Pro-form is a type of word or expression that substitutes another word, clause of phrase with exact meaning recovering through context (usually mentioned before). Pro-form is a large group of words consisting of different parts of speech (in traditional linguistics), like:
but sharing some similarity in relation, the way of forming and a fact that they replace other lexical or syntactical categories.
While some pro-forms looks similar, they usually treated as distinct parts of speech (e.g. question words consisting of pronouns, adverbs and conjunctions). However some linguistic theories group them together and state that difference in their application is the subject of syntax rather than grammar or lexicology, similarly to nouns which can be used as subject, object, adverbial or even determiner. The term “pro-form” exists at least since 18th century, but haven't been widely accepted. In Esperanto these words are called “correlatives”.
Pro-forms intended (by Nûrlâm's author) to be very regularly formed as in Esperanto or Japanese. However, despite rejecting many existing forms from various Neo-Black Speech dialects, Nûrlâm kept similar formation patterns. Demonstrative, interrogative and relative pro-forms are made by adding prefixes and indefinite pro-forms by adding suffixes. There are some irregularities caused by phonetical merging of adjacent sounds.
Lists below contain most common pro-forms except personal and reflexive pronouns. Some demonstrative pronouns (this, that) and quantifiers (like “any”) may be used as pro-adjectives, which are also not shown there. Pro-adjective may become clitic if consists of only one syllable. Hyphenation in this table is used only for line-wrapping and space preserving and should not appear in real texts.
| Person |
(so many, so much)
(so, thus, hereby)
(for this reason, herefore)
| pot |
| rad 
(that many, that much)
(thereby, by that)
(for that reason, that's why, therefore)
| tîg |
| rîg 
(how many, how much?)
(why?, what for?)
(how many, how much)
The word mai (= who) may be inflected in cases, particularly genitive case (maib) is used as analog of English “whose” and others are translated as “whom” with corresponding preposition. Min (= where) is used with locative cases producing forms similar to Old English “whence” and “whither” (“Taskâtuz aminah dau kâtû” = “He had come from the place where shadows lie”; “Ta ukh aminu hont honû” = “He goes whither (his) eyes look”). Words zil and rad (both meaning “now”) are often used with instrumental case together with prepositions ik and zi (by) to make expression “by now”.
Please note that words “zîgin” and “tîg” cannot be used the same way as “there” in English phrases like “There is …”. In Nûrlâm they can be only adverbials but not a dummy subject as “there”. See Existential clause article for further information.
Nûrlâm also lacks dual pronouns like “both”, “either” and “neither”. As they may serve also as conjunctions, their equivalents are listed at corresponding page.
While indefinite pro-forms are formed somehow similarly to English ones, by combining two more simple words, their order is different. Also be careful when translating words like “no one”, “someone” and so on, as their translation is not literal. In English “one” refers to persons, while it's translation “ash” in Nûrlâm marks unanimated pronouns (things). Unanimated indefinite pronouns are universal for persons and things in standard language. Animated pronouns may be used in standard Nûrlâm, but they are plural by default.
| Person |
(every time, everywhen)
(for every reason)
(for every reason)
(some people, somebody, someone)
(somewhy, for some reason)
(for some reason)
(any people, anybody, anyone)
(for any reason)
(for any reason)
|makon (any?, whether)|| mashkon|
(whatever, whichever, whether)
|minkon (wherever)||milkon (whenever, ever)||marzkon (however)|| mûrkon
(another, other, else)
(something else, anything else)
(someone else, somebody else, anybody else, anyone else)
(another time, else when)
| Negative |
(nothing, not a single one)
(nobody, no one)
(no way, not how)
(for nothing, for no reason)
Indefinite quantifiers may be used as standalone pronouns, adverbs or adjectives.
Nûrlâm distinguishes interrogative from relative and elective from dubitative pro-forms, unlike English where these forms are the same. The difference inside each of two groups is expressed by prefix a-. Dubitative indefinite pro-forms are used with irrealis moods. Many pro-forms may be inflected in case and number (in modern and colloquial speech only). For example locative cases together with pro-forms of place may produce forms similar to archaic English “whence”, “whither”, “hence”, “thence”, “hither”, “thither”, etc.