In the Shadow of Elvish – The Black Speech and Orcish

Ash Zhâbur Durbatulûk – One Speech to rule them all

Month: March, 2018

Changing the tense suffixes

When writing the Gilgamish (see last post) I started to realize that there are really alot of fricative sounds. That’s not surprising given that the language has a lot of them. But I’m thinking of ways to reduce them. One way is to limit fricatives in grammatical affixes. The tenses has two fricatives, past tense -sh and future tense -z (present tense is -g).

I am also thinking that it could be nice to align Zhâburi to either Svartiska or LoS. So now think I will change the future tense -z to -b which corresponds to both Svartiska and LoS -ub (that would be the intransitive future in Zhâburi) and let the -z suffix mark past tense corresponding to LoS past tense -uz. I could use the Svartiska ending -(u)l but that would coincide whith the third person marker -ul.

That would give us:

past tense: -sh > -z
present tense: -g (no change)
future tense: -z > -b

Or maybe I just change the future tense to -b. I kind of like the past tense -sh.

Here are the published Gilgamish lines with -z as past tense suffix

  1. Lubashi-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganazanûk
  2. Guzhubadazanûk, ishazanûk
    Gilgamish-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganazanûk
    Guzhubadazanûk, ishazanûk
  3. Fushazanûk ruk kând Bârad-khu
  4. Khutazanûk gûludûk shû-khu
  5. Ganazan dhûri, badzazan buzhi
  6. Ruzhazan zhabazhi zhûsh-ikhu shub-ishibû bâradbâ-iza


I have started to work on a Zhâburi version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, or Gilgamish as it is rendered in Zhâburi.

  1. Lubashi-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganashanûk
  2. Guzhubadashanûk, ishashanûk
    Gilgamish-gha narz dubi, dalab gav-khu, ganashanûk
    Guzhubadashanûk, ishashanûk
  3. Fushashanûk ruk kând Bârad-khu
  4. Khutashanûk gûludûk shû-khu
  5. Ganashan dhûri, badzashan buzhi
  6. Ruzhashan zhabazhi zhûsh-ikhu shub-ishibû bâradbâ-iza

* * *

  1. He who saw the depth, the foundation of the Earth
  2. He experienced all, understood all
    Gilgamesh who saw the depth, the foundation of the Earth
    He experienced all, understood all
  3. He explored the four corners of the world
  4. He got the full knowledge of everything (that existed)
  5. He beheld the secret, reveled the hidden.
  6. He preserved the history of time before the Flood for the posterity


Word list

BS =The Black Speech (original Tolkien word)
der. = derived word
Etym = Etymologies (in The Los Road)
HORN = HorngothLoS =The Land of Shadow
MERP = Middle Earth Role Play
PE = Primitive Elvish
Sv = Svartiska

Zhâburi English Source Source word
after PE epe
bad(a)z open; reveal LoS badz
bârad world Etym MBAR
bâradbâ posterity der. bârad + bâ
before PE opo
buzh hidden Etym MUY
dakht angle PE nekte
dalab foundation PE talmā
dhûr secret HORN dhûr
dub deep Etym TUB
fush explore Sv fushat
gan see; behold Etym KEN
gav earth Etym KEM
gûlud knowledge BS + der. suffix gûl+Vd
guzh live Etym KUY
guzhubad experience der. guzh+(u)bad
ish understand PE is
kând corner Sv kând
khut get PE khot
narz that; who Sv narz
rag about; on Sv rag
ruzh preserve MERP ruj
shub flood PE sovo
skug shallow Sv skugga
zhabazh story; account der. zhab+azh (mirror suffix)
zhûsh period of time; a point in time der. zhû+ûsh