Senduri: a linguistic overview

Senduri is a contemporary language from the planet Tekuo with deep historical roots. Its speakers are a race of Ike, who call themselves and their language Senduri. They call their home the Turi archipelago. In Lemohai it is known as Thuri.

Senduri is a fascinating language and was long thought to be a linguistic isolate. However, it has now been shown to be a particularly deviant descendant of Proto-East-Aheku. It is therefore a distant relative of the Cismontane and Transmontane languages and of Maritime languages like Lemohai.

Most Senduri are also fluent in Lemohai though a large minority are monoglot Senduri speakers A smaller minority are monoglot Lemohai speakers as the remote archipelago has long been ruled from Mohai. There are some 2.1 million native speakers.

It is also a popular language to learn. Some tourists learn it before visiting the islands, linguists and conlangers learn it because of its unusual nature and Lemohai-speaking Senduri learn it to better connect with their heritage.

Senduri borrows words liberally from neighbouring languages, particularly Lemohai. It is heavily dialectalised and has only been standardised fairly recently.

The language exhibits trigger alignment. There are also two genitive case particles. Word order in the unmarked clause is Verb-Subject-Object though Verb-Object-Subject is frequently encountered. Phrases are mostly head-initial.

The language is mildly agglutinating. Grammar is expressed through a mixture of particles, word order and affixes. A rich system of derivational morphology is available. The language is particularly rich in derived verb forms, especially those concerned with valence adjustment.

Senduri phonology is characterised by a seven vowel system, syllabic and co-articulated consonants, and simple syllables. The language is written from left to right in a unicase alphabet.

By David Johnson

Conlanger, writer and activist.

2 comments

  1. Senduri has developed slowly offline for a number of years. In essence it looks like a simplified Yoruba and works like a simplified Tagalog. Its sociolinguistic situation is based on that of Basque and Welsh.

    I plan to give it a sketch grammar someday. For now though it’s mostly a naming language and a source of loanwords for Lemohai.

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