De=ne= contracts into ne=, and de=ha contracts into tha=.
The definite articles refer to things where the speaker expects the listener to know what they're talking about; indefinite articles are used to introduce new things into the conversation. Proper nouns and pronouns usually do not use an article; however, demonstratives and possessives are used with an article (the article comes first). Possessives do not require the article to be definite; an indefinite article with a possessive roughly translates to "one of (person)'s", except that it can also be used if one doesn't know that the person has more than one. When talking about generalizations rather than specific objects, the article is omitted, and the noun is not marked for plural.
These have meanings that are covered in English by "any" and "some", and replace the article (or they could be analyzed as articles themselves):
Indicates that the identity of the object/person is unknown to the speaker (but it's a specific object/person). This could be someone not seen ("someone broke in last night, but I don't know who"), or someone seen but where it's particularly surprising that they weren't familiar. Hee ("what") is used for objects, and el ("who") for people.
Negative indefinite: indicates that there isn't any of the specified thing, at least not that's relevant to the sentence. Used with a negative verb; similar to English "any" in negative sentences (or to English "no", if you don't care about double negation). The noun is not plural. In sentence fragments and lists of items, this article by itself conveys negativity.
Proximate (this), particularly things that are in the same room or visible from where the person is talking/listening. Also can refer to things that were just mentioned.
Distal (that), for things inland from the speaker (closer to land if the speaker is on the ocean)
Distal (that), for things towards the sea from the speaker (farther from land if the speaker is on the ocean)
Refers to things which will be mentioned later in the sentence. Used similarly to "the following" in English; also used in a number of grammatical constructions, including as the subject of verbs whose only argument follows the verb, in relative clauses, and in certain types of focus-related constructions.
The pronouns above can also be used directly after articles.
Each noun has a pronoun based on its classifier. This pronoun is used for the singular; for liquids, waa is used; for the plural, lof (the classifier for groups of people and herds of animals) is used for people and animals, and byt (the classifier for piles) is used for everything else. Plural pronouns are also used for mass/uncountable nouns. Water (when it's not using a singular pronoun) takes the pronoun byt, despite being considered animate for the purpose of case marking.
The pronoun fuu can be used to refer to earlier sentences (as in, refer to the sentence itself, or the proposition expressed by the sentence).
There is a small closed class of true adjectives, which can only be used attributively and restrictively. (TODO list them here when I make all of them.) Other adjectives are formed by adding –s to a stative verb; if the verb ends in a consonant, the consonant is deleted, and if the verb ends in a long vowel, it's changed to a short vowel. For statives that take objects, the objects precede the stative, and any direct or indirect objects do not get case endings. This ending can also be added to active verbs, in which case the habitual aspect is assumed for that verb.
Restrictive adjectives—those that specify which object one is talking about—go before the noun, whereas nonrestrictive adjectives—those that merely add extra information—go after the noun. If the indefinite article ((h)a=) is used, all adjectives are treated as nonrestrictive; this does not apply if the indefinite article is used because of a focus particle.
(Note: In this grammar, I'm considering genitive to refer to all noun phrases that modify other noun phrases, and possessive to refer just to relationships specified with =snet, which translates most closely to the English possessive.)
When used restrictively (often before proper names), disambiguates between two people with the same name using the name of someone the listener is likely to associate with the person (friend, family member, coworker, etc.). (Alice=spi Bob could mean "Alice's friend Bob", "Alice's son Bob", "Alice's husband, Bob", etc.)
These can be headless (i.e., only the genitive construction is used, not a noun) when the meaning is unambiguous. In that case, the genitive construction is restrictive. When used with proper place names, –i acts more like a suffix than a clitic, and can have irregular forms.
Restrictive genitives go before a noun, and nonrestrictive genitives go after, following the same rule as adjectives.
Tydotsuy does not allow ordinary relative clauses within a sentence; instead, one could use:
A separate sentence before, possibly in the common mood, describing the object; the main sentence would then use an ordinary classifier pronoun to refer back to that object.
A separate sentence after, possibly in the common mood, describing the object; the main sentence would then use the pronoun hwih, or a noun phrase containing hwih, to refer to the object. (This would be the normal way to do it.)
As described above, adjectives can take the place of a relative clause involving a stative.
If the clause that would be a relative clause has already been said, a genitive construction using a distinguishing feature of the earlier sentence can be used; if a verb is used, it uses the teh– prefix.
A noun phrase may be followed by a prepositional phrase starting with lhi'= to indicate nouns that otherwise would be included in the noun phrase aren't.
The conjunction ef separates two noun phrases referring to the same thing. The second noun phrase does not need its own article, but may get an article if it's different from the first noun phrase. The case marking applies to the entire noun phrase, not to each phrase individually.
To say the equivalent of x and y, say the first noun phrase, then its case marking. After the case marking, say the second noun phrase, but use the case marking =spi instead of the normal case marking.
Separates possibilities where the speaker does not know which is true. If used to modify noun phrases, generally each noun phrase in the conjunction gets its own case marking. The word baa can also be used before the first noun phrase (like "either"... TODO do I actually like this?).
A conjunction must go between each item in the list ("x or y or z", not "x, y, or z").
Nouns formed from verbs
The prefix fe– (derived from the classifierfuu) can be used to form an abstract noun from a verb (similar to English –ness). Such a noun is always singular, can't be used with a number. Words formed this way use the pronoun fuu.
The prefix teh– can be used to make nouns indicating an instance of the verb happening (similar to English flight from fly). In this case, they get the classifier tuh. Words formed this way use the pronoun tuh for singular and byt for plural. Nouns formed this way can't be used without an article; the fe– form is used in that case.
Plural classifier animacy: used to determine whether the plural classifier-like pronoun is byt (inanimate) or lof (animate). Mammals (including humans), birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans (except barnacles), gastropods, and cephalopods are classifier animate. Bugs, cnidarians, barnacles, and non-animals are not classifier animate. Food prepared for consumption is also not animate.
Volition animacy: used to determine whether a noun can get volition marking; also marked on pronouns (see below).
All animals that are plural classifier animate are also volition animate.
Body parts of volition-animate animals are volition animate.
Water is volition animate, unless intended for consumption.
Machines and electronic devices are volition animate.
Because the same pronouns can be used for both humans and inanimate objects, if the head of a noun phrase is a singular classifier-like pronoun, and the referrent of the noun is volition-animate, the pronoun gets volition marking:
If the noun phrase has a case marker other than =sie (locative), then no additional animacy marking is used.
If the pronoun is the last element of the noun phrase, the pronoun uses its animate form, which usually ends in l.
If the pronoun is not the last element of the noun phrase, the case marker =la is used.
The usage of these case markers is described in more detail in other sections. These are clitics, and therefore take the vowel roundedness of the last word in the noun phrase.