Data File Updated: Sunday, April 6, 2008

Introduction | Grammar | Lexicon | Numerals

The aim of grammar in formal Trade is to be as simple and clear as possible. Many Trade words are polysyllabic, and sentence structure is very formal, but it was not originally meant to be a conversational language. The Neridi and Barsam have developed a more conversational dialect for their own use, which the Loroi have partially picked up on. There are also some archaic Loroi abstractions in the mix. It is common for non-native speakers to use very simple forms of the grammar, without many of the particles or conjugations. Of course, they sound a bit primitive when doing so, but the meaning is often quite clear.

Sentence Structure

Trade follows a basic SUBJECT – OBJECT – VERB sentence structure. Adjectives precede nouns; adverbs precede verbs; prepositions, conjunctions and most other marking particles follow the words or phrases they are connected to.

Tezair m nelain nazalat monnen terei baze.
“I quickly go to the nearby town.” 

Here this subject is tezair ("I") with the optional subject marker m; the object “town” is nazalat, marked by the preposition monnen (“to”), and modified by the adjective nelain (“near”); and the verb is baze, “to go,” modified by the adverb terei, "quickly."

Subject- and Object-Marking Particles

These particles are usually optional (used for clarity) and follow the subject or object they mark.
Subject marker: m (sometimes optional). Occasionally the subject itself is omitted, particularly if it is the pronoun tezair (“I/me”).

Tezair m baze.
Tezair baze.

“I go.”

Object marker: t
Normally, the object directly precedes the verb. Only used for clarity, in unusual situations were the words are out of order, the subject is missing, or when an ambiguous verb modifier is in the usual object place. For an indirect-object marker, use a preposition instead.

Tezair m renoi tiie.
“I throw the ball.”

Renoi t tiie.
“(I) throw the ball.”

Renoi t tezair m tiie.
“The ball I throw.”

Pasadi t en deshr.
“(I) am requesting assistance.”

Tezair m renoi t tilleit tiie.
“I can throw the ball.”

to: monnen
at: das
about: sezais
with: pazed
of: mi

Prepositions follow the noun they modify.
Tezair m mepona das renoi tiias.
“I threw the ball at the dog.”

Nazalat monnen baze.
“(I) go to town.”

I/me: tezair
you : lozen
you (pl): lozener
he/she/it: mezi
they: toizi
we: nazel
who: sate
anyone: tanasot

if: leri
than: meinit
and: tii
but: lan
that: somin
or: nin

Conditional phrases are tagged by the conjunction leri "if", and modifiers such as could (tilleit), should (tistel), etc. precede the verb.

Mezi m renoi tilleit sigannas leri, tistel tiies.
“If he could have caught the ball, (I) should have thrown (it)." 

Correlatives ("Neither you nor your sister is ready") are just used as normal conjunctions ("You nor your sister is ready").

Verb Forms

Most Trade verb roots end in a vowel and are conjugated with combinations of suffixes and helper particles. Here are example forms using the verb seredi, "to kill":

Present (“kill”): simple root: seredi
Passive (“is killed”): -eri suffix: serederi
Past (“killed”): -as suffix: seredas (passive “was killed”: serederas)
Future (“will kill”): -o or -io suffix: seredio (passive “will be killed”: serederio)
Progressive (action in progress; “is killing”): preceding partcle or n: seredi (passive “is being killed”: serederi
Perfect (action completed; “have killed”): -at suffix: seredat (passive “have been killed”: serederat)
Past Progressive (action in progress; “was killing”): seredas (passive “was being killed”: serederas)
Future Progressive (action in progress; “will be killing”): seredio (passive “will be being killed”: serederio)
Past Perfect (action completed; “had killed”): seredatis (passive “had been killed”: serederatis)
Future Perfect (action completed; “will have killed”): seredatio (passive “will have been killed”: serederatio)
Present Perfect Progressive (“have been killing”): seredat (passive “have been being killed”: serederat)
Past Perfect Progressive (“had been killing”): seredatis (passive “had been being killed”: serederatis)
Future Perfect Progressive (“will have been killing”): seredatio (passive “will have been being killed”: serederatio)
Participle (verb as noun or adjective, “killing”): -d or -ad suffix and word order: seredad petit, “killing field”
Past Participle (verb as noun or adjective, "killed"):
-das or -adas suffix and word order: seredadas nomono, "killed funding"
Gerund (verb clause as noun or adjective): participle with object: doira t seredad "killing the enemy"
"Doer" (one who does; "killer"): -di or -adi suffix: seredadi (passive "killee": serederadi)
Conditional (expressing a condition “can kill”, “should kill”, “may kill”): helper aux v + root: tilleit seredi, tistel seredi
(command, "kill!"): -ro or -aro suffix: seredaro 
Negative (“not kill”): sal preceding particle: sal seredi (passive "is not killed": sal serederi)

Sample Transitive Verb Forms

Root  Past  Future  Perfect  Past Perfect  Participle
seredi (kill) seredas  seredio  seredat  seredatis  seredad
serederi (is killed) serederas  serederio  serederat  serederatis  serederad
tonena (devour) tonenas  tonenaio  tonenat  tonenatis  tonenad
tonenaeri (is devoured) tonenaeras  tonenaerio  tonenaerat  tonenaeratis  tonenaerad
niralo (understand) niralas  niraloio niralat  niralatis  niralad
niraleri (is understood) niraleras  niralerio  niralerat  niraleratis  niralerad
anne (carry) annas  anneo  annat  annatis  anned
anneri (is carried) anneras  annerio  annerat  anneratis  annerad

Sample Intransitive Verb Forms

Root  Past  Future  Perfect  Past Perfect  Participle
terrani (rot)  terranas  terranio  terranat  terranatis  terranad
pipolsi (float) pipolsas pipolsio pipolsat pipolsatis pipolsid
sodo (inquire) sodas  sodoio  sodat  sodatis  sodad
baze (go) bazes  bazeo  bazat  bazetis  bazed
narra (navigate) narras  narraio  narrat  narratis  narrad