5. The Descriptive

The descriptive is a form of the verb and have the function of adjectives and adverbs in English but can take several verb endings. The descriptive function a bit different depending on the word’s root-class.

There are a few descriptive roots, such as zhib (fast, quick) dâgh (big) and dik (small) and all numerals, e.g. ash (one), which function as descriptive words without any need of additional suffixes.

Noun- and verb-roots need some kind of descriptive suffix to mark them as descriptive. The descriptive usually precedes the word they describe. So a descriptive that precedes a noun function as an adjective and a descriptive that precedes a verb functions as an adverb. But the word order is not fixed because descriptive also agrees with either noun or verb by suffixmarkers.

The descriptive roots can function as nouns in a sentence. So dâgh “large”, “big” on it’s own can be translated into “a big one” and it they can take noun suffixes dâgh-i “the big one”.

When the descriptive functions as an adverb i.e. it describes a verb, including other descriptives, it agrees with the verb’s person by suffixaufahme simple by adding the enclitic pronoun: first person exclusive -ish, first person inclusive -ak, second person -al and third person -ul.

The descriptive can take the endings of tempus, modus, aspect and status and agree in case by  suffixaufnahme when describing nouns and with person by enclitic personal pronouns when describing verbs.

Zhâburi does not have the equivalent of auxiliary verb “to be, was, is/are, will be”. Instead these functions are part of the Descriptive. Example: Dâgh ologi can be translated “the big troll” or “the troll is big”. The descriptive can take tense endings indicating time: Dâghush Ologi “The troll was big”.

Verbal descriptives

The verbal descriptive corresponds to participles and comes in two forms: active with the ending -udu- and passive with the ending -ada- plus tense ending.

Examples. thrak- (to bring) > thrakudug “is bringing”, thrakadag “is being brought”. Compare with uruk thrakag “an orc brings”, uruk thrakug “an orc comes”, uruk thrakudug “an orc is bringing”, uruk thrakadag “an orc is being brought”.

Noun descriptives

Noun descriptives are created by adding a suffix that is places first in the suffix cluster such as nazg (ring) > nazg-ha (ringish, part of rings, round). The verbal endings are then added to the cluster, e.g. nazg-hash “was round”, nazg-hashûk “was completely round”.

Note that even a descriptive derived from a noun can function as a noun and thus take noun suffixes such as uruk-ha (orcish, part of orcs) – uruk-hai (those part of orcs) which then can take all the suffixes of a normal noun.

Example: Uruk-hazhibulgha nazg sharkû-iza thrakash “His uruk-hai [those part of orcs] brought the ring to the old man”   

Examples with descriptive root

  1. zhib uruk “a fast orc”
  2. zhib uruki “the fast orc” or “that fast orc”
  3. uruk zhibul thrakashul “orcs quickly brought it”

Examples with verbal endings. In present there is no ending.

  1. Past: zhibush uruk “an orc that was fast”; zibush uruki “the orc was fast”
  2. Future:  zhibub uruki “the orc will be fast”
  3. Infinitive: zhibum uruk “to be a fast orc”
  4. Jussive: zhubut uruk “an orc with the purpose of being fast”
  5. Optative: zhibuk uruk “an orc with the potential to be fast”


  1. Iterative: zhibar uruki “the orc is repeatedly [often] fast”
  2. Finale: zhibazd uruki “the orc is fast for the last time”
  3. Initialized: zhibid uruki “the orc is fast for the first time”


  1. Absolute positive: zhibûk uruki “the orc is fastest of orc that can be”
  2. Absolute negative: zhibikh uruki “the orc is not fast at all”
  3. Relative least (negative superlative): zhibil uruki “The orc is the least fast/slowest”
  4. Relative less (negative comparative) : zhibigh uruki “The orc is less fast [than other]”
  5. Relative more (comparative): Zhibab uruki “The orc is faster”
  6. Relative most (superlative): Zhibuzg uruki “The orc is fastest”

Tense, aspects and status can be combined, some examples.

  1. zhibaruzg uruki “the orc is repeatedly the fastest”
  2. zhibushazduzg uruki “the orc was the fastest [and this was not so before the present]”

With suffixaufnahme

When the descriptive function as adjective and describes a noun it is subject to suffixaufnahme just as dependent nouns (nomen rectum) and the noun it describes functions as independent noun (nomen regens).  

Example: Uruk-igha dik-dizi ghâsh-zi dâgh tark durbag “The orcs rule over the large men with small fire”.

Here there are two descriptives describing two nouns – dik (small) describing ghâsh  (fire) and dâgh (large) describing tark (men). The first ‘dik-dizi’ is subject to suffixaufnahme because ghâsh-zi is in instrumental but dâgh is not subject to suffixaufnahme because ‘tark’ (men) is in absolutive which has no ending.


With the genitive case adjective like meanings can be constructed corresponding to English construction such as fire tower/ tower of fire lug ghâsh-khu (which of course could be lug’ghâsh too).