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Primal Book Errata

Please note: The errata changed substantially on June 2007.

Primal: The Furry Language (first edition)

This section is intended only for owners of the first edition Primal: The Furry Language book.

The first edition of Primal: The Furry Language contains a number of errors.  Fortunately, the English to Primal and Primal to English dictionaries included in the book are nearly perfect.  Most of the errata in the first edition are from sections on descriptive grammar, which have since been superseded by the online Tutorial.  For this reason, the first edition book is recommended for use mainly as a dictionary and informal reference, not as a guide to grammar.  The tutorial is the canonical guide to Primal's grammar: wherever the book disagrees with the tutorial, the tutorial is correct.

The book uses "pidgin script" rather than Primal script.  Pidgin script was designed to accommodate Primal's large number of letters (the vowels, in particular).  Most vowels in pidgin script are represented by two-letter combinations, and the letters g, c, w, r, and y were used as extra vowel sounds.  The pidgin script proved to be non-intuitive, which made the phonetics difficult for some people to learn.  The only reason pidgin script is still referenced is because it is used in the first edition.  The bold words in this section are all references to pidgin script.  To translate pidgin script back to Primal script, see pp. 8-10 and 153 of the first edition book.

Dictionary Errata

Since the Primal-to-English and the English-to-Primal dictionaries are the most useful parts of the book, these errata are listed first.

  • Compound nouns, those denoted (n) and beginning with Qu, should have begun with nu instead of Qu (except for first-in-order, last-in-order, which still take Qu). (amended Jan. 22, 2009)
  • Compound prepositions that become nouns, including "clockwise", "counter-clockwise", and "region-between", should end with a zy suffix.
  • Proper nouns, those denoted N, should begin with ku (for formality).  But many of the proper nouns listed in the dictionary are not proper nouns by Primal's standard, and should be listed as n instead.  Specifically, the Pope, Velcro, the four seasons, the twelve months, and the seven days of the week are not considered proper nouns in Primal (because they are not unique over time). (added Jan. 22, 2009)
  • QuWu is listed as meaning both left-side and right-side.  This should be nuWu for left and nuWuj for right, and a more accurate translation would be "left-hand direction" and "right-hand direction". (added Dec. 19, 2008)
  • "age", nwn, should be a noun, not a verb. (added Jan. 22, 2009)
  • "air conditioner" should be qrD, not qrj.  (qrj is also listed as "taste-like", which is correct.)
  • "androgyny, intergender" should be pgw, not pgwH.  (pgwH is a missing word for androgyne-femme.)
  • "coffee" should be listed as Wix, not Wwx.
  • "duck" should be listed as WiD, not WwD.
  • "override" should be listed as lwm, not lwl.
  • "pass" is better translated as "pass-by, bypass". (added Jan. 22, 2009)
  • "up, top-side" should be nuxy, not Qyxy. (added Jan. 22, 2009)

Some of the translations of dictionary words were poorly chosen or require clarification, but these are not listed here.  If the apparent definition of a word differs slightly in the tutorial, assume the tutorial is correct.

Missing Words

These words and phrases were inadvertently left out of the dictionary.  See also grammatical errata for information on the missing grammar words "resulting" (zy) and the contractions xuj and Xuj ( * = added Jan. 22, 2009)

Missing Word (noun)



Missing Word (noun)


androgyne-femme pgwH  

killer whale, orca


androgyne-herm qgwH  



androgyne-male lgwH  



androgyne-nullo NgwH  

parental-love, sentiment 


commonality, generality * YaD  

romantic-love, intimacy


companionate-love, friendship










hunt, predate (verb)



The following are all noun phrases, with the exception of seeming and still-remaining, which are only phrases, and even-including, which is a compound noun suffix.

Missing Phrase (n)

Primal Phrase


Missing Phrase (n)

Primal Phrase

afterwards * Quhrj   many * vulTy


Tal su jelv

  never * luqe

baking soda

Rrn su nuXen

  now * nuqu

baking powder

Jem su nuxwN


ocean, sea

xyp su hulq

big * zymTy   old * nwnTy
both-things * JuDu kw   position * Dr su heH


hoyz suj peq




even-including (ns) * Tujy   previously * Quhr
few * vulHy  



first * QuRw  


lorx su nulaw

greatest, most * nuQwJy   seeming (phrase) * (*) su sok
greater, more * nuQw  










  short-height * kixHy
here * RuRi   short-length * viHy
high * nuxyTy  


hoyz suj lon

how * Xck su kr   still-remaining (phr.) * (*) su poy
indefinite-one * nufr   tall * kixTy
last * QuRwJw   there (far away) * RuRij
least * nuQwjJy   when (at) * qe su kr
lesser * nuQwj   where * Dr su kr
little, small * zymHy   which * voyN su kr
little-amount * nulHy   who * fr su kr
long * viTy   why * fen su kr
lots, much * nulTy   young * nwnHy
low * nuxyHy    

These words are common synonyms that should have shared a definition with existing words.

Missing Word

Synonym For...


Missing Word

Synonym For...

boy (by context) * male  

mother (colloq.)


condition *


  process * method






eat (by context)





embarrassment shame   show * reveal
evenness * fairness  



excess overwhelmed-ness  



father (colloquial)

well (phys. source)




furry (noun)


  state * status
girl (by context) * female  





  way * method

look-like *










man (by context) * male   woman (by context) * female
manner * method    

Grammatical Errata

  • Section 2.  A few definitions for words, parts of speech, and sentences have changed slightly to accommodate the learning process.  This does not change the underlying rules of grammar.
  • Section 3-1.  The definitions of nu, Qu, and vu should be changed.  Lack of a prefix denotes "one or more", not nu.  The prefix nu instead refers to the general concept of a noun, as in statements of fact.  The prefixes Qu and vu are better translated as "a" and "plural", not "the" and "the plural".  For "the" and "the plural", use prefixes Ru (which can mean "the" or "this") and Ry ("the plural" or "these") instead.  There are several examples in the book where Qu should be replaced by nu.  Additionally, the book claims that prefixes ju, Ju, and lu may be used to refer to "all (noun) in existence", but this should always be nu.
  • Section 3-2.  The order of noun suffixes is actually relevant and is not preset.  Also, one noun suffix, zy, was left out of the book because its use was thought to be too confusing (it is explained in the tutorial).
  • Section 3-3.  The enumeration with vu should actually mean, "sets of three dogs each".
  • Section 3-4.  The nu definition should be "general concept of 'me'".  The un-prefixed definition should have the definition given to nu, and Qu should have the definition given to the un-prefixed form.
  • Section 3-5.  Wyx does not mean indef. "one" when it is the subject.  It simply means "subject" or "self".
  • Section 3-6.  Scrap everything under this section on pp. 29-30.  There are 18 Ww* words.  They are defined only by inserting the Ww* into a Qawkel phrase.
  • Section 4-5 (and elsewhere).  The admonition about verbs in phrases reveals that the rules on implied words (nu and su) were not included in the book.  The book also excludes the contractions xuj and Xuj.
  • Section 4-9.  "Resultant" verb form is caused by the zy suffix, not by the case in which the verb becomes a noun.  (The rule in the book was an inaccurate patch to avoid discussing the suffix zy.)
  • Section 5.  Minor goof: the word-breaks should appear just before hu and Yr (and Qy too), not after them!
  • Section 6-2.  Ironically, the translations of the examples are switched.
  • Section 7 (all).  Much of this has been clarified in the tutorial, and some restrictions have been lifted.  Most of this section is accurate, however.
  • Section 7-1.  The assertion is wrong; conjunctions are not required to follow a verb.  Conjunctions that appear in the topic of a sentence act as though they follow every verb in the sentence.  However, it is bad grammar to use a conjunction if there are no verbs in a sentence.  Use the generic verb ly for this case.
  • Section 7-3, and later.  The assertion is wrong; skipping xu is always bad grammar.  Preposition prefixes are never "implied" in proper speech.  Preposition prefixes may be used to imply su, but implied words were left out of this edition.  Either way, xu is never an implied word.
  • Section 7-4.  Yij should be translated "by-way-of".  The compound preposition, Yijlw, means "through". (added Jan. 22, 2009)

Typographical Errata

There are a number of typographical errors, but most of them are easy to spot.  Notably, on p. 1, horfw should be jwfw (and again on p. 33).  On the back cover, cross out the second su (su), and the sa (sa) should be replaced by zu (zu).

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