FIX: some suffixes still have no clear meaning

Derivational suffixes

Suffix is called derivational if it changes word's class (e.g. noun from verb) or alter it's meaning preserving the class (like English adjectives redreddish). Nûrlâm doesn't have many of such suffixes because word derivation is usually done by clitics (e.g. short adjectives, postpositions), phonetical alteration (changing vowel length, shifting consonants, h↔kh↔k↔g↔gh) or making compound words. Another reason is frequent zero-derivation (also called conversion), when no suffix is used to convert word's class (e.g. blûz has meaning of noun “grain” and verb “to grind”). Some English words have no direct correspondence in Nûrlâm, and another part of speech or expression is applied for translation (for example adjective “fearful” should be translated as “full of fear” = “gûk ufurob” or as participle “frightening” = “uglug” and adverb “fearfully” as “with fear” = “ufursha”).

Finally a table of common derivational suffixes:

Suffix Etymology Meaning Example
-al SV agentive noun suffix: profession, occupation;
usually noun formed from verb
farbal (hunter) < farb (to hunt)
-amb NL < Noldorin “thamb” (hall), Quenya “sambe” (room, chamber) < Etym. “STAB” alternate noun; usually some room, building or space (like -ry in “armory”, “cemetary”, “mortuary”) khadamb (crypt, mausoleum) < khad (tomb)
-arz LOS < SV similative case ending “-ârz” adverb from adjective hîsarz (quickly) < hîs (quick)
-arz- pro-adverb of reason from pronoun mûdarz (somehow) < mûd (some)
-ath SV ?
-auk SV alternate noun; usually some person or living being; sometimes may carry a tone of passivity or disdain gabauk (vagabond, tramper, hobo) < gab (to wander, travel)
-aut NL < MERP “dahaut” (defecation), “plakaut” (pillage) alternate noun (verbal); usually a process or motion; similar to English gerund, but complies with grammar of nouns in Nûrlâm praukaut (the pillaging) < prauk- (to pillage)
-âzh- NL normally a suffix of grammatical aspect, but may be treated as diminutive adverb modifying verbs and adjectives bûrzâzh (darkish, slightly dark) < bûrz (dark)
-hai TK, BS, AO names of races, nations, groups of people as whole uruk-hai (orcs) < uruk (orc)
-hai- makes animated demonstrative, relative, interrogative or indefinite pronouns zahai (these people) < za (this)
-niz NL < Quenya “nís” (noun “woman”) “feminizer”; marks biological gender of living creatures, professions hunkniz (dog) < hunk (hound)
farbalniz (huntress) < farbal (hunter)
-og SV < TK PN “Azog” ?
probably another agentive noun suffix from Gnomish “og-” (to be able, can) or “-og” (agental or adjective suffix in Gnomish)
-ol TK, AO, PN “Gorgol the Butcher” ?
probably an archaic form of -al
-ûgz NL < “-ug” + “-ûrz”, “-ugz” initially intended for participles but rejected in favor of more uniform suffix system alternative adjective (usually verbal or agentive) matûgz (lethal) < mat- (to die)
-um TK, CBS, LOTR (“burzum”) particularizing suffix or article1), similar to definite article burzum (the darkness) < burz (darkness)
ulbum (the blue)2) < ulb (blue)
-urm NL < MERP “zurm” (noise) abstract noun, usually from adjective
similar to English suffixes “-ness”, “-ity”
orzurm (poverty) < orz (poor)
-ûrz EL < TK “Lugbûrz” (Dark Tower);
obviously Elerrina's extrapolation is wrong, as ûrz is part of the stem “bûrz”, but it became common for all Neo-Black Speech dialects
general suffix of forming adjectives from other parts of speech, usually from nouns (verbal adjectives should be replaced with participles and gerundives) sligûrz (free) < slig- (to free)

As participles are considered as separate forms of verbs, their suffixes are not shown here, but in the table of inflectional suffixes.


There may be some irregularities in application of derivational suffixes, almost impossible to rationalize. For example one may assume that “matûrz” means “dead” from “mat-” (to die), but it actually means “mortal”, while “dead” is translated with active past participle (“matuga”). Adjectives like foolish or friendly may be translated with noun in Essive case (resulting “globsi” and “shauksi” respectively), thus “my friendly advice is to…” ⇒ “I advice you as a friend to …” = “Dathrâham shauksi (gerundive)”.

English Nûrlâm
day ârsh
daily (adv) ârsharz
daily (adj) ârshûrz
English Nûrlâm
fool pah
silly, stupid pahûrz
foolish pahûrzâzh
English Nûrlâm
poor orz
poverty orzurm
beggar orzal
English Nûrlâm
die mat- ghur-
death mât gurz(um)
dead (adj) matuga4) gûrz
dead (n) matal, mâtal ghural
deadly, lethal, fatal matûgz ghurûgz
mortal (adj) matûrz ghurûrz
mortal (n) matauk ghurauk
mortality maturm ghururm

expand the following table

Suffix Root
(to look at, see, watch)
(to behold, see)
(to look like, appear, seem)
-∅ hon
(a look, gaze, glance)
(a view, sight)
(a look, appearance)
-al honal
(watcher, observer, spectator)
-auk honauk
(gazer, lookout, voyeur)
(beholder, spectator, witness)
(illusion, phantom, vision, apparition)
-aut honaut
(manifestation, appearance)
-urm honurm
(scope, outlook)
(vision, eyesight, sense of sight)
-ûrz honûrz
see PE 17
color, paint
thus, actually active past participle
suffix_derivational.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by