A reform of mërèchi, or perhaps a unique mixed language in which the vocabulary of mërèchi - even its bound morphemes - was imported into a completely different grammatical framework.

Grammar overview

For more recent developments in the grammar that are not reflected in the explanation below, see my Mirexu posts on my conlanging blog.

Verbs are marked for: agreement with certain types of subordinate clause; negation; agreement with any ergative argument; agreement with non-third-person absolutive arguments; agreement with each oblique argument; tense; and aspect. Verbs frequently contain many derivational morphemes which are not given separately above for time and space reasons. The verb paradigm is as follows:

[ ADV ] [ NEG ] [ ABS ] [ ERG ] [ OBL [ OBL ...] ] TENSE verb-base ASPECT

Verbs may form subordinate clauses in the following ways:

Verbs may combine through conjunction if they share all arguments (and therefore also degree of transitivity) and tense. All but the final verb are marked for aspect and negation only, and the conjunctive ending -u appended. The final verb is an ordinary fully declined finite verb.

Nouns and free pronouns show nominative/accusative alignment, in contrast with the absolutive/ergative alignment of verb agreement. Since the ergative and absolutive agreement markers on the verb are really incorporated pronouns, any standalone pronoun agreed with by such a marker will not appear. However, as absolutive third person pronouns are not marked on the verb, they do appear either in the accusative as objects of transitive verbs, or in the nominative (with null case ending) as subjects of intransitive verbs. Nouns with the oblique case ending have their role marked on the verb. In subordinate clauses nominative nouns take the subordinate nominative ending, and accusative and oblique nouns take the subordinate oblique ending.

Nouns may be possessed. If this is the case, instead of their case endin g they have a possessive suffix. They will be preceded by their possessor (unless it is a pronoun which has been subsumed by a verb agreement marker), on which their case will be marked. Agreement on the verb is with the possessor, but the actual argument is the possessed noun.

Nouns in the same case and to which all the same arguments (adjectives, relative clauses, possessors) apply may form conjunction by all but the first noun having the conjunctive noun suffix -so instead of a possessive or case suffix.

The derivational verb prefix rbe- is used to create relative clauses of manner. For example, if "sosu" is "to sleep", "ti asosup" is "they sleep", "[...] atarbesosup" is "they sleep-in-manner [...]", then "neatarbesosup" is "how they sleep" and "neatarbesosupu lupsi" is "the way that they sleep".

Example text

Example text taken from Conlang Relay 15:


ifwefu neatarbepukopu lupsia ajaelup

ifwefu tidu nultitei kjeluapasep, tidu nisozhutei luapasep. pulkoa attijukwiv. ti jedeweso isewedu luapasep. ti apukop. pukowetei kjemni jutjurausapu kujufemerusap. kwipwena kjeataduirupse ti vapasesep. ti siwedu lutepu reapasep. tigi kjeankehisepi tia anatjurausadep. pulok femeruresapu kjedarauresapu tameluskisuresapu aletamlusap.

Smooth translation

One sees the way that they dance

One moves not with their music, but with their voices. They have studied dance. They move with creativity and possibility. They dance. Their style of dancing is the happiest and most beautiful. Because they do not have learning they can move. They circle and move as one. That they are unable not to try makes them happy. The dances are more beautiful, more unsaddening, more complex, and different.


ifwefu ne- at- a- rbepuko -p -u lupsi -a aj- a- el -up
N REL- 3pl.erg- PR- V -IMP -ADJ N -ACC 3sg.m.erg- PR- V -IMP
ifwefu ti -du nulti -tei kje- lu- a- pase -p
N 3pl -OBL N -3pl.poss NEG- COM- PR- V -IMP
ti -du nisozhu -tei lu- a- pase -p
3pl -OBL N -3pl.poss COM- PR- V -IMP
pulko -a at- ti- jukwi -v
N -ACC 3pl.erg- PT- V -PERF
ti jedewe -so isewe -du lu- a- pase -p
3pl.nom N -CONJ N -OBL COM- PR- V -IMP
ti a- puko -p
3pl.nom PR- V -IMP
pukowe -tei kjem -ni jutjurausa -p -u ku- jufemerusa -p
N -3pl.poss N -3sg.n.poss V -IMP -CONJ FUT- V -IMP
kwipwe -na kje- at- a- duiru -p -se
ti v- a- pasese -p
3pl.nom REAS- PR- V -IMP
ti siwe -du lute -p -u re- a- pase -p
3pl.nom N -OBL V -IMP -CONJ SUBS- PR- V -IMP
ti -gi kje- a- nkehise -p -i ti -a an- a- tjurausade -p
3pl -SUB.NOM NEG- PR- V -IMP -COMP 3pl -ACC 3sg.n.erg- PR- V -IMP
pulok femeruresa -p -u kje- darauresa -p -u
tameluskisuresa -p -u a- letamlusa -p


3pl third person plural
3pl.erg " " " ergative
3pl.nom " " " nominative
3pl.poss " " ", possessive
3sg.m.erg third person singular, male, ergative
3sg.n.erg third person singular, neuter, ergative
3sg.n.poss " " " ", possessive
ACC accusative case
ADJ adjectival relative clause ending
ADVCLAUSE adverbial clause ending
COM comitative/instrumental role marker, agrees w/argument in oblique case
COMP subordinate complement clause ending
CONJ conjunctive ending
FUT future tense
IMP imperfective aspect
N noun
NEG negation
OBL oblique case (agrees with role marker on verb)
PERF perfective aspect
PR present tense
PT past tense
REAS reason clause agreement marker (agrees with adverbial clause)
REL relative clause
SUB.NOM nominative case in subordinate clause
SUB.OBL accusative/oblique case in subordinate clause
SUBS substitutive role marker, agrees with argument in oblique case
V verb


a accusative case
a present tense marker
aj 3rd person singular male ergative agreement marker
an 3rd person singular neuter ergative agreement marker
at 3rd person plural ergative agreement marker
darauresa to be sadder
du oblique case ending
duiru to have
el to see
femeruresa to be more beautiful
gi nominative case ending in subordinate clauses
i subordinate complement clause ending
ifwefu someone
isewe possibility
jedewe creativity
jufemerusa to be the most beautiful
jukwi to study, to master
jutjurausa to be the happiest
kje negation marker
kjem type, style
ku future tense marker
kwipwe learning, study
letamlusa to be different
lu comitative role marker
lupsi manner, way
lute to move in a circle
na accusative/oblique case ending in subordinate clauses
ne relative clause prefix
ni 3rd person singular neuter possessive ending
nisozhu voice
nkehise to be able not to try
nulti music
p imperfective aspect marker
pase to move
pasese to be flexible, to be able to move
puko to dance
pukowe dancing
pulko a dance
pulok dances, plural
rbepuko to dance in some manner
re "acting as" role marker (can't remember the name for this)
se adverbial clause ending
siwe being one, a unit
so conjunctive suffix for nouns
tameluskisuresa to be more complex
ti 3rd person plural pronoun
ti past tense marker
tei 3rd person plural possessive ending
tjurausade to make happy
u adjectival relative clause ending
u conjunctive suffix for verbs
up imperfective aspect marker (after consonants)
v reason clause agreement marker on main verb

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Last updated: 10/28/2015