Moten Language

Welcome to the static page devoted to the Moten language! I use this page to list all posts I made about Moten, in order of publication. Seasoned readers can use it as a reference, and it's the perfect place for new readers to start learning about the beautiful, if wacky, language that is Moten.

First, let me get this out of the way: Moten is a conlang, i.e. a constructed language. It is not a natural language spoken natively by a group of people anywhere on Earth. Instead, it's a creation I made from scratch. To be more precise, Moten is an artistic language, i.e. one created purely for aesthetic pleasure, my own first, and hopefully yours as well. It's just a hobby: I don't have any grand scheme for it. My only goal when creating Moten was to exercise my creative muscles in a way that I find interesting, challenging and rewarding. It's not even a true fictional language: although there is a (sketchy) background story that describes where Moten comes from, it's basically just an excuse for me to develop the language as I see fit. Still, it's a true language, in the sense that it's much more than a haphazard collection of words. Moten has a developed phonology, grammar and vocabulary, which I painstakingly describe in the blog posts listed in this page.

The rest of this page is a list of links to the posts I've written so far about the Moten language. The posts are ordered from the oldest to the newest, so that a new reader can simply learn about the language from scratch by taking each post in turn. I've also added next to each link a short abstract of the contents of the post, so that people using this page as a reference can find what they are looking for more easily, as well as a word count, so that people have an idea of the size of each post (some posts are pretty long!).

I will update this page regularly as I publish more posts about Moten. So don't hesitate to come back regularly! Also, don't hesitate to comment or ask questions. I strive to make future posts accessible and easy to read, so reader feedback is very welcome.

List of Grammar Posts

Moten, Part I: Background and Phonology (3570 words)
This post introduces the reader to the Moten language. After a short description of the background of the language (both real and fictional), I describe its phonology (which sounds it uses), its phonotactics (its syllable structure, and how the sounds of the language interact) and its writing system.
Moten, Part II: Nouns and Pronouns (6762 words)
This post focusses on nominal morphology. I first define the types of nominals present in Moten. Then I focus on the noun declension and the functional prefixes (both form and meaning). Afterwards, I list various pronouns present in the language. Finally, I describe the syntax of the noun phrase.
Moten, Part III: Counting (5615 words)
As its title indicates, this post focusses on counting. First, I describe how to form cardinal and ordinal numbers, as well as multiplicative and distributive numbers. Then I introduce the counters, a category of nouns that combine with numbers. I carry on with the expression of date and time, and finish by describing the degrees of comparison.
Moten, Part IV: Verbs and Main Clauses (7026 words)
In this post, I describe the Moten verb, as well as the structure of independent sentences. I start by defining the various verb classes present in Moten. Then I describe the verbs' non-finite forms, followed by a list of all possible conjugations (describing both form and meaning). Finally, I describe the syntax of simple sentences.
Moten, Part V: Verbs and Subordinate Clauses (5002 words)
This post deals further with verbs. I start by discussing the use of the auxiliary verbs as fully-fledged verbs. Then I carry on by describing how to form relative and completive subordinate clauses. I finish with a discussion about how to handle reported speech in both direct and indirect forms.
Moten, Part VI: Negation and Polar Questions (6248 words)
In this post, I describe the different types of negation used in Moten, and how they are formed. I also discuss how to form yes-no questions and how to answer them.
Moten, Part VII: Particles (3778 words)
This post deals with the two types of particles: interjections and clitics. In it I describe how interjections look like and how they work. Then I focus on clitics, describe how they are used, list a few useful ones, and finish by describing how they are pronounced.
Moten Part VIII: Surdéclinaison, Definition and Main Nominal Use (2809 words)
In this first of three posts on the same subject, I define the linguistic feature that is called surdéclinaison, the ability to inflect already inflected words. I then describe how it is used with nouns and nominal phrases.
Moten Part IX: Surdéclinaison, Main Verbal Use (3244 words)
In this second of three posts on the subject of surdéclinaison, I describe how it applies to verbs, and how it is used to form noun clauses and adverbial subclauses.
Moten Part X: Surdéclinaison, Other Patterns and Isolated Cases (5752 words)
In this last of three posts on the subject of surdéclinaison, I describe other patterns that didn't fit in the previous posts. First, I describe how one forms complements of comparison. Then, I mention a few more productive but restricted surdéclinaison patterns. I finish with a list of set phrases that happen to be transparent results of surdéclinaison, but are not representative of any pattern.
Moten Part XI: Derivation and Compounding (12953 words)
In this record-breaking (in length!) post, I discuss the various methods available in Moten to create new words from existing words. I start with a discussion about the relatively poor Moten derivational morphology, and then get into the meat of the subject with a long discussion about compounding. I then describe pseudo-suffixes, a form of compounding that behaves nearly like derivation, and then finish with a description of the various patterns of reduplication used in Moten.
Moten Part XII: Irregularities and Exceptions (3813 words)
This post deals with a staple of natural languages: grammatical exceptions. After explaining what this exactly means, I go on to show that Moten isn't a perfectly regular language, and features exceptions in all areas of its grammar.

List of Other Posts

Lexember: a Month of Moten Words (3562 words)
A compilation of the words I created for the very first Lexember event, December 2012, including some background information.
Second Lexember: a New Month of Moten Words (2087 words)
A compilation of the words I created for the second Lexember event, September 2013, including some background information and additional comments.
Third Lexember: Yet Another Month of Moten Words (4870 words)
A compilation of the words I created for the third Lexember event, December 2013, including some background information and additional comments.
Fourth Lexember Month: Yet Again a Month of Moten Words (1010 words)
A compilation of the words I created for the fourth Lexember event, December 2014, including links to individual word posts.

Other Documents

While reading the posts listed above, a document that you may find useful is the Moten-English-Moten dictionary I uploaded on Google Drive. Clicking on the link will send you to the Google Drive viewer, but from there you can also download the document itself, which is a PDF file. I regularly update this document, so all the Moten words used in the posts above should appear in the dictionary as well. You might want to have this document open when you read my grammar posts, as I normally don't give translations of each and every word I use in my examples (I normally only give translations of the most topical ones), and this may make reading some of them difficult.


  1. Focused is spelle wrong in the descriptions of the posts.

    1. According to all the dictionaries I've looked at, both "focused" and "focussed" are accepted. And my spellchecker, which is set to British English, accepts only "focussed". So I'll keep spelling it that way.

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