Tydotsuy sentence structure

The normal word order of a sentence:

  1. Vocative: noun phrase with the dative case ending =pheh.
  2. Question word or phrase: balh for polar questions, a noun phrase starting with hee or el for content questions
  3. Time
  4. Speaker: a noun with the ending =elh indicates that the remainder of the sentence was spoken by the specified person. The remainder of the sentence may have its own vocative and time arguments. (This is essentially a contraction of the verb aa·elh "say".)
  5. Causative, subject (required), instrumental
  6. Verb (required)
  7. Object
  8. Adverbial noun phrases
  9. Clause argument (there's no particle separating a clause used as an argument from the rest of the sentence)

Some verbs allow an entire clause to be the subject; many of these are used similarly to subordinating conjunctions in English. If a verb has two complete clauses as arguments, then for the purpose of writing, there's considered to be a sentence break before the verb.

The case of a noun phrase is determined by a combination of its position in the sentence and clitics following the noun phrase.


The subject can be the agent or the only argument to an intransitive verb or one of the arguments to a verb expressing something non-volitional. Some verbs require a dummy subject hwih; hwih can also be used if the subject is complex and therefore should go at the end of the sentence.

Multiple subjects can appear in the sentence if the verb is active, right after each other, indicating that the first subject caused the second subject (which caused the third subject etc.) to do something. This can be used to form causatives (the causer goes before the main subject) and instrumentals (the instrumental goes after the main subject).

Subjects of active verbs get case endings depending on how much volition they have over what happened in the sentence: =se for high-volition, and =la for low-volition. Most verbs can be used with either kind of subject. Intentional actions and planned/desired results of intentional actions done by the subject are high-volition; accidents, unintentional consequences, and things done by someone other than the grammatical subject (or not done by an intelligent being at all) are low-volition. People who were persuaded to do something or are doing something for money are considered to have high volition; people doing something because of a threat or someone else's physical manipulation are considered to have low volition. When water runs downhill and makes waves, when not caused by a human, the water is considered to have high volition.

Using =se with second-person pronouns is often considered rude, particularly in formal situations; thus, it is always correct to use =la with the second-person pronoun. Using =se in ordinary indicative sentences is often considered to be an accusation; using =se in optative sentences implies more obligation on the listener than =la does. There's not really a similar meaning for questions, but some speakers avoid it anyways due to generalizing the rule.

For high-volition subjects, there are also endings indicating that the subject is the same as some other argument in the sentence, used in place of the normal subject ending. If these endings are used, the other argument is omitted. For low-volition subjects, use instead the reflexive pronoun poy.

Indicates that the subject is the same as either the direct object or a dative object
Indicates that the subject is the same as the benefactive.

In place of a subject or causative, one can also use the particle bwese, which indicates that there is no intelligent agent, or (when preceding a subject) that the subject decided on zir own to do the action.

Stative verbs just have an unmarked noun as the subject.

Adverbial nouns

Nouns in certain cases can come at the end of a sentence:

myu (preposition)
benefactive/for: indicates who the action is done for
comitative/with: indicates who is doing the action together with the subject
according to: indicates the source of the information
causative: indicates who caused the sentence to be true; this has more focus than causatives indicated in the subject, and, unlike causative subjects, this can be used with statives without changing the aspect.

Complex sentences


Questions are expressed by placing a phrase starting with a question word at the beginning of the sentence.