Z does not occur, and when occurring in Arabic words is replaced by s, as the holy well at Mecca, zamzam is called samsam.
The great simplicity of the construction of words and sentences forms the chief difficulty in the language. The nouns are not declined—the verbs are not conjugated, but are modified in meaning by prefixes and suffixes. The most usual prefixes are ka, mi, pa, pang, pi, ba, bĕ, sa, sĕ, ta, tĕ, and suffixes an, eŭn, kĕn.
Thus hadé is good, hadéan, is to make good, to mend; pihadéanĕun, is something which must be made good or mended. sĕuri, to laugh,; pisĕurian and pisĕurianeun something to laugh about, a laughable subject. dua, two, midua, to divide, to part in two. kolot, old, pangkolotan, the most old, the oldest. gĕbug, to strike, pangĕbug, a bludgeon, a stick to strike with. bĕlĕdog, the report of a gun or fire works. Bĕbĕlĕdogan, squibs or crackers. ténjo, to look from a far, tĕtenjoan, a distant view. Kayu, wood, kakayon, timber in general, varieties of trees. Verbs are formed from substantives and adjectives by prefixing nga, as hidi, a fish spear, ngahidi, to kill fish with such a spear. hĕurap, a fishing net, ngahĕurap to take fish with a net. gantang, a rice measure, ngagantang, to receive rice by measure. When the word so used in composition is an adjective, it has generally suffixed an, as hadé. good, gahadéan, to make good. lémbong cleared away, ngalémbongan, to clear up or put in order a bit of ground or a garden.
To form a plural the Sundas like the Malays duplicate the substantives and say imah-imah, houses, jalan-jalan, roads, tuan-tuan, gentlemen, mandor-mandor, heads of villages, gunung-gunung, mountains.
Verbs and adjectives are made plural by a peculiar process of lengthening the word in its middle, for which purpose the letter r, and sometimes l, is generally associated with a cognate vowel of the word with which it comes in contract, and which R or l and its cognate vowel is generally duplicated, unless the consonant R or L already occurs in the crude and singular from of the word. Thus kuda hadé a good horse; kuda hararadé, good horses. hadéan, to make good anything, hararadéan, to make good several objects. Kayu panjang, a long bit of wood, kayu pararanjang, long logs of wood. Batu panas, a hot stone, batu pararanas, hot stones. Jélĕma paih, a dead man, jélĕma pararaih, the people are all dead. Buwah buruk, a rotten fruit, buwah bururuk, the fruit is all rotten. tong bochor, a leaking tub, tong bololochor, the tubs are all leaking. Boro, to go to wards (if one person who goes), bororo, to go to wards in a crowd, several persons going towards. Tarik kayu iyo, drag this piece of wood, tararik kayu na, drag those logs of wood.
When the word begins with a vowel, that vowel with r after it, is prefixed to the word which has to be made plural, as chai na éksél, the rivulet is very scanty, chai na di gunung itu éréksél amat, the rivulets from those hills have very little water in them. Gunung-gunung ururugan, the mountains have shot down from urug.
The initial consonants L and R in adjectives are also frequently duplicated to from a plural. This duplicated consonant is then followed by the vowel a, and not by the vowel