Interrogative mood and questions

Interrogative mood (abbreviated as INT) is the grammatical mood that is used to form various questions. While English uses auxiliary verbs and special word order for questions, Nûrlâm uses special grammatical form of verbs, adding prefix mar- which goes after prefix of person and negation but before derivational prefix and root. In contrast to English in Nûrlâm word order is not changed, and auxiliary verbs like “do/does/did” are not used in questions as they already have a grammatical marker mar-. Disjunctive questions may be more popular, because question particle is recognized more easily.


  • Are they ready? ⇒ Takmarkul firg (They=INT-be ready)
  • Did you hear me? ⇒ Fimarkozuziz (You=INT-hear-PST=me)


Interrogative sentences or questions require some verbal response from the listener. There are 4 various forms of questions.

General questions

General or polar questions require answering with “yes” (“akh”) or “no” (“nar”). To convert declarative sentence into general question interrogative mood is used. Example:

Declarative General question General question with negation
English He killed a dragon Did he killed a dragon? Didn't he killed a dragon?
Nûrlâm Tadoguz ash lûg Tamardoguz ash lûg Tanarmardoguz ash lûg

General questions may be answered by repeating the statement from question in declarative form (without mar-), especially when question contains double negative. Shortened answers like “He did / He didn't” do not have equivalent in Nûrlâm, but object may be omitted in repeated statement (“Did he killed a dragon? – He didn't” = “Tamardoguz ash lûg – Tanardoguz”).

Alternative questions

Alternative or choice questions are similar to general questions but answer requires selecting option(s) presented in question (either repeating a question in declarative form with only one option or simply with one word). Conjunction “or” (= “ogh”) is used to present a second choice. Answer may be also like “all of them” (“ulûk” or simply “ûk”) or “none of them” (“narash” or just “nar”) or “both” (= “za agh zîg”, lit. “this and that”; = “zîg agh isk”, lit. “that and another”). The second option in question may be a negation of the first one (“or no” = “ogh nar”), but this makes it closer to general questions.

Declarative Alternative question Alternative question with negation
English He killed a dragon Did he killed a dragon or Balrog? Did he killed a dragon or not?
Nûrlâm Tadoguz ash lûg Tamardoguz ash lûg ogh balrog Tamardoguz ash lûg ogh nar

Disjunctive questions

Disjunctive or tag questions are formed with declarative sentence, but turned into interrogative by question particle (tag) “mar?” which may be translated into English as “right?”, “isn't it?” etc. This type of questions is supposed to be more frequent in Nûrlâm, as question particle is easily distinguished and not merged inside the verb construction.

Declarative Disjunctive question
English He killed a dragon He killed a dragon, didn't he?
Nûrlâm Tadoguz ash lûg Tadoguz ash lûg mar

Special questions

Special or non-polar questions are formed with question words (interrogative pro-forms: pronouns and pro-adverbs) and require a full sentence to answer. Interrogative mood of verbs is not used because question words already contain question prefix m(a)-.

List of question words

English Nûrlâm Example
how marz How did he kill a dragon? ⇒ Marz tadoguz as lûg
what mash What is he saying? ⇒ Tagashn mash
when mil When did he die? ⇒ Mil tamatuz = Tamatuz mil
whence1) minah, minbo Whence did you get this ring? ⇒ Minbo fisnabuz za nazg = Fisnabuz za nazg minbo
where min Where is the ring? ⇒ Min nazgum (kulâ)? = Nazgum kulâ min?
whether2) makon (any), mashkon (whatever, whichever) Whatever he thinks is not important ⇒ Mashkon ta ûs narkulâ horm
which mai (who), mash (what) Which wire should I cut? ⇒ Mash srug damaug grishut
whither3) minishi, minu Where did he go? ⇒ Minu ta ukhuz?
who mai, mash (what) Who did this? ⇒ Mai krampuz za
whom mai, mash (in any grammatical or marginal case except Nominative and Genitive) Whom do you serve (to)? ⇒ Gibûrt maizûr
whose maib, mashob Whose skull is this? ⇒ Za rash kulâ mashob?
why mûr Why did you kill him? ⇒ Mûr gidoguzan

Word order in such questions doesn't change much (in contrast to English or German). Question word goes first then go the subject, verb and optionally the object. Question word may go in place of part of the sentence which is unknown, about which the question is. For example, “Where is the ring?” ⇒ “Min nazgum (kulâ)?” = “Nazgum kulâ min?” (lit. “The ring is where?”).

Exceptions are words “mai” (who?) and “mash” (what?), both also used with meaning “whose?”, as they may refer either subject or object, then word order is typical SVO with question word going into either Subject or Object's position, depending about which part the question is.

Declarative Special question
English He killed a dragon Who killed a dragon?
Nûrlâm Tadoguz ash lûg Mash doguzâ ash lûg
Declarative Special question
English He killed a dragon Whom did he killed?
Nûrlâm Tadoguz ash lûg Tadoguz mash
Declarative Special question
English He lives in spider's nest In whose nest does he live?
Nûrlâm Takîb kîfor ungob Takîb kîfor mashob

Questions starting with “mûr” (= “why?”) are usually answered with gerundives.

Question Answer
English Why did he killed the dragon? To became famous
Nûrlâm Mûr tadoguz lûgum? Thôlat imb

Indirect questions

Indirect questions are subordinate clauses of declarative sentences. They are formed similar to special questions, but question words are replaced with their relative counterparts (see Pro-forms). Interrogative mood is not used. For example, “I don't know where he went” = “Danarîst amin ta ukhuz”. However, if indirect question is placed inside a proper question, then interrogative pro-form may be used: “Do you know where he went?” ⇒ “Fimarîst (a)min ta ukhuz?”.

add more examples

Combinations with other modalities

Interrogative mood may be combined together with other moods:

  • “Should I cut the red wire?” ⇒ “Damarmaug grishut srugum karn” = “Damaug grishut karn srugum, mar” (Interrogative + Necessitative)
  • “Could he escape?” ⇒ “Tamarpâsh irzut” = “Tapâsh irzut, mar” (Interrogative + Dynamic)
  • “Would you like meat or vegetables?” ⇒ “Fihizulg mash, âps ogh barth” (Special + alternative question + Desiderative modality)
  • “Who knows what we will find there?” ⇒ “Mai îstâ (a)mash dak gimbub zîgin?” (Nested questions)

add more examples

“where … from”, source
usually in alternative and indirect questions, thus not really a question word
“where … to”, target, goal
mood_interrogative.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by