Eastern Drydic: a descriptive grammar

The Eastern Drydic language differs from Standard (Western) Drydic in many ways; these mostly affirm its close affinity to Udra, but a few differences in vocablulary appear. A good rule of thumb is to pronounce Udra as if it were Drydic, add the Instrumental, and very little will be missing.

{a few notations are to be used (rarely) in this chapter:

CK: Classical Kerinidoi

Da: Daraleœ

OU: Old Udra

PDK: Proto-Drydo-Kerinidoi

PDU: Proto-Drydo-Udra

PS: Proto-Steppe

PSam: Proto-Samerian, Old iffaraxtī

OSal: Old Salanjan

Sam: Samaritic

SU: Standard Udra

Č: Čal

WD:Western (Standard) Drydic

WZ: Western Zēīn (Zēīn)

WVZ: Western Valley Zēīn (Zēīn)}




Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palato-Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal

Plosive p b - - t d č ĵ c k g q

Nasal - m - - - n - - ŋ

Spirant b - z x γ - h

Lateral - - - - - l - λ

Rhotic - - - r*

Glide - w - j


*the r is an approximant; the *zR sound de-rhotacised to Eastern Drydic z (the sole alveolar fricative), changing many forms that would otherwise be identical to the Udra form.

Unlike Western Drydic and Lan, the voiced bilabial plosive is an ordinary stop, not an implosive [].


The Udra sounds of Eastern Drydic are not always represented by the Udra (or Drydic) symbolism; the most striking differences are:

/λ/ is represented by lj (Udra <l> with the Palatal diacratic) [sequences of /l/ + /j/ are shown as ljj]

// is represented by nj (Udra <n> with the Palatal diacratic) [sequences of // + /j/ are shown as njj]

/w/ and /xw/ are represented as hu, xhu (Udra w, xw) {Udra hw no longer occurs in Eastern Drydic; before its loss, it was written hu, which explains the spellings hu, xhu}

// is represented by <> with a bar, namely <>, wheras in Udra it is <> intervocalicaly, sometimes with the fricative diacratic.




Changes from Proto-Drydo-Udra/Old Udra:

to ē in most positions (the change > ē has halted, and the ē's that resulted from are slowly changing into a lower-mid vowel [ε]. The exception is the Genitive singulars in ēk, where it stays as [eI])

*k to q after *ā, *ō, *ŏ, *ū, *ŭ

c to t after mid vowels (which are in great abundance in Eastern Drydic; they only occur in

vocabulary items peculiar to Eastern Drydic, the Highland dialects of Udra, and the Western Drēīn leading us to believe that they are substratum items.)

*s to in all positions[1]; the phonemes /s/ and // have merged in all dialects of Drydo-Udra except Lan and Western Drydic.

*z to in all positions1; the phonemes /z/ and // have merged in all dialects of Drydo-Udra except Lan and Western Drydic.

w to β in initial positions (Standard Udra is inconsistant: v is written instead of β, which is the phoneme in all cases)

q to g in βarg (Drydic Warg, SU Varg); to q in all other postitions.

*kw to p in all positions, except where predeeded by a nasal, where to k (for *kw > p, as in all dialects except Lan and Western (Standard) Drydic)

*zR to z in all positions

l to lj [] before palatals, front vowels

n, ŋ to nj [] before palatals, front vowels

h to , x in all positions




Nominal Declension


The Eastern Drydic declension systems are slightly different from the Drydic, and more like the Udra; the differences between it and Udra mostly include Old Udra postpositions that have not yet become case forms, but a few form differences occur, namely the Ablative plural of the 3rd person personal pronoun.


1st Declension: a-stems

Sg Pl

Nominative -a -ai

Genitive -oi -lū

Ablative -ād -ūzo

Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -un

Instrumental -ga

Locative -nū



2nd Declension: o-stems

Sg Pl

Nominative -o -a

Genitive -ēk -olū

Ablative -yd -ūzo

Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -ēm

Instrumental -ga

Locative -nū



3rd Declension: i-, e-, l-, ū-stems f/m/n (neuters, in the oblique cases, take the vowel before the final consonant and convert it to i)

Sg Pl

Nominative - (usuallly) -ū (from ū-stems)

Genitive -iol (from l-stems){e-stems have -eo} -lū

Ablative -ūd (-īd, -ēd) -ūzo

.Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd (e-stems have -ēēd)

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -om

Instrumental -ga

Locative -nū


4th Declension: n-, m-stems f/m

Sg Pl

Nominative -n, -m

Genitive -on/-om -lū

Ablative -ūd -ūzo

Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -ēn, -ēm

Instrumental -ga

Locative -nū


5th Declension: r(z)-stems f/m/n

(PDU *zR became /z/ in Eastern Drydic)

Sg Pl

Nominative -z -zēz

Genitive -oz -izzū

Ablative -zīd -ūzo

Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -ēz -zēz

Instrumental -ga -zzē

Locative -nū


6th Declension: uo-stems Neuter

Sg Pl

Nominative -uo -ijāz

Genitive -ēk -uolū

Ablative -yd -ūzo

Allative -lje -εge

Abessive -ta -ēd

Dative -ai -en

Accusative -uom -ijāz

Instrumental -ga

Locative -nū







Declension 1

Sg Pl

f m n f m n

Nomimative -a -o -uo -ai -a -ijāz

Genitive -oi -ēk - -alū -olū -

Ablative -ād -yd - -ūzo - -

Allative -lje - - -εge - -

Abessive -ta - - -ēd - -

Dative -ai - - -en - -

Accusative -un -ēm -uom -ijāz

Instrumental -ga - - - -

Locative - - -nū - -



Declension 2

Sg Pl

f m n f m n

Nomimative - - -e_C -aj -ijāz

Genitive -iol - - -lū - -

Ablative -iād -yd - -ūzo - -

Allative -lje - - -εge - -

Abessive -ta - - -ēd - -

Dative -ai - - -en - -

Accusative -un -ēm -uom -ijāz

Instrumental -ga - - - -

Locative - - -nū - -





-īnna- plus the endings of Decelnsion 2.



-irrēl- plus the endings of Decelnsion 1.






1st Person

Sg. Pl.

Nominative ūla

Genitive mon nōlu

Ablative ml nl (<*nō- 1st pl. stem + l, Ablative Allative pronominal ending)

Allative mle (<*ml-le) nge (<*nō-ēge)

Abessive mta(<*ml-ta) nd (<*nō-ēd)

Dative nū (<*nō-ū)

Accusative ūlēm n (<*nō-ē)

Instrumental mga (<*ml-ga) nōē
Locative (rare) nōnū


2nd Person

Sg. Pl.

Nominative a

Genitive on kōlu

Ablative l kl (<*kō- 1st pl. stem + l, Ablative pronominal ending)

Allative le (<*sl-le) kge (<*kō-ēge) pronominal ending)

Abessive t(<*sl-ta) kd (<*kō-ēd)

Dative ū kū (<*kō-ū)

Accusative ūlm (<*sū-lēm) k (<*kō-ē)

Instrumental g (<*sl-ga) kōē
Locative (rare) ī kōnū


3rd Person

Sg. Pl.

f m n f m n

Nominative ta tuo tai tuī tura

Genitive toi tai - tālu tōlu -

Ablative tl - - tl (<*tō- 3rd pl. stem + l, Ablative pronominal ending)

Allative tl (<*tl-le) tge (<*tō-ēge)

Abessive tta (<*tl-ta) td (<*tō-ēd)

Dative - - tn (<*tō-ēn)

Accusative tun tēm tuom t (<*tō-ē) tura

Instrumental tga (<*tl-ga) tōē
Locative (rare) - - tōnū



Verbal conjugation

Levels of evidentiality:

1. -- seen by the speaker

2. -ēl- seen by someone else

3. -ī- not seen, but probable (in opposition with the optative mood, which it cannot occur with.)


1. -e- indicative

2. -a- subjunctive

3. -i- optative (in opposition with the 3rd level of evidentiality, which it cannot occur with.)


1.      -ekV- Future Simple

2.      ela-/stem/-ek- Future Aorist

3. -ekelī- Future Perfect (note: the construction of a + the Future is also very common)

4. -bV- Imperfect, Imperfective Past Simple

5. -elī- Present Perfect (Perfective)

6. -elībV- Pluperfect (note: the construction of a + the Aorist or the Present Perfect is also very common)

7. ela- Aorist (also formed with reduplication, with vowel height raised one step)

8. ela- Present Aorist (reduplicated stem, regardless)



Tense/Aspect system

Present Past Future

Imperfective Present Imperfect Future

Aoristic Present Aorist Aorist Future Aorist

Perfective Present Perfect Pluperfect Future Perfect

Narrative system:

Aorist Future Aorist

| ___|___

| | | | |

Plu. Perf. Imperf. Pres Future Future Perfect

| | | | | |


Personal Endings: (note: the Dual number coincided with the Plural, as in the Western (Highland) Udra dialects.)

Active Middle Passive

sg pl sg pl sg pl

1st -m -mūl -mai -mēn -maz -muz

2nd - -tēl -ai -čai[2] -az -pez

3rd -t -ntē -tai -ntai -taz -ntūz

Note: the Active 2nd person plural is the Dual form, almost exact with the Udra form.




Active: -ai

Middle: -ein

Passive: -ēm


Active: ela-/stem/-ai

Middle: ela-/stem/-ein

Passive: ela-/stem/-ēm


Active: -elīai




Active: -ekai

Middle: -ekein

Passive: -ekem

The Future Perfect infinitive is formed with the Future Infinitive plus the adverb a.

The Imperfect Infinitive, which is conciously avoided if possible, is constructed with a + the present infinitive; it is avoided most of the time because of its extreme ambiguity with the Present Infinitive.


Present: /stem/ + -a, -o, -uo.

(Plu)Perfect: /perf. stem/ + -(e)eza, -(e)ezo, -(e)ezuo.

Aorist: /aor. stem/ + -(e)li, -(e)li, -(e)len (3rd [i-stem] decl.)

Verbal affixes:

1.keī- negating prefix




The Eastern Drydic language is fairly homogeneous, but the Highland dialect has much in common with the Highland Udra dialects spoken across the border; These share the lack of a /b/~/β/, /d/~/z/, and /g/~/γ/ distinction, and the Plural formation of Vj (except for r-stems, which are now actually z-stems), with the stem vowel as the Nominative, and /-j/ for the Accusative. These dialects have been helpful in the reconstruction of Proto-Drydo-Udra, As Old Udra texts in this small area also show these features. Although it is termed Eastern, it is actually the more westerly of the Drydic-named languages; this derives from description in a definitive Salanjan grammatical survey, which compares the Udra Dryds (as the modern Eastern Dryds were typically described) to the wild Raskal peoples, because of the massive destruction the Udra wrought on the Salanjan Kingdom, and describes the Lan-Dryds (Western Dryds) as noble, civilised, and more worthy of the designation 'Western', traditionally placed on only the most awe-striking item in a work, because they were the mortal enemies of the Udra (a typical development in tribo-linguistic groups).





Gazik, rēkun okulenun, dur teranijāz aolēk

<Sleep(Imp.) little(f. sg.Acc) girl (Acc. sg.) for cares(Nom/Acc.pl) aol(gen.sg.)

keīdočīantūz[3] on.

be(neg.prob.3rd.Pl. pass) thou (gen.sg)>

Sleep, little one, for the cares of the world are not yours.


Gazik, rēkun, dur teranijāz aolēk keidočīantūz

< Sleep(Imp.) girl (Acc. sg.) for cares(Nom/Acc.pl) aol(gen.sg.) be(neg.prob.3rd pl.pass.)

on ai keigazikeka.

thou(gen.sg.) until sleep(neg.fut.2nd.sg.)>

Sleep, girl, for the troubles of the world will not be yours until you awaken.



The Eastern Drydic lexicon has many words that have cognates in Western Zēīn, suggesting that Western Zēīn was once more widely spoken; that these words are present in the Old Udra texts from this area is only more proof. 14 words.

aadekai, -lu, f/m. pl.-the Aadeks { from PDU *aadek-a-j, -alū, the Aadeks < Proto-

Steppe *aedk-, the Aadeks}

ageino, -ēk, m.- lamb {from PDU *agein-o-s, lamb}

altoa-river {from Proto-Drydo-Udra *alt-os-a-s, "'stream-augm.',


aqc-steep coast, peninsula, etc.{from Old Udra akaut, the same}

bhybhro-beaver {from Arēsd bhībhr-, beaver}(the /y/ rounded from an /i/ by the influence of the surrounding bilabial consonants, a change shared by Highland Udra)

dočai-to be (the form doč- spread from the 1st evidentiality, and took over the /c/ of the original stem.)

dur, - after all, ; for

gazikai-to sleep

hazdagga, -oi, f/m.-a bear-like creature, 10 feet tall at the shoulder {from Proto-Steppe

*x2eteg-, the same}

hairēk, -eo, f/m.- a type of small rodent

βazg, -oz, m.-Warg {from Proto-Steppe *weg-, a Warg}

kreŭxhuoz, -oz, m.- raw flesh (stem kreŭxhuor-) (<xhu> is the representation of /xw/)

kruīatoz, -oz, m.- Megalania (stem kruīator-)

okulena, -oi, f.-girl

rēka, -o, -uo- little

rēgai- to rule (Preterit rērēg-)

ai-adv.,until, then; when (+inf. clause)

teranuo, -ēk, n.-care (as in cares of the world)

terra, -oi, f.-Earth {from Latin terra, dirt}

[1] this is shown in Old Udra texts from this area; the main Udra dialect did not complete this change at the time the orthography was standardised, however it now shows it, as is apparent in the constant mistakes and hypercorrections in spelling.

[2] the 2nd person plural middle čai is a result of the complete palatalisation of *s and *sj to //, combining with /t/ > /t/ > /č/.

[3] the form is dočī-, from *doc-ī-.