Niplandish language

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Niplandish language
North Harish
Nipkezi telt
RegionNipland county, State of Hareland, Tzulhon
Native speakers220,000  (no date)
Language family
CWS codexbf

The Niplandish language is a language spoken by the Niplandish people in the State of Hareland of Tzulhon. It is one of the two surviving languages of the Central Tzulhon language family.

Despite facing pressures from Harish speaking communities, the use of the Niplandish language is still robust, as children in the Niplandish communities still speak the Niplandish language at home. Approximately 20% of Niplandish speakers in Tzulhon speak Harish "not well" or "not at all", according to results of the 2000 Census, and among the younger Niplandish speakers, approximately 15% were reported as speaking Harish "not well" or "not at all".


The Niplandish language belongs to the Central Tzulhon branch of Tzulhonic language family. The only other surviving member of Central Tzulhon languages is the Harish language, and the Harish language has become the standard language of Tzulhon.


The earliest extant text in Niplandish is from the early 6th century. The Niplandish language spoken in the period from the earliest record up to around 1100s is referred to as Old Niplandish. The Niplandish language spoken in the period from around 1100s up to the 16th century is referred to as Middle Niplandish. Following a period of unification, the Niplandish language from the 17th century to today is calledModern Niplandish.

The form of Old Niplandish used in the 7th-9th century during the peak of the Kingdom of Nipland was called the Classical Niplandish. The Kingdom of Nipland met its decline in the late 8th century and was eventually annexed by the Republic of Tzulkeyo in the 9th century. The annexation of Nipland by the Republic of Tzulkeyo marked the end of the golden era of Niplandish literature. After the annexation of Nipland by the Republic of Tzulkeyo, Niplandish lost its prestige, and its status was replaced by Old Harish.



Bilabial Dental/Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p b t d k (g)
Fricative v s z (ç) (χ) h ɦ
Approximant r l j
Front Central Back
Close i y u
Mid ɛ œ ə ɔ
Open a


  • [ç] and [χ] are allophones of /h/. /h/ is pronounced as [χ] after back vowels and not followed by any vowels; [ç] after front vowels and not followed by any vowels; [h] when followed by a vowel.
  • /ə/ is a reduced vowel and only appears in unstressed syllables.
  • /ɦ/ was [g] before the 20th century, and some older speakers still use [g]


The Niplandish language has a quite complex syllable structure, there are a variety of consonant clusters.

Stress always falls on the first syllabe of the word. The only exception is when the first syllable is /ə/, in this case the stress falls on the second syllable.

Morphology and syntax


Niplandish is a synthetic language with an ergative alignment; however, the verbal person agreements follow a nominative-accusative alignment, which qualifies Niplandish as a spli-ergative language.

Due to the case-marking system, Niplandish has a relatively free sentential word order, all six sentential word orders are possible; however, the unmarked word order of Niplandish is SOV.



Niplandish nouns are divided into 12 cases and two numbers.


Niplandish has 12 nominal cases, they are divided into two groups: the absolutive case and the oblique cases. All cases that are not the absolutive case are oblique cases. Below are the nominal cases in Niplandish:

  • Absolutive: -Ø
  • Oblique Cases:
    • Ergative: -(ë)k
    • Genitive: -(ë)h/-i
    • Dative: -(ë)s
    • Instrumental: -(ë)k
    • Comitative: -(ë)m
    • Ablative: -(ë)l
    • Locative: -(ë)n
    • Allative: -(ë)z
    • Elative: -(ë)lm
    • Inessive: -(ë)mm
    • Illative: -(ë)t

Niplandish nouns have two numbers: singular and plural. For most nouns, the plural form end in -(ë)r for absolutive case, -(ë)s for oblique cases, and the stem vowel is often umlauted; for few nouns, the plural is formed soley by the umlaut on the stem vowel.


Below are the examples of the declension of nouns:

Declension of remm "person"
Singular Plural
Absolutive remm remmër
Ergative remmëk remmësk
Genitive remmi remmsi
Dative remmës remmës
Instrumental remmëk remmësk
Comitative remmëm remmsëm
Ablative remmël remmsël
Locative remmën remmsën
Allative remmëz remmsëz
Elative remmëlm remmsëlm
Inessive remmëmm remmsëmm
Illative remmët remmëst
Declension of kap "rope"
Singular Plural
Absolutive kap kepër/kep
Ergative kapëk kepësk
Genitive kapi kepsi
Dative kaps keps
Instrumental kapëk kepësk
Comitative kapëm kepsëm
Ablative kapël kepsël
Locative kapën kepsën
Allative kapëz kepsëz
Elative kapëlm kepsëlm
Inessive kapëmm kepsëmm
Illative kapët kepëst
Declension of dayp "hand"
Singular Plural
Absolutive dayp deyp/deypër
Ergative daypëk deypësk
Genitive daypi deypsi
Dative dayps deyps
Instrumental daypëk deypësk
Comitative daypëm deypsëm
Ablative daypël deypsël
Locative daypën deypsën
Allative daypëz deypsëz
Elative daypëlm deypsëlm
Inessive daypëmm deypsëmm
Illative daypët deypëst
Declension of ro "pond, pool"
Singular Plural
Absolutive ro rör/rö
Ergative rok rösk
Genitive roh rösi
Dative ros rös
Instrumental rok rösk
Comitative rom rösëm
Ablative rol rösël
Locative ron rösën
Allative roz rösëz
Elative rolm rösëlm
Inessive romm rösëmm
Illative rot röst


Adjectives agree with nouns in case and number. The formation of cases and numbers for adjectives are the same as those for nouns.


Verbs conjugate according to person and Tense-Aspect-Mood (TAM). There are two types of verbs, differentiated by the way they form different tenses.

Personal agreements

Unlike nouns, personal agreements on verbs follow a nominative-accusative alignment. Below are the personal agreements for Niplandish:

Below are the subject agreements:

  • 1st sg: -(ë)r
  • 2nd sg: -(ë)m
  • 3rd sg: -(ë)n
  • 1st pl: -(ë)zi
  • 2nd pl: -(ë)mi
  • 3rd pl: -(ë)h

Below are the object agreements:

  • 1st sg: -(ë)n
  • 2nd sg: -(ë)m
  • 3rd sg: -(ë)ng
  • 1st pl: -(ë)s
  • 2nd pl: -(ë)nt
  • 3rd pl: -(ë)h
  • reflexive: -(ë)s

While in general Niplandish is more complicated than Harish morphologically, its TAM system is simplified. There are only two tenses in Niplandish: Past and Present(or Non-past). The imperative form is always the same as the present tense. Only few verbs show traces of the subjunctive mood, and like English a peripheral structure is used for subjunctive mood in Niplandish.

Below are the tenses for regular verbs:

  • infinitive: -Ø
  • present: -Ø
  • past: -(ë)t/-le
  • imperative: -Ø
  • gerund/verbal noun: -t

Below are the tenses for irregular verbs:

  • infinitive: -Ø
  • present: (stem vowel change)
  • past: -Ø/-(ë)t
  • imperative: (stem vowel change)
  • gerund/verbal noun: -t + (stem vowel change)

There's a tendency to replace the infinitive form with the gerund form.

Derivational morphology


Conversion, or zero-derivation, is a productive way to create new words in Niplandish. Umlaut does not apply on nouns and adjectives created by conversion; also, all verbs created by conversion are regular verbs.


New words can be derived by the umlaut of the stem vowel without the use of affixes.

Verbs derived from nouns via the umlaut of the stem vowel are often transitive and carry the meaning of "to make N on ...", "to create N on ...", "to do sth. related to N on ...", etc.

Nouns derived from verbs via the umlaut often have the meaning "place of doing V", "some abstract property or intangible object related to V", etc.

Adjectives derived from nouns via the umlaut of the stem vowel often have the meaning "of or pertaining to N", "being located at N", etc.

Derivational affixes


Word Order

The word order features are listed below:

  • Basic Word Order: Subject-Object-Verb(SOV)
  • Adpositions are postpositions
  • Conjuctions are in the final position of the clause
  • Adjectives, Relative Clauses, Demonstratives, articles, numerals, possessors precede the noun they modify.


Possessions within a Noun Phrase

Possessive Construction in a Sentence

Subordinating Clauses

Verb framing



Most words of the Harish language are inherited from Old Harish; however, there are a significant amount of words that can have their origins be traced back to Ngerupic languages, especially Mani and Kwang languages. Ngerupic loanwords have form a large amount of the vocabulary. Most of the Ngerupic words are borrowed before the modern era.

Also while the Harish language and the Niplandish language are both central Tzulhon languages, and they share most of the basic vocabulary, they are not mutually intelligible.

Some words in Niplandish

Personal Pronouns:

  • 1st person singular(I/me): no
  • 2nd person singular(you(sg)): mo
  • 3rd person singular(he/she/it): ya
  • 1st person plural(we/us):
  • 2nd person plural(you(pl)):
  • 3rd person plural(they/them):
  • reflexive(self): go
  • other: yarrër

Interrogative pronouns:

  • who: mev
  • what: mat
  • which:
  • where:
  • when:
  • how:
  • why:
  • how much/how many:

Indefinite pronouns:

  • anyone/anybody: yarremm
  • anything: yarrharv
  • any: yarr
  • someone/somebody: koremm
  • something: koharv
  • everyone/everybody: yatremm
  • everything: yatharv
  • every: yat


  • this: kot
  • that: hat
  • these: köt
  • those: het
  • here: tar
  • there: har


  1. one: ot
  2. two: yang
  3. three: ham
  4. four: klez
  5. five: bar
  6. six: itër
  7. seven: ramër
  8. eight: dam
  9. nine: mit
  10. ten: dak
  11. eleven: otav (Older otnav)
  12. twelve: yangav (Older yangnav)
  13. thirteen: hamav (Older hamnav)
  14. forteen: klezav (Older kleznav)
  15. fifteen: barav (Older barnav)
  16. sixteen: itrav (Older itërnav)
  17. seventeen: ramrav (Older ramërnav)
  18. eighteen: damav (Older damnav)
  19. nineteen: mitav (Older mitnav)
  • twenty: kelt
  • thirty: hamstër
  • forty: klezëstër
  • fifty: barstër
  • sixty: itërstër
  • seventy: ramërstër
  • eighty: damstër
  • ninety: mitstër
  • hundred: yaytër

Ordinal numbers are formed by adding -(ë)h to the cardinal forms, and ordinal numbers act like adjectives; however, "first" is irregular, the word for "first" is nark.

Writing and literature

The Niplandish language is written in the Niplandish Abugida, the Niplandish Abugida is considered to be the predecessor of the Onzo Abugida, the Onzo Abugida is the main writing system of Harish.

The Niplandish Abugida itself is an descendant of the Mañi Abugida.