most common example being shasha faan = “very good” or “excellent”).
  • the dubitative forms are used to indicate weaker certainty, much like saying “likely” or “unlikely”; the compound shipaanipaa indicates complete uncertainty.