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[personal profile] capriox posting in [community profile] noviceconlangers
H'okay! I'm not going to invent languages out of whole cloth for my novel "The Elemental Magician" and I don't plan on using a lot of untranslated dialogue or terminology in the novel, but every foriegn culture does have a few lanaguage artifacts worth noting.


In EM, the largest culture block is Malak, roughly translatable as "(The Land of) Kings". (The word 'king' singular would be melk, I think). It's a region with a common cultural background divvied up amongst an assortment of kingdoms and city-states that at various times get subsumed into one empire or another. The lingua franca for this region and much of the borderlands they trade with is Adenish. Adenish comes from Aden, one of the aforementioned kingdoms in Malak that was repeatedly politically dominant through the region's history although currently not so much.

Things I've done with Adenish so far:
1) The vocabulary is very loosely cribbed from semitic languages and really really ancient semitic language-speaking cultures (we're talking the days of Tyre and Sidon)
1b) As a result, the stems of some words are triliteral consonants (mlk: melk, malak) because they are nifty.
2) Some adjective forms are formed with the suffix -oi (Malak, Malakoi; Skata, Skatoi)
3) Some adjective forms the suffix -(i)sh (Aden, Adenish; Brynnmar, Brynnmarsh)
4) I have one city, Rhudelin, where I've been using the adjective form -si (Rhudelin, Rhudelinsi)

I wanted some sort of rule governing those variable adjective forms. I'm thinking that the neutral/bare/archaic adjectival form is something like *-ois, and then it got modified depending on what sound it's following and possibly also syllable number.

Malak: disyllable, -(plosive) = *Malakois ~> -oi
Skata: disyllable, -(vowel) = *Skathois ~> -oi
Aten: disyllable, -(nasal) = *Atenois ~> -ish
Brynnmar: disyllable, -(approximant) = *Brynnmarois ~> -sh
Rhudelin: trisyllable, -(nasal) = *Rhudelinois ~> -si

So the rules I've generated are thus:
-oi is bare form, follows the typical consonants (plosives, fricatives) and replaces final vowels.
-ish is the softened form that follows "vowelish consonants" (nasals, approximants)
-sh is a subtype of the softened form that follows rhotics
-si is a subtype of the softened form that occurs when the stem is three syllables or more.

There's other languages/cultures in EM as well, so if something really doesn't jive, I can figure out if maybe it doesn't belong to a different tongue ;-)
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