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Sambahsa words in English

Page history last edited by Mundialecter 8 months, 2 weeks ago

4 - Sambahsa words


4-1 Adjectives: 

Adjectives behave roughly the same as in English. They are not obligatorily declined, come before the substantive as an epithet, but after it if they introduce a preposition.

Ex: Uno sneigvcovohrn calive = “a snow-covered cabin”; but: Un calive covohrno med un tenu sneigvlyegher = “A cabin covered with a thin snow-layer”.

The comparative is made by suffixing –er to the adjective (-ter if the adjective ends with a vowel sound) if it is compatible with the accentuation. Otherwise meis = “more” must be used. “Than” is quem.

Examples: Age est meis difficil quem kwehre neid = « To act is more difficult than to do nothing ».

Dreu est legver quem stal = « Wood is lighter than steel »

Equality is indicated with tem.... quem.

Maria est tem bell quem tu = “Maria is as beautiful as thou”.

Inferiority is indicated thanks to min(s) or minter:

Id weter est minter srigo quem ghes = « The weather is less cold than yesterday ».

The superlative uses, according to the possibilities, -st or meist.

Ne trohveer id minst trace iom slougs: “They did not find the slightest trace of the servants”

Tod rock est id meist dreupic bayna quanta habmos endersoken = “This rock is the most crumbly one among all that we have examined”

Som yunst in mien swoin = “I am the youngest one in my team”


Examples of adjectives in Sambahsa:


Only lytil (little) and megil (great) display some irregularities. They drop their final “-il” to form an adverb (lyt = “a little”, meg = “a lot, very”) and their comparatives and superlatives: lyter/lytst, meger/megst.



4-2 Adverbs: 

The particle –ye (always with the hyphen!) serves to form adverbs, with adjectives as well as with substantives. Ex: end-ye = “finally, in the end”. If the meaning is obvious, adjectives can be used alone. Ex: deub in id forest = “deep in the forest”. Some adverbs do not need the adding of –ye. Ex: tik (only), ops (often), just, it(han) (thus), bfuyi (continually), sigwra (assuredly), oku (quick), ja (already), semper (always), tun (then), (ya)schi (too)....

Another kind of adverbs can be made by prefixing a- to substantives. Ex: apart, atop...


Adverbs of quality (ex: “many/much” = baygh; “too” = pior) shall behave like adjectives when they refer to a noun (and thus can bear the optional declensional endings), but like an adverb (with the possible adjunction of –ye) when they refer to an attributive adjective.


Examples : Piora kowpic chifans sont vierdnic pro sieune = « Too many copious meals are harmful for health »

Pior-ye kowpic chifans sont vierdnic pro sieune = “Too much copious meals are harmful for health”


"Well" is often translated as the verbal prefix sua-. However, though irregular, the comparative kreins and the superlative beirst behave like normal adverbs.

"Ill (badly)" is often translated as the verbal prefix dus-. However, though irregular, the comparative ghers and the superlative endem behave like normal adverbs.



4-3 Correlatives:


Many useful words can be obtained by affixing certain particles to the interrogative pronouns or words like anghen “a person”, ject “a thing”, loc “a place”.



"Someone" is "semanghen" (some + person) or “semquel” (rare) from “some” = “sem”.
 "semanghen hat klohpten ia clenods" = "Someone has stolen the jewels".


Halfway between “some” and "any", there is "gvonc" suffixed to the interrogative pronoun.
"Ne has clus id dwer. Quelgvonc ghehdiet entre id dom" = "You haven't closed the door. Any-/Someone could enter the house !!"

"cada" is "each" as undetermined. In the example below, it is merged with "anghen":
"Cadanghen poitt iskwes asyle in alya lands" = "Any-/Everyone is entitled to seek asylum in other countries".

"-quid" (cf. Sanskrit "cid") suffixed to the interrogative pronoun expresses "any" with an idea of total uncertainty.
Ex: "BP lehct quodquid" = "BP's telling anything at all”; cf. French: "BP raconte n'importe quoi". (pejorative meaning).

“-kwe” suffixed to the interrogative pronoun corresponds to English “-ever”.

“quodkwe” = “whatever”.

"libt" suffixed to the interrogative pronoun is "any" with an idea of "whichever you want" (cf. "libet" in Latin, "-libo" in Russian):
"Cheus quodlibt fustan" = "Choose any skirt (the one you prefer)"


Most common forms:


Cause :: why ?? = “ma ??”. That’s why = “itak

Manner: kam ?? = how ?? (and “like”), it(han), katha = thus; ka = as a

Means:  The adverbs consist of med (“with, through” + instrument) suffixed to the pronoun in the genitive. Thus: quosmed = “with what ?? by which means ??”; tosmed = with that, through that means.

Number :: quayt ?? = how much/many ??; tant = so much/many

Person: quis, qua, quel = who ?? (declined) ;; semanghen, semquis, semqua = “someone”; so-and-so, quidam = fulan; “everyone” = vasyanghen; no-one = nimen, neanghen.

Place :: The ending to indicate a place is “-er”, a direction towards “-tro” and a direction from “-tos” or “-ois” (the latter is an old ablative plural ending)

Thus, we get:

Quer, quetro, quetos/quois = where, whither, whence

Her, hetro, hetos/hois = here, hither, hence

Ter, tetro, tetos/tois = there, thither, thence

Cer, cetro, cetos/ciois = yonder, to yonder, from yonder

(below are given the forms that can be encountered in texts)

Somewhere = semloc/semquer, semtro, semtos

Everywhere = quantloc/quanter, quanttro, quanttos/quantois

Nowhere = neidloc/nequer, netro, netos

Elsewhere = alyer, altro, altos/alyois


Left/Right are lev(ter)/dex(ter) and can give rise to forms such as levtro/dextro, levtos/dextos.


Likewise, but somehow irregular, we get exo (outside) = extro/extos and eni (inside, within) = intro/intos or entro/entos.  


An adverb of direction (cf. English “-wards”) can be made by suffixing –worts.


Example: Vasya fluvs sreunt marworts = “All rivers flow to the sea/seawards”.

The corresponding adjective is in –wort.


An adverb of location can rarely be made by suffixing –i.


Ghomi = on the ground

Urbi = downtown

Domi = in the house

Hemi = at home


“up” is ub and “down” is ghom, from (di)ghom = “the earth, the ground”. Ghom has an irregular comparative: niter.

Unte both means “through where ??” and “through, during”.


Quality: qualg ?? = which ??; solg, talg = such

Thing ::  quod = “what ??” (declined). “Something” = semject, semquod; “everything” = quant(o/um); “nothing” = neid (declined). “nothing at all” = khich

Time: quan(do)? = when ??; kun = when, as; yando = sometimes; ops = often; yant = as soon as; tun = then; semper = always; naiw(o) = never

Totality: “All, every” can be translated by quant. If it bears the optional declensional endings, it can serve as a relative pronoun too.

Example :: Danko mien oncle ob quanta radhs mi hat daht = “I thank my uncle for all advice he has given to me”.

“All the” is vasyo (declined according to the euphonic vocalisation) while “whole” is hol. “Completely, totally” is alnos. “All the others” is ceters.


Vasyas gwens kament magvens = “All (the) women like children”.

Id hol urb buit alnos destruct. Circa mil survivers ghohd ses bohrgen, bet ceters dohlg mane ep id stet = « The whole city was completely destroyed. About one thousand survivors could be put in safety, but all the others had to stay on the spot”.

“Each” is ielg, but when one refers to a group of two, one can use ieter. “Any, every” is cada.



4-4 Some common invariable words in Sambahsa:


Au :: or

Bad :: finally, at last ;; ne… bad = not yet

Bet :: but

Circa :: about, approximately

Dind :: afterwards, then

Dar :: still

Ed :: and

Eti :: furthermore

Fauran :: immediately

Ghi :: has no definite meaning. It often appears in second position in a clause and serves to emphasize the preceding word. It is sometimes suffixed to the preceding adverb or pronoun. It can be translated as “then” or “because”, f.e. ::Is ne kieup id wogh, isghi ne hieb denars”: “He didn’t buy the car because he had no money”.

Hatta :: even (as an adverb)

Ja :: already

Ka :: as a, like

Kafi :: enough (synonym :: « sat »)

Kam :: “like” and “how”

kay :: in order to. Often use as “to” before a verb.


lakin :: however, nevertheless

lyt :: a little; from the adjective “lytil” = “little”

meg :: a lot, much, very; from the adjective “megil” = “great, big”.

Menxu :: while

Ne :: not (appears generally before the verb ;; sambahsa sentences have only one negation or negative pronoun).

Neti :: no more, not... anymore.

No :: no !!

Nun :: now

Od :: that (as in “I know that...”). As in English, it can be often omitted.

Oku :: quick, rapidly

Okwivid-ye :: obviously

Perodh :: forward

Pior :: too much/many

Quayque :: although

Quasi :: nearly

Sei :: if (introducing a condition). For example: “If it rains, I will stay home” = “Sei seuyt, mansiem domi”. “If, whether” is “an, kweter”.

Stayg :: suddenly

Taiper :: “at present”

Tem... quem :: as.... as. “Tem” alone is “so (much)”, while “quem” corresponds to “than”.

Tik :: only

Tsay :: back, again

Ya :: yes !!

(ya)schi :: too, also. (« schi » can be suffixed to the first word of the clause, if it is a pronoun or an invariable word, and if it is phonetically compatible)

Yed :: yet



4-5 Most common prepositions in Sambahsa:

Unless otherwise indicated, all prepositions trigger the accusative in Sambahsa.


Ab :: by (after a passive verbal construction). It turns (seldom indeed) to “af” before “h”. Sometimes, it can mean “starting from” too.

Ad :: at

Ant :: in front of

Apo :: off (can be shortened to « ap » before vowels)

Apter :: behind

Aun :: without

Bayna :: among

Bi :: at (a seller, an artisan), in (an author’s work), next to. Often coalesces with the pronoun at in the dative or accusative forms. Hence we get the following forms: bi + ei = bei, bi + ay = bay; bi + el = bil; bi + im = bim

Cis :: this side of

Con :: with (accompanied by)

Contra :: against

De :: about

Do :: (in)to

Due :: due to

Ender :: beneath

Engwn :: along

Ep :: on (before “h”, it can turn to “ef”)

Ex :: out of (“outside” is exo)

In :: in (“within” is eni)

Inter :: between

Kye :: in the direction of, towards. It merges with the following determinant or pronoun of the third person. Thus, we often find “kyid” = towards the, towards it.

Med :: with (an instrument)

Nieb :: beside

Ob :: because (of)

Per :: through

(Per)ambh :: around

Po :: for (in exchange for, in order to get)

Pon :: since, for

Pos :: after

Pre :: before (in time)

Pro :: for

Prokwe(m) :: near

Prosch :: close to, near (with an idea of movement)

Protie(v) :: against

Samt :: with (to denote circumstance, description; ex: “a blue-eyed man” = “un wir samt blou okwi”)

Sub :: under

Tiel :: till (but, before a verb, we use “hin(a)”)

Trans :: beyond

Ud :: from

Uper :: over

Unte :: within a certain time/space. For example: “unte id wer” = “during spring”; “unte id dwer” = “through the door”. Can be used as an interrogative and relative pronoun too.

Ye :: has no definite meaning, it expresses a circumstance, a condition. Examples: “ye mien surprise” = “to my surprise”; “ye mieno mayn” = in my opinion”.

As an hyphenated suffix to adjectives and even substantives, it serves to make adverbs.




4-6 Numbers:


From 1 to 10: oin, dwo, tri, quar, penk(we), six, sept(a), oct(o), nev, dec.

The suffix -dem corresponds to English “teen”: oindem, dwodem, tridem... and so on.

Likewise, -gim corresponds to “ty”: dwogim, trigim... 100 is cent(om), and 1000 is mil


Ordinal numbers are made thanks to –t or –im if the former is incompatible. So: “third” = trit, “fourth” = quart, but “seventh” is septim. The first of two (Old English “former”) is preter, and the second is alter (cf. Old English “other”) or dwoter. Otherwise, “first” is prest and “second” is second or dwot. “last” is senst, and “latter” is senter.

 Only the last component needs to bear the ordinal ending. Ex: id dwogim prest = the 21st one.


A multiplicative adjective can be made with the suffix –(en)s: “once” = oins, “twice” = dwis (irregular), “thrice” = tris. Otherwise, one can normally use the word “ker”. Ex: dwo kers = “two times”.


There is a distributive adjective in Sambahsa, made by suffixing –(e)n. Irregular forms are ein (1), dwin (pair for quantities) (2), douzen (12) and tusent (1000). Numbers ending with -dem or -gim use -tia. Hence: dwogimtia = "a score".

It is used to count substantives too, which do not have a singular form. Ex: Mi ho kaupen trin bruks = “I’ve bought myself three pairs of pants”.


If the distributive is used as a quantity, then the following substantives and adjectives are in the genitive plural. Ex: Un centen wolfen gwiviet in France = “A hundred of wolves would live in France”


Million and milliard (= US billion) only exist as distributives. When the distributive is followed by an other number, then the substantive no longer has to be in the genitive.


Ex: Oino million octcent nevgim oino mil quarcent mensci (and not menscen) habiteer in Vancouver in mil nevcent nevgim six = “1891400 people (“humans”) lived in Vancouver in 1996”.

A part can be indicated by suffixing –del. Ex: tridel = “the third (of something)”. “Half” (as a substantive) is dwidel.


“half” (as an adjective), can be rendered with pwol, often used as a prefix. Pwolter = 1,5. Other ,5’s are gotten by using the ordinal form of the next number after pwol.

Ex: pwolpenkt = 4,5.



Other words relating to quantities:

Alter ::the other”; ex: alter buk :: “the other book” and alyo (which is declined according to the euphonic declension) is “another”. Ex: alyo buk = “another book”. Both words don’t need any article.

Maung :: “much/many”. Pelu is literary while much is colloquial. Baygh (much/many/a lot) can be used both as an adverb or as an adjective. However, it shouldn’t be used before an adjective followed by a substantive. (Would baygh smulk magvi mean “many small children” or “very small children” ??)

Oik :: a few, some

Pau :: “little” as an adverb; while pauk means “(a) few” as an adjective.

Pwol :: “half, semi-“ (in compounds). Pwolter = “one and a half”

Sem :: some


Words referring to the members of a pair:

In Sambahsa, “both” is bo, and its emphatic form (“the two”) is amb(o).

The Sambahsa suffix –ter expresses the choice between the members of a pair; it corresponds to English –ther.

Auter... au :: either.... or

Ieter :: either, each (of two)

Kweter :: whether

Neter... ni... :: neither.... nor.

Neuter : neither, none of both

Oiter :: one of two

Quoter :: which of both ? Can theoretically work as a relative pronoun too.

Uter :: a(n) (when refering to the member of a pair).


4-7 Expressing the time in Sambahsa:


To indicate a date within the month, one ought to put dien before the cardinal number of the date.

Ex: Dien oindem september dwomil oin, ein plav criesch in ieter tor ios World Trade Center :: “On September eleven 2001, a plane crashed in each of the two towers of the WTC”.


The names of the days of the week (hevd) in Sambahsa are:


Mingo :: Sunday

Mundie :: Monday

Ardie :: Tuesday

Credie :: Wednesday

Khamsi :: Thursday

Juma :: Friday

Sabd :: Saturday


The names of the months (munt) are januar, februar, mart, aprile, mai, jun, jul, august, september, october, november, december.


To indicate the hour, the best way to be understood worldwide is to put the number of the hour before saat, followed by the number of minutes.

Ex: penkdem saat trigim dwo =  15:32.


An adverb indicating a period of time can be formed by suffixing –s.

Ex: El fur gwohm nocts = “The thief came by night”.


The present period of time can be indicated by suffixing ho-.

Ex: honoct = “tonight”, hovesper = “this evening”, but “today” = hoyd and “this morning” is todeghern.


A verb indicating the period of time spent can be made by prefixing (u)per-.

Ex: Ne wehnmos upernocte in tod hotel = “We don’t feel like overnighting in this hotel”.



4-8 Some useful verbs in Sambahsa:


Antwehrd :: to answer

Au :: to lack, to be without

Ay ::to consider as” with a double accusative: “Ia iey John un allieit” = “She considered John as an ally”.

With no accusative, it means “say” in dialogues.

“Quer est John ??” iey ia = “Where is John ??” she said. (cf. Latin “ait”)

Bah :: to speak, to say

Beud :: to appeal to (someone), to beg

Dak :: to get, to receive

Daum :: to wonder

Dehbh :: to suit, to be advisable to

Dehlg :: must

Deulg :: to owe

Eih :: to go

Eiskw :: to seek to, to want, to intend

Em :: to take (figuratively)

Entre :: to enter

Fortrehc :: to leave (for a travel)

Ghehd :: to be able to

Ghend :: to take

Gwah :: to go to. Ex: Peter gwaht Paris = “Peter goes to Paris”

Gwehm :: to come

Khak :: cannot

Kwehk :: to seem

Kwehr :: to do

Lass :: to let

Leips :: to miss (a deadline)

Leit :: to go, to run (figurative meaning)

Linekw :: to leave

Magh :: may, can

Mank :: to be lacking

Mehld :: to point out (something to someone), to pray

Miss :: to miss (someone)

Mutt :: to take place, to have grounds to

Naudh :: to need, to require

Permitt :: to permit, to allow

Poitt :: to have the right to, to be entitled to

Prehg :: to pray, to ask

Preim :: to take (in), to receive

Reik :: to return to

Sagv :: to know how to

Salg :: to go out of

Sayg :: to say, to tell

Sisen :: to let + infinitive

Skap :: to escape from, to depart from

Skeul :: to have an obligation, to be obliged

Soll :: must (probability)

(oi)sprehg :: to talk to, to ask

Tehrb :: to need, to have to

Tolk :: to talk, to explain

Trehc :: to move, to displace oneself

Vid :: to see

Vol :: to want

Wan :: to need, to lack

Wehkw :: to talk to, to express oneself

Wehl :: to want someone to

Wehn :: to feel like doing, to desire



4-9 Syntax ::


Sambahsa word order generally follows the English syntax, i.e. Subject – Verb – Object. A different order can be followed if the declensional or conjugational endings allow this. In compounds, the qualifier precedes the qualified item. Ex: weirnav = “warship”, as weir = war and nav = ship. For quantities, the thing measured can be put after the unit of measure.

Ex: Dwo botels vin = “Two bottles of wine”


As in English,  od = “that” (when it introduces indirect speech) and the relative pronoun in the accusative can be omitted if the meaning is not altered.

Ia mi sieyg (od) ia eet sieug = She told me (that) she was sick

Sambahsa uses approximately the same rules as English for the sequence of tenses.


Ia dugter (quam) ays mater lieubht sessiet un gohd mater = The daughter (whom) her mother loves will be a good (« successful ») mother.


Most Sambahsa prepositions can be used as conjunctions.

Eemos noroct pre is gwohm = We were happy before he came

Pre fortrehce, mae myehrste clude id dwer = Before departing, don’t forget to close the door.

I way fortrohc pre cludus id dwer = They unfortunately departed before having closed the door.


In Sambahsa, the difficulty is not to forget that the same words both serve as a determinant and as a personal pronoun of the 3° person. Thus, such a personal pronoun ought not to be placed just before an adjective or a substantive.

Io iens iey prients im animals = (lit.) I them considered friends of the animals.


Apposition is indicated differently :

-          if the noun refers to the whole name, then they both follow the same case.

-          If it doesn’t refer to the whole of it, the genitive, or a preposition replacing it, must be used.


Example : id citad Montréal = “the city of Montreal” but id tribunal os Montréal = “the court of Montreal”.


Interrogative sentences are either made by putting the subject (including an optional personal pronoun) after the verb, or by beginning the sentence with kwe.



5 - Word formation in Sambahsa ::


Unlike other artificial languages (ex: Esperanto), Sambahsa relies more on loanwords (i.e. words taken from other languages) than on compounds. Sambahsa has so many source languages that it is impossible to have a fully regular derivation system. Nevertheless, some useful affixes can be listed.


5-1 Prefixes

In general, most prepositions can be used as prefixes, and Sambahsa tends to follow the usage of major European languages. Prefixes are never accentuated. Here are some prefixes which are not prepositions or whose meaning is different.


Ab :: before a verb, means “away”; ex: abcurr = “to run away”

Apo :: indicates the 4th generation. Ex: apopater = “great-great-grandfather”.

Be :: makes transitive verbs (as in English)

Begh(i)s :: means “deprived of”

Bfu :: negative prefix before words of Sinitic origin.

Cum :: corresponds to the English prefix “god-“ in names of relatives. Ex: cummater = “godmother”

Dus :: means “ill-“, “bad”. Ex: dusmenos = “ill-disposed” from menos = “mind disposition”.

En- :: means “to put into”. Ex: enquestion = “to put into question, to question”

Ender :: diminutive of action. Ex: endervid = “to catch a glimpse of”; enderghyan = “to half-open”

Eti- :: 5th generation marker.

For :: corresponds to the English adverb “astray”

Ga :: - before a verbal stem with ablaut :: indicates the result of an action

-          before a verbal stem without ablaut :: indicates the object of an action. With the suffix –os, this meaning is pejorative.

Before a noun :: indicates a sum. Ex: behrg = cliff; gabehrg = mountain range


Ken :: means “empty of”

Mu :: prefix of Arabic origin; can be used to indicate the doer of an action when prefixed to a word of “Muslim” origin. Ex: mussafer = “traveller” from safer = (to) travel

Muta :: means “to change”; ex: mutamayn = “to  change opinion”

Ni :: means “down” but generally in a figurative sense. Ex: niklad = “to download” from klad = “to load”.

(oi)s- :: The first meaning of this prefix is “to put out/off” and is the contrary of en-. Ex: oischalt = to switch off; (en)schalt = to switch on.

The reduced form s- got confused with a peculiarity of Indo-European, the “s mobile”, whose exact meaning is still debated among linguists. This formation is still living in Sambahsa-Mundialect. Examples:

Brehg (to break) / sprehng (to burst) spraneg (transitive form)

Tanek (to concentrate) / stanek (to stanch)

Prehg (to pray) / sprehg (to ask someone)

Daum (to wonder) / staun (to be astonished)


Or :: means orginal, primeval, primitive.

Par :: idea of completion, of fullfilled action. Ex: parkwehr = “to achieve” from kwehr = “to do”.

Peri :: means “thorough”. Ex: perigumt = “thoroughfare” from gumt = “coming”

Pro- :: indicates the 3° generation. Before a verb, it means “in front of, preceding” and triggers the dative. Ex: Is mi proghieng = “He was walking in front of me”.

Rhayr :: negative prefix (but often used as an independent adverb) before adjectives of Arabic origin. Ex: rhayr yakin = “unsure” from yakin = “sure, certain”.

Step :: "step-" (family after a second marriage). Ex : "steppater" = "stepfather".

Sua - :: means “well”. Ex: suakwohrt = “well done” from kwohrt = “done”.

Swe- :: this verbal prefix means "towards oneself (the subject, back, apart"

To- :: as a verbal prefix, means "away"

Ud :: as “out” in English, indicates the capacity of doing better than someone else.

Example :: Ho udsnaht iom = “I’ve outswum him”

With the reflexive pronoun (sib), indicates the way of getting something.

Ex: Id mafia sib udtehrct id silence schahiden = “The Mafia gets the silence of witnesses by threatening them”.


5-2 Suffixes:

Because Sambahsa’s wordstock is a mixture of so many sources, it is impossible a have a fully regular system. This is due to the fact that most Romance words (words from Latin and its daughter-languages) have kept their own formation rules.

However, some basic rules shall help to identify the function of each derived form. An important feature of Romance derived forms is that they’re based on the “perfect stem” (or “thema perfectic” in Occidental-Interlingue) of verbs.

This perfect stem is predicted this way:

-          Verbs ending with an unstressed e use -at- instead. Thus, from forme (to form) we get format- and derived forms like formation, formative, formator...

-          Verbs ending with ie use -icat- instead. Thus from publie (to publish) we get publication.

-          Verbs ending with ue use -ut- instead. This applies to verbs whose past participle in “t” ends with wt.

-          Verbs ending with eih- use -it- instead. Ex: addeih (to add) produces addit, hence addition.

-          The perfect stem of other verbs corresponds to their past participle in “t”. Ex: scinesd (to split) gives sciss, hence we get scission, scissible...

Those rules are not absolute since Sambahsa tends to follow the forms seen in Romance languages and English (ex: the major exception is the perfect stem of posen, which is posit), but they are very practical, because they provide reliable guidelines for the inclusion of the international scientific vocabulary in Sambahsa, even when the word is not present in the dictionaries.



Most common derivation processes:


To express a quality, a state:

Some simple adjectives suffix an –e and undergo ablaut. Ex: long gives longe [londj] (length), deub [döb] (deep) gives dube [düb], slab (weak) gives sliebe (weakness). But this system works only if there is a phonetic difference between the adjective and its derived form.

Other adjectives can suffix –(e)t. Ex: mild gives mildet (pity), and mynder (proud) gives myndert (pride).

Other like suffixes are –os and –ia, and –or and –(i)tat for Romance words.


To express an action:

If the verbal stem alone is not enough (ex: hehlp = “(to) help”), -(e)n can be added to it, and –sa to verbs ending with a stressed vowel sound. Romance verbs add –ion to the perfect stem.


To indicate the doer of an action:

The most used suffix is –er on the verbal stem. Its Romance equivalent is –or suffixed to the perfect stem. A practical set of verbal suffixes are –ant to indicate the one who performs an action, -eit to indicate whom this action is directed at (cf. English –ee) and –at to indicate the object or result of this action. Ex: telephonant is the who phones and telephoneit is the one who is phoned to. Their conversation is a telephonat.



Other suffixes: 

-Ank :: towards

Ar ::  - indicates a collection

-          for names of professions, means “maker of”. Ex: stolar/stular from stol/stul

Asc :: means “to become ...”. Ex: khakasc = “to become bad” from khak = “bad”.

At: means “years old”. Ex: Som trigimat = “I’m 30 years old”.

Av :: on a verbal stem (verbs in ei and eu turn them to i and u; stems with nasal infix lose their unstressed “e”), means “inclined to, prone to”. Its Romance equivalent is –ace.

Ber :: means berry, fruit. Ex: vinber = “grape”

-ble :: on a perfect stem without final –t, corresponds to English adjectives ending “-ble” = “which can be...”. The corresponding substantive is in –bilitat.

Other verbs suffix –et to the stem if there is no risk of confusion with any other conjugated form. Ex: dyehrcet [dyE:rtsët] = “glimpsable” from dyehrc = “to glimpse”. Others verbs add –im.

-del :: On a number, indicates a fraction. Ex: tridel = “the third part”.

-dem :: Indicates a determined region, like English “dom”. Ex: roydem = “kingdom”

-eus :: Adjective of quality; corresponds to English “-ous”. Substantive in –ositat.

-en :: Adjective of “substance”. Ex: golden from gold.

-fred :: means “free from”.

-ia :: quality, science, country

-ic :: forms adjectives. Its corresponding substantive ends in –ique.

-id :: "from", "descending from"

-iev :: means “fruit”, “grain”.

-iko/-ika :: means “young male/female”. Ex: potiko = “galant” from poti = “sir”; potnika = “miss” from potnia = “lady”. .

-il :: means “susceptible to, open to”. Has an active value when it is suffixed to the perfect stem, and a passive one when it is suffixed to the verbal stem.

-in :: - female suffix

       - indicates “forest of”.

-ink :: dwelling, living among, etc.

-(i)sk :: adjective of origin. Ex: coschmarisk = “nightmarish” from coschmar = “nightmare”. 

-isme :: state of a thing, theory, ideology. The adherent/practitioner has the suffix –iste.

-ko/-ka :: make diminutives (male/female) on an accentuated syllable. Ex: Ritka & Hanko = “Hansel & Gretel”.

-log :: corresponds to English “-logist”.

-ment :: corresponds to English words of Romance origin ending in “-ment”. For accentuational purposes, this suffix counts as an separate substantive within a compound.

-mon :: on a verbal stem, means “who can”.

-ner :: masculine suffix. Ex: Eireanner = “Irishman” from eirean = “Irish”

-nic/-nica :: slight pejorative (male/female). Ex: drehnknic = “drunkard”.

-os :: on a verb, can mean “game of”. Ex: skeulkos = “hide-and-seek”

-smee: always on a personal pronouns, to emphasize oppositions. Ex: Weysmee habmos naiwo likwno nies parents = “We (not you) have never left our parents”.

-ster :: feminine suffix

-ure :: on the perfect stem, means “result, quality”.

-went : makes adjectives; corresponds to "-ful" in English.




The nasal infix:

This pecularity has been already seen in the part on conjugation. Nearly all these verbs are transitive, for the initial meaning of the nasal infix was “to equip something/one with”. Ex: yuneg = “to join, to hitch up” from yug = “yoke”.


5-3 Formation of compounds.

The Sambahsa order follows the English order; ex: weir-nav = “war-ship”.

Adjectives of quality with one element can be made by suffixing –t (or even –(e)n), much like English “-ed”. If there is more than one element, then there is no suffix at all. Ex: un penkwekwl wogh = “a five-wheeled wain”. A simple way to express a quality is to use the preposition samt (see above). Likewise, names of doers can go without a suffix if they contain more than one element. Ex: nebhskrehb = “sky-scraper” from nebh = “cloud” and skrehb  = “to scrape”.


5-4 Choice of new words.

The primary source for the vocabulary of Sambahsa is its direct ancestor Indo-European. Not all words have been reconstructed, but many ideas can be obtained by looking at older IE languages, and above all Sanskrit, Old Greek, Latin.

The other source of vocabulary for Sambahsa is loanwords, i.e. words found in at least two different linguistic branches. The spectrum stretches from Western Europe up to Eastern Asia. Thus, the influence of French, English and German on the “modern” (that is to say “compared with old IE”) appearance of Sambahsa has been decisive. But, for the vocabulary, the influence of other European languages has been as important. German has given a relevant amount of vocabulary to East European languages. Baltic languages share some common basic wordstock. And the Balkanic languages are the best example of a “Sprachbund” due to their common history (Byzantine and Ottoman dominations).

Moreover, the Balkan Sprachbund is the gateway to the second biggest area of shared vocabulary, that ought to be called the “Muslim” languages. The spread of Islam (and of the Arabic language) has taken back and fostered the old Persian heritage which has endured until the XIX° century. That’s why Arabic and Persian words found in Hausa, Swahili, Turkish, central Asian languages, Urdu or Indonesian are present in Sambahsa too. The Sanskritic sphere plays a role in Sambahsa too, but to a lesser extent. Finally, the Sinitic languages (i.e. languages like Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, that were influenced by Chinese) provide a minor part of Sambahsa’s vocabulary. This reduced importance is due to the fact that Chinese loanwords undergo considerable phonetic alterations, and that loss of trans-linguistic recognizability makes them less interesting for an international language.


This guideline is not absolute; other parameters are taken into account. Among these are precision, recognizability, shortness and avoidance of the risk of confusion with a preexisting word.

In sum, the basic vocabulary of Sambahsa is pan-European and contains a balanced number of cognates with many languages of this continent. See, as an example: http://www.pagef30.com/2010/06/swadesh-list-comparing-english-french.html

which gives 52% of shared basic vocabulary with English, 46% with French, and about 30% with Lithuanian.


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