Overview and Word Order

Toma Heylm is an SVO language in the nominative-accusative paradigm in which nouns take case prefixes or suffixes (depending on the case); verbs take suffixes to agree in number or gender with subjects but have auxiliaries for tense, aspect, and mood; adjectives follow the noun, but determiners precede it, including numbers; adverbs follow the verb, but auxiliaries precede it; nouns have gender, which is marked on adjectives that modify them or verbs for which they are the subject, if present; and adpositional phrases are prepositional.

Clause structure coming soon.

Nouns in Toma Heylm

Nouns in Toma Heylm are gendered, with the genders being female and male. Gender is not apparent from looking at the word, so it must be memorized.

There are seven cases:

Prefix/suffix Examples
Nominative [none] shadow - edior world - dampe
Accusative -u, -yu edioru dampeyu
Genitive -i, -yi ediori dampeyi
Dative a-, ay- ayedior adampe
Instrumental o-, oy- oyedior odampe
Locative uy-, yu- uyedior yudampe
Causative hi-, iy- iyedior hidampe

Determiners used to show definiteness or number in nouns are syin, nes, and tam, which are singular, dual, and plural, respectively.

mind - a book
syin mind - the book, one book
nes mind - two books
tam mind - the books
syin edior tam mindi - the shadow of the books

Pronouns in Toma Heylm

Pronouns are fully conjugated in all cases, plus a reflexive form. They have some dual forms and some gendered forms, but neither is universal. The first person dual is an inclusive dual only ("you and me"), with exclusive dual being represented by the plural form.

First person Second person Third person
Singular Dual Plural Singular Plural Singular Dual Plural
Male Female
Nominative eff fhi hel lo lhi sem syim sheym elyi
Accusative lifa rhi myol lyem astye seli
Reflexive efel fine helye lor lis ise isit shye lel
Genitive efim fyim heylm ilom lyim semi simil shemi elyim
Dative tef tyel tilo tilyi tise tishye
Instrumental ohayef oheli ohelo ohili ohesem oheym
Locative yuhayef yuheli yuhelo yuhili yuhesem yuheym
Causative hihayef hiheli hihelo hihili hihesem hiheym


It (he) is my book. Sem ey mind efim.
They are with him/her. Elyi ey terem yuhesem.
I give the book to you. Eff datil syin mindu tilo.

Prepositions in Toma Heylm

Prepositions in Toma Heylm can mean slightly different things depending on the case of the object of the preposition.

aren yuhelo - toward you, as in go to you
aren tilo - unto you, as in give to you

Some phrases that we would use prepositions for, Toma Heylm expresses using only cases:

mind tomayi - book of language
datet tilo - give to you
renen hihesem - a song by him/her

Verbs in Toma Heylm

Verbs in Toma Heylm come in two conjugations, -al and -et. They agree in gender and number with the subject, after the manner of the Russian past tense (sans neuter): they take a male, female, or plural form.

Verbs in -al Verbs in -et
infinitive to see - tisanal to go - dimitet
male tisanyik dimityok
female tisanot dimitil
plural tisandre dimitrai

A Creole-style system of auxiliaries provides tense, aspect, and mode.

These three main auxiliaries always appear in that order.


I saw her. Eff seta tisanot astye.
She sees me. Syim tisanot lifa.
They will see you. Elyi delye tisandre myol.
He is going. Sem dava dimityok.
He would have been going. Sem seta delye dava dimityok.

The copula, ey, does not decline and is used only in the nonpast perfective indicative, i.e., in the absence of auxiliaries. If any auxiliaries are present, they take the place of the copula.

Adjectives in Toma Heylm

(More parts of speech coming soon)

Adjectives in Toma Heylm follow the noun, and agree in number or gender with the nouns they modify. Most end in eli. Exceptions include the comparative and superlative sets "good, better, best" and "more, most". The feminine suffix for adjectives is -s, the plural is -d, and the masculine singular form is unsuffixed.

He is happy. Sem ey leheli.
She is alive. Syim ey talkelis.
They are strange. Elyi ey arelid.
The river flows across the wide world. Syin lilad dava lidil sayel syin yudampe tetreli.
The boat glides along the silent river. Syin fleta dava menyik ret syin yulilad hiyelis.
We (you and I) swim to the big boats. Fhi plelrai aren tam yufleta dorelid.

Other resources

Read an email on Toma Heylm that was sent to the Conlang mailing list for the first of the Conlang t-shirt projects, which contains a brief, erroneous, and incomplete sketch of the grammar.

See the complete wordlist (updated 3/13/2006)!

Back to conlangs page

Last updated: 3/13/2006