New alphabet (abugida) for Seloi and Karkin!

I have been doing a LOT of conscripting (making new writing system) for my languages this summer! Now that the semester has started (only just), I may slow down somewhat but I am promising myself not to stop!

Much of what I’ve worked on has been the new alphabet for the Seloi and Karkin languages. Before I get into the writing system itself, I will give a little background on the people who use this alphabet.

The Selupa (speakers of Seloi) and Karkin people live on a shared island, off the east coast of the Izoi continent (in Elta–so we’re on the side of Aeniith with Tosi, Ríli, etc.). The Selupa (of the zuna species of humanoid–same as the Tosi and Karkin) have a very secretive but comparatively technically advanced society. Their cities are highly protected, entry and exit is tightly regulated, and their technology and medical advances are not generously shared, when they are shared at all. The Selupa value art and culture as well as science, and are famous for their universities where topics like drama, writing, philosophy, rhetoric, and even culinary skills are taught.

The other major cultural group on the island are the Karkin, also a zuna people, who live in parts of the island not inhabited by the Selupa. Their population is largely split into two–some live inside seven cities that are protected by ruling clans. Just outside of these guarded cities are agricultural areas that supply these cities with food. Others, who dwell outside the protection of the cities, live in an arid expanse of land called the Planulum (sōngē’ën /soːˈŋeːʔən/ in Karkin). This is a harsh land, and its soil is hard and difficult to grow in. The people who live in the Planulum are not under rule of the city clans, and lawlessness is rampant in areas that are outside of settlements. Settlements in the Planulum are lightly governed by consensus, if at all. In the winters, sand storms ravage crops, and in the summer, hot winds can wilt them if not enough rains come. It is a difficult place to live. Caravans travel between the various Planulum settlements and the seven cities, but sometimes are detained due to crime or bad weather conditions.

The original inventors of the present alphabet, which I’m tentatively calling Vinuvu (Seloi for ‘scratched pieces’ or ‘written bits’), are the Selupa. Seloi itself has a very small phonemic inventory (collection of differently recognized sounds)–just 10 consonants and 6 vowels. Vinuvu is technically an abugida–a variant of alphabet in which the consonants are represented by full letters and the vowels are represented by modifications to the consonants (often diacritics or small marks on or near the consonant letters). The following is the version used for Seloi, its original intended use.

Seloi alphabet: VinuvuEach consonant is a full letter with the following vowels being marked as diacritics over the consonant. Freestanding vowels are written as full, and diphthongs and double vowels are either combined diacritics or a full vowel symbol plus a diacritic.

So this is simple enough, but then I decided I wanted this whole system to be used by other zuna cultures in the region of Izoi. That includes the Tosi and Karkin. The Tosi are a massive empire, but I decided that I wanted them to have borrowed the alphabet after the Karkin–the immediate neighbors of the Seloi–had already borrowed it.

The main challenge here was due to the Karkin language itself. It has a lot of sounds, far more than the particularly sparse Seloi. Karkin is mad for different consonants: it has 32 of them! It also has six vowels that can all be long or short (in duration). So obviously, when the Karkin borrowed this writing system, they were going to have to do a lot of modification to make it work for their language…

Behold!
Karkin modifications to VinuvuAs you can see, many letters are modified to represent the numerous additional sounds that Karkin has. Some consonants have added marks to indicate that voicing (Seloi doesn’t have voiced stops like b, d, g, for example). Some letters have descender marks below them to indicate a change in place of articulation (usually farther back in the mouth). Some fricatives (like the letters for v and s) are reversed to show a change in voicing (f and z). The letter for /l/ is modified to represent /r/ and /ʎ/. Various other changes show sounds that don’t exist in Seloi. Long vowel are represented by double diacritics.

A few examples of writing in Vinuvu for Karkin.

ED3F05DA-B0EF-4B37-BF5E-7951C2B44AE3

Also the punctuation marks and numerals:
IMG_1497
fullsizeoutput_728

More information will be coming–watch this space!

 

Margaret

Rílin language: expression of sorrow and sympathy

Well, it’s been a while! I do want to get back in to posting things here, despite my busy workload. Maybe it’s even better for me to do so because of that workload.

Anyway.

In light the recent catastrophe in Paris, I have been thinking about how the Ríli form expressions of sorrow, sympathy, condolences, etc. Languages often have formalized/idiomized or set phrases for these kinds of expressions, so I thought it was important that Rílin did as well. Rílin culture emphasizes harmony, support, respect, and sensitivity to others’ emotions, so I wanted to make their phrases of sorrow and sympathy reflect some of those values too. All of the words and grammar used herein are extant parts of the Rílin language–I am configuring them in ways that seem appropriate.

Note: the variations on the way of saying ‘you’/’your’ are due to traditional Rílin’s (and Lunauli Rílin) way of distinguishing three levels of formality/familiarity for pronouns and persons (lí at the most familiar and zana at the most formal for ‘you sg.’).

Lilaíkim – ‘I am grieving/mourning/crying’ (this word lilaí also means to weep copiously)
lilaí-k-im
/lɪˈlaikɪm/
grieve-pres.prog-1sg

Lilaíkim líu/xyu/zanau – ‘I grieve with thee’
lilaí-k-im lí-u/xy-u/zana-u
/lɪˈlaikɪm ˈliu (ˈxyu) (ˈzanau)/
grieve-pres.prog 2sg-instr

R̂yla límu/xymu/zanamu imi – Lit., ‘I am in/with thy sorrow’
r̂y-la lí-mu/xy-mu zana-mu imi
/ˈʂyla limu (ˈxymu) (ˈzanamu)/
sorrow-instr 2sg-poss

Hestia(tíí)/(tyy)/(taa)ky – Lit. ‘may you recuperate/rest’
hestia-t-íí/t-yy/t-aa-ky
/hɛstɪaˈtiiky (hɛstɪatyyky)(hɛstɪataaky)/
rest-npst-2sg.fut-irr

Bítapky Démas/Ifinŝas líet/xyet/zanat – ‘May Déma/Ifinŝe embrace/aid thee’ (depending on which goddess you would like to reference)
bí-t-ap-ky Déma-s/Ifinŝe-as lí-et/xy-et/zana-et
/biˈtapky ˈdemas(ɪfɪnʃas) ˈliɛt (ˈxyɛt)(ˈzanat)/
embrace/aid-npst-3sg-irr Déma-erg/Ifinŝe-erg 2sg-abs

Rílin script

So you’ve all probably seen at least some of my numerous poems written in Rílin, along with their accompanying script. I wanted to explain how the alphabet for Rílin works.

It is pretty simple conceptually. Rílin traditionally uses a phonetic alphabet, where each letter corresponds to a phoneme (distinguished sound) in the language. Rílin has a large phonemic inventory (29 consonants and 13 vowels), so there are as many letters in the alphabet.

In the below image, you can see the IPA symbol for each Rílin phoneme, followed by (in brackets) the Romanized representation (sometimes there are variants available for those times when it is not convenient or possible to use diacritic marks)

rilinletters
Consonants
vowels
Vowels

 

Ori poem

A poem in Ori. I use poetry to expand on my lexicon and grammar, as well as invent new ways of doing metaphor.

~

Clidolyal

Catyin-gae nalistityin tyae

Calin natin nalepa can iyutu cyan

Yullacu tyuhacu

Bane cohace

Nye nalemasye

 

Catyin eltrutyin tyae

Na lyen-tatyin tyo

Ilu cyalace

Na syutace

Milis cuheo bumi

Na misuhile lunin cyon-lastilen

Bine

Nyilleya hatanulya.

 

 

A false vow

But you knew my reasons

You never saw me how you should

Every year

We would slip further

From the truth.

 

You know my ways

And I know yours

We come together again

And split apart

A tree cloven in two

And from the sap running from our wounds

Perhaps

A new story.

Conlang: Ori (prepositions!)

More developements in Ori grammar…

 

Prepositions

 Although Ori uses cases to show location in many situations (typically by use of the dative, locative, or instrumental cases), it also uses prepositions to further indicate more specific location or relationships.

bulu ‘through’

menya ‘across’

nye ‘out of, from, away from’

nela ‘amongst, midst’

amo ‘around, surrounding’

ebel ‘for the sake of’

dranme ‘thanks to’

he ‘by, next to, near, with, close to’

pa ‘beneath, under(neath)’

pel ‘during’

casya ‘without’

nimi ‘inside (of), in’

 

These prepositions maybe used with nouns in various cases: it depends on the preposition.

Prepositions with the locative case:

bulu ti-mulyurati ‘through the forest’

menya embete ‘across a river’

nelanyendac ‘amongst friends’

amo oltacya ‘around a tomb’

pa bestiti ‘under ground’

 

Prepositions with the genitive case:

nye ti-tyagalpan ‘away from the storm’

pel plenyullasye ‘during the autumn’

 

 

Prepositions with the dative case:

ebel calya nimalya ‘for the sake of my mother’

dranme tate tyollate ‘thanks to your younger brother’

 

Some prepositions may be used with different cases, which give different shades of meaning.

nimi ti-mulyurati ‘inside the forest’ (used with locative): implies deep within the forest, perhaps out of sight

nimi ti-mulyurato ‘into the forest’ (used with accusative): implies movement to and through the forest

Poem for a narēd

In Tosi legend, narēdi (singular narēd /’nare:d/) are fire spirits that seduce zuna (the species that Tosi are) into throwing themselves into lava flows and burning. This is a poem about a narēd. Her name is Sapof (which comes from the Tosi words for “never extinguished”).

~

the narēd

her bleeding eyes alight

with fires from ancient earth

weaving around the stones

from within a blistering cavern

hotter than the blinded stretches of the deserts

she claims those who gaze on her fiery glory

a death worthy of a queen

how sublime

to burn away

in the eyes of the narēd.

~

Mintaka

Ori needed more declensions?

I decided Ori needs more nouns declensions. 😛

So here are two new celestial class declensions.

2nd declension (celestial)

These nouns often end in -n or -m.

Btw, the -∅ symbol in linguistics means ‘null’ or ‘nothing’. So that means the nom. sg. forms don’t add a suffix.

image

Using Calcurassen’s name as an example (in the singular, of course–there is only one of the God of Justice):

Calcurassen ryintat trulali ‘Calcurassen drinks wine’

Ti-clespes Calcurasseni astere lya. ‘Calcurassen’s jewel is bright’

Murlinis Calcurassene iyuru ‘A raven sees Calcurassen’

Hensapya Calcurassena maroi cyan ‘I gave praise to Calcurassen’

Calcurassenul minim cyan nalemapya peli. ‘By means of Calcurassen, I was able to find justice’

Hestinyal Calcurassenul lya. ‘Hope lies with Calcurassen’

Oa, Calcurassene! Maropye tyeli abarig! ‘Oh, Calcurassen! Give us blessings.’

~

The next declension is also for celestial nouns–most of these ending in vowels.

3rd celestial declension

image

Examples:

Ti-hembe lilya rya. ‘The body of fresh water is small’ (Note that ‘small’ still agrees with embe–it just uses a different celestial (nom sg. suffix, the one from the very first celestial declension I introduced, which is -ya rather than -∅.)

Culleryal caben bellu. ‘The expanse of the world is wide’

Gilupye yalutyin tatyin ti-trahellet ‘Turn your eyes to the meteor shower’

Ok, you get the idea. 🙂

~

Mintaka

Ori derivational morphology

So this is obviously a work in progress, BUT here are some new Ori derivational morphemes! Yay! I like them.

Derivational Morphemes

-u

This morpheme comes from the word hu‘one’, and it often added to adjectives to create a noun.

 

lil ‘small’ –> lilu ‘small one’

truma ‘red’ –> trumu ‘red one’

 

It can also be used with other nouns, however:

 

cleppa ‘poison’ –> cleppu ‘poisoned one’

 

-ya

 

-ya is a gerund marker; it nominalizes a verb (transitive or intransitive):

 

ta ‘speak’ –> taya ‘speaking’

aste ‘reckon’ –> asteya ‘mathematics’

pra ‘listen’ –> praya ‘listening; educational lecture’

lyeppe ‘enjoy’ –> lyeppeya ‘enjoyment’

clasin ‘become flat’ –> clasinya ‘flattening; (of a person) becoming boring’

 

 

-uya

 

-uya is a suffix that indicates ‘beginning of V/N’, meaning it can attach to either a verb or a noun.

 

Note that if there is a vowel at the end of the bound morpheme, that first vowel is deleted before -uya.

 

lyannis ‘make a pilgrimage’ –> lyannisuya ‘beginning of a pilgrimage’

ta ‘speak’ –> tuya ‘beginning of a speech’

syala ‘rule, reign’ –> syaluya ‘beginning of the reign of a king’

becul ‘cave’ –> beculuya ‘antechamber of a cave’

besti ‘earth, ground’ –> bestuya ‘top layer of soil’

cul ‘moon’ –> culuya ‘new moon’

Sometimes the meaning of this suffix implies smallness due to something being “only the beginning of [and no more]” V/N:

 

lar ‘laugh’ –> laruya ‘a short laugh, a clipped laugh’

lubela ‘secret’ –> lubeluya ‘just a little secret’

 

-on

 

-on is an augmentative suffix that applies to nouns.

 

lyuha ‘dog’ –> lyuhon ‘large dog’

ori ‘man’ –> orion ‘big man’

mil ‘tree’ –> milon ‘large tree’

 

-li

 

-li is the opposite of -on, a diminutive suffix for nouns.

 

lyuha ‘dog’ –> lyuhali ‘puppy’

bistraya ‘flower’ –> bistrayali ‘bud, small blossom’

coru ‘rock’ –> coruli ‘pebble’

bu ‘house’ –> buli ‘room inside a house, chamber’

hesta ‘mountain’ –> hestali ‘hill’

 

e

-e is a common ending for adjectives (e.g. nale ‘true’, clippe ‘rotten’, balnye ‘great’). It can also function as a derivative morpheme for adjectivization from nouns.

 

Usually, if there is a final vowel on the base noun, it is replaced by -e.

 

hustu ‘belief, trust’ –> huste ‘trusting’

cleppa ‘poison’ –> cleppe ‘poisonous’

galacil ‘smoke’ –> galacile ‘smoky’

lubela ‘secret’ –> lubele ‘secret (adj.)’

roru ‘darkness’ –> rore ‘dark’

 

cli-/clip-

This is a pejorative prefix that usually affixes to nouns. It comes from the adjective clippe‘rotten, sour’. The cli- form precedes consonant-initial words, whereas the clip- form is used with vowel-initial words.

 

prasta ‘mind, thoughts; behavior, actions’ –> cliprasta ‘betrayal; treason’

olta ‘tomb’ –> clipolta ‘a badly made or ritualistically wrong or unclean burial’

gerum ‘death’ –> cligerum ‘a dishonorable death’

ha-

 

This prefix can be used as either an augmentative or an ameliorative (“good N”) prefix.

 

pyelli ‘pain’ –> hapyelli ‘great pain’

selis ‘teacher’ –> haselis ‘a good teacher’

lyuha ‘dog’ –> halyuha ‘a particularly loyal dog’

bela ‘word’ –> habela ‘eloquence’

belta ‘wind’ –> habelta ‘a sudden warm wind in the winter’

 

Mintaka2

Working on the pantheon of Orikrindia. This is part 1, the first three members.

~

Orikrindian pantheon

Apyolus– Father God – God of Fire, Lava, Volcanoes, War, Season of Summer, the Sun (Worshipped as Force of Creation, as a Progenitor of all life, a driving mechanism of all living things)

Epithets: Ti-Hasterya Apyasye (The Light of Fire), Ti-Lyaya Iyutreseya (The All-seeing Sun), Yalus (Eye), Tetuya Huseya (First Father), Ti-Hupuse (The Knowing), Yoris (Watcher)

Apyolus is worshipped as a creator of life, a driver of existence. Without Apyolus it is believed all things would be as dead and empty husks, existing the likeness of life but without the crucial spark of consciousness.

The priesthood is Apyolus is all-male and open to those who have fathered at least one child. Their temples tend in be in cities, at the feet of volcanoes, and in the southern most reaches of Orikrindia. In the summer is the Festival of Fire, wherein people make material sacrifices to the fire in hopes of gaining such boons as: fertility/children, health good crops, warmer weather in winter, renewed physical and mental vigor.

Hestaya: Mother Goddess – Goddess of the Mountains, Air, Wind, Cold Weather, Snow, Ice (Worshipped as a stable force in the world, a protector, defender) –

Epithets include: Ti-Nimaya (the Mother), Ti-Nimaya Balnyeya (the Great Mother), Nimaya Coruni (Mother of Stone), Corus Cacalsas (Undying Stone), Crestenya Astersye (Kindler of Light [e.g. lightning via storms])

Prayer to Hestaya:

‘The solidness of the mountain

of stone

of ice

the movement of wind

the forbidding power of storms

the threat of winter

the protective blanket of snow covering the earth,

this our Mother

the Mighty

and the True

the One Who Covers,

The Kindler of Light

The Mother of Stone,

Undying and Eternal

Her light will find you

In the dark

Her stones surround you

Where no enemy can pierce’

Moltirin– Goddess of the Forest:also matron goddess of mysteries, vengeance, the past, memory, rebirth/reawakening, justice, lost things, women who have died in childbirth, dead children, men who have died in battle, storms, and those who have been wronged.

Associated with: birds of prey (especially ravens and vultures and other carrion creatures), wolves, snakes, spiders, vines/plants/trees, the color green/black/grey

Epithets: Ti-Roruya (The Dark), Cyentas Nastas (Wise Aunt), Emas Tin-Mulyurana (Woman of the Forests), Cyeltenalenya (Revenger), Murlinis (Raven)

Moltirin is equally feared and loved. She is the sister of Hestaya, who is married to Apyolus.

She inhabits all forests and is a very mysterious figure, rarely responding to the entreaties of humankind. When she does, though, it is with ferocity and sincerity. Moltirin may take the form of a young or very old woman. Prayers to Moltirin are given by those who have been wronged, those who are lost, who are pariahs, those whose honor has been destroyed (either by themselves or others). She is a protector of women and children, occasionally protecting them via deception or violence. She keeps the souls of those who die within her woods, as well as the souls of the drowned. These spirits are said to wander the places where they died, as it is there that they are with Moltirin.

Devotees to Moltirin often live in forests as hermits or wise women. They, like their goddess, are both feared and respected. Many work as apothecaries as well, specializing in both healing substances and poisons. In Orikrindia, one might visit a Woman of the Woods (as they’re typically called) to procure a less-than-legal concoction for whatever need.

Elucuna in Quarios (pt 3)

Continuation of Elucuna’s first days in Quarios. She and Glohitan meet a strange woman along the road outside of Naeglitan.

We took two amsas (1) to the edge of the city. My meager belongings were strapped onto the young female that was given to me. Glohitan called her Isma. I was unused to riding since it was not an activity considered womanly in Orikrindia, but I managed well enough given my inexperience. The mount was, thankfully, very calm and patient. Glohitan’s walking stick was tied to his back, wrapped in a saffron-colored scarf, and he rode just ahead of me as we made our way down a dark road near the outskirts of Naeglitan.

Continue reading “Elucuna in Quarios (pt 3)”