Word derivation

New words can be built freely in Pandunia! Pandunia has a word derivation system that is regular and productive.

How to combine words?

Pandunia words are made up of roots and suffixes. A root is that part of word that refers to something in the world outside the language. A suffix is a vowel ending that has mainly a grammatical function. For example, the word zemia 'planet Earth' consists of the root zem- 'earth, soil' and the collective noun suffix -ia.

       zem-      'earth, soil'
   +   -ia       'a noun ending'
=     zemia      'planet Earth'

Two or more roots can be put together to make compound words. The last root is the most meaningful part in the compound and the preceding roots only modify its meaning.

       pan-      'all'
   +   dem-      'people, public'
   +    -i       'adjective ending'
=   pandemi      'pandemic'

Joining roots together could sometimes result into unpronounceable consonant sequences. For example, the consonant sequence -tgr- could appear when the roots fot- and graf- were put together. Then the connecting vowel -o- is inserted between the roots to make pronunciation easier.

       fot-      'light'
   +    -o-      'connecting vowel'
   +  graf-      'picture, image'
=   fotograf     'photograph'

There are two more examples below.

       dem-      'people, public'
   +    -o-      'connecting vowel'
   +  krat-      'rule, govern'
   +   -ia       'a noun ending'
= demokratia     'democracy'

      term-      'temperature'
   +    -o-      'connecting vowel'
   +   met-      'measuring'
   +    or-      'apparatus'
= termometor     'thermometer'

Some roots are used frequently as prefixes but seldom as words on their own. These international prefixes include the roots a-, de-, pro-, re- and su- among others. Pandunia has adopted them in order to re-create many international words as native Pandunia words.

         a-      'to, toward'
   +   ces-      'pass'
=     acese      'get past to, access'

       pro-      'forward, to the front'
   +   ces-      'pass'
=   procese      'pass forward, process'

        re-      'back to'
   +   ces-      'pass'
=    recese      'pass back, recede'

        de-      'away, off'
   +   ces-      'pass'
=    decese      'pass away, die'

        su-      'good, well'
   +   ces-      'pass'
=    sucese      'go well, succeed'

Note that these prefixes are used only in compound words that really mean the sum their parts. Fossilized words whose meanings are no longer the sum of their parts, like evolution (originally 'rolling out') and revolution (originally 'rolling back'), are not compound words in Pandunia.

Compound words – together or separately?

It doesn't matter are the elements of a compound word written together or separately – both ways work without problems. So, for example, the word for 'mailbox' can be written poste kase or postokase and the word for 'democracy' can be written deme kratia or demokratia.


Prefixes and suffixes are very important and give great flexibility to the language. The most useful ones are listed here. Most of them are in fact ordinary words that are also used on their own, but some are true prefixes or suffixes and can be used only as such, not as separate words.


a- 'to oneself' :
cepe 'take, catch' → acepe 'take to oneself, accept'
lige 'tie' → alige 'tie to oneself, ally'

an- 'opposite, un-, in-' :
human 'human' → anhuman 'unhuman' deviste 'theist' → andeviste 'atheist'
tabakiste 'smoker' → antabakiste 'non-smoker'
kluze 'close' → ankluze 'unclose, open'

de- 'away, off' :
cepe 'take, catch' → decepe 'take away, remove'
duce 'lead, conduct' → deduce 'lead away, deduce'
parte 'part, chip' → departe 'part away, chip off'
kode 'code' → dekode 'decode, remove coding'
tape 'plug, cap, stopper' → detape 'unplug, remove the plug, cap or stopper'

ex- 'out' :
cepe 'take, catch' → excepe 'take out, except'
jete 'thrust' → exjete 'thrust out, eject'

in- 'in, into, in-, en-' :
jete 'thrust' → injete 'thrust in, inject'
kluze 'close, shut' → inkluze 'close in, enclose, include'

kon- 'together' :
strute 'structure' → konstrute 'construct, put together'

Since this prefix consists of one consonant only, its alternative form ən- is used before roots that begin with a vowel.

uzable 'usable' → ənuzable 'unusable'

pos- 'after' :
poze 'put, pose' → pospoze 'put after, postpone'

pre- 'before' :
dite 'tell'
predite 'foretell, predict'
vide 'see' → previde 'foresee, preview'

pro- 'onward, forth' :
poze 'put, pose' → propoze 'put forward, propose'
voke 'call, summon' → provoke 'call forth, provoke'

re- 'back' :
ate 'to act' → reate 'to act back, react'
turne 'to turn' → returne 'to turn back'

ri- 'again, repeatedly' :
forme 'to form' → riforme 'to reform'

su- 'good, well' : cese 'pass, go by' → sucese 'go well, succeed'
rupe 'appearance, looks' → surupe 'good-looking'


-abl- 'that can be done' :
vide 'see, view' → vidable 'one that can be seen, visible'
uze 'use' → uzable 'one that can be used, usable'

-aj- 'thing made of or consisting of' :
bage 'bag' → bagaje 'baggage, luggage'
forme 'form' → formaje 'format, formation'
kore 'core' koraje 'guts, the things in the core'
mise 'send' → misaje 'something sent, message'
fase 'face' → fasaje 'facade, frontage'
limon 'lemon' → limonaje 'lemonade'

-an 'one who belongs to, one who has membership in' :
Amerike 'America' → amerikan 'American'
Italia 'Italy' → italian 'Italian'
Rusia 'Russia' → rusian 'Russian'
Paris 'the city of Paris' → parisan 'Parisian'
kristia 'Christendom' → kristian 'Christian'
hume 'earth, soil' → human 'earthling' and, by extension, 'human being'

-at- 'doing, action' :
rote 'wheel' → rotate 'rotate, turn like a wheel'

-em- 'distinct meaningful element' :
fone 'speech sound' → foneme 'phoneme, distinct speech sound'
lexe 'word' → lexeme 'lexeme'

-er- 'doer, agent, -er' :
beke 'bake' → beker 'baker'
lide 'lead' → lider 'leader, the one who leads'
filsofe 'think deeply' → filsofer 'philosopher'
sapate 'shoe' → sapater 'shoemaker'
muskete 'musket' → musketer 'musketeer'
kase 'cash box, cash register' → kaser 'cashier'

-eria 'place for making, producing or selling; profession' :
beker 'baker' → bekeria 'bakery'
perfume 'perfume' → perfumeria 'perfumery'
enjener 'engineer' → enjeneria 'engineering'

-ia 'collection of, aggregation of' :
human 'human being' → humania 'humanity, mankind, all the human beings as a group'
kriste 'Christ' → kristia 'Christianity, all Christians as a group'
filsofe 'view, outlook, life wisdom' → filsofia 'philosophy, the discipline of wisdom'

This ending is often used in place names, especially in country names. However it is not always used. There are also a lot of country names that do not end in -ia.

-ia 'area, region, country' :
arabe 'Arab, Arabic' → Arabia 'Arabia'
rus 'Russian, Ruski' → Rusia 'Russia'
turke 'Turk, Turkish' → Turkia 'Turkey'
itale 'Italic, Italian' → Italia 'Italy'
Asia 'Asia'
Indonesia 'Indonesia'

-ia 'abstract quality' :
nove 'new' → novia 'newness, novelty'
hure 'free' → huria 'freedom'

-ik- 'of the style or manner of, -ish, -esque' :
un 'one' → unike 'only, sole, single'
dom 'home' → domike 'domestic'
nove 'new' → → novike 'novice, newbie'

-im- 'the most, superlative' :
pre 'fore, front' → prime 'foremost, prime'
extre 'outside, exterior' → extrime 'outermost, extreme'

-ion- 'action, process' :
dite 'say' → dition 'saying, diction'
rotate 'turn like a wheel' → rotation 'rotation, turning'

-ist- 'person who tends to behave or think in a certain way, adherent of an ideology or religion' :
deu 'god' → deviste 'theist, one who believes in existence of a god or gods'

-ism- 'ideology, way of thinking, way of living, ism' :
deu 'god' → devisme 'theism'

-it- 'passive participle' :
sabe 'know' → sabite 'known'

-iv- 'inclined to' :
ate 'act, perform' → ative 'active, inclined to act'
exploze 'explode' → explozive 'explosive'

-or- 'apparatus, device, machine' :
trate 'drag, haul' → trator 'tractor'
fotegraf 'photograph' → fotegrafor 'photograph apparatus, camera'

-ur- 'result or product' :
kulte 'cultivate (a way of life)' → kulture 'culture'
mixe 'mix' → mixure 'mixture'