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|Primary word order|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
- 1 History
- 2 Background
- 3 Phonology
- 4 Grammar and Syntax
- 4.1 Syntax
- 4.2 Verbs
- 4.3 Nouns
- 4.4 Derivation
Aethêllan is one of my main conlangs and was created out of joy, as a linguistic experiment, and also to be the main classical language for my series of Fantasy novels. Aethêllan is spoken by the dominant species of Anmarla who are known as the Galern. The language has approximately 15 million speakers. At the time of my main novel series, the language and its native speakers are extinct, however Aethêllan is used as the language of academics, state and religious ceremonies, and record/document keeping. Only the upper class can read and speak it and even then only a minority. The seven languages of the nine different Kingdoms during this time are all descended from Aethêllan. Aethêllan is in turn descended from Vamynouynem.
This is a work of love and I ask any readers that, outside of any accidental grammatical mistakes, they do not make any edits, however minor, without my permission and that this work is protected by copyright. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
Aethêllan is an SVO fusional-agglutinative language. The majority of information is placed on the nouns and verbs, and though it is an SVO language technically speaking it does allow for free word order.
|θ (th)||ð (dh)||s (s)
|x (h)||h (h)|
|Nasals||m (m)||n (n)
|Glides||Approxim.||ʍ (hw)||w (w)||ɹ (r)||j (y)|
|Lateral Appr.||l (l)||ɭ (l)|
- Both Approximants and Lateral Approximants are de-voiced before nasals.
- /l/ becomes /ɭ/ after vowels.
- /ɹ/ becomes /r/ before plosives.
- /h/ becomes /x/ at the end of a word.
|Close||i (i)||i: (î)||u (u)|
|Mid||e̞ (ê)||o̞ (ô)|
|Open-mid||ɛ (e)||ɔ (ó)|
|Open||a: (â)||ɑ (a)||ɒ (o)|
Grammar and Syntax
Independent Clauses are SVO, whilst Dependent and Relative Clauses are SOV.
Aethêllan differs from languages such as English in that every vowel is pronounced fully and with clear distinction. The language does however place stress on the last syllable of a word, however this is not as important as stress is considered to be in English and other similar languages. Any long vowels; those with diacritics or diphthongs, are stressed as well as the last syllable.
- E.g donsênanwê where the stress is on both sên and wê.
In Aethêllan there are two classes of verbs and these two classes each have two forms. Each verb also has five principle parts. There are some irregular verbs, however, they will not be included in this section. There are Strong Verbs and Weak Verbs. Unlike nouns, the two verbs are not differentiated by their phonology nor by their meaning; rather one must learn the principle parts in order to know to which class the verb belongs. Most verbs do have a rather obvious phonological pattern however reliance on phonological similarities will not be enough to properly learn all verbs and their corresponding forms correctly. As stated above, all irregular verbs will be, for the ease of formatting, displayed in more convenient section.
The five principal parts are the present active infinitive, the present imperfective, the past aorist (i.e. simple past), the present perfect and the supine displayed in that order.
NB Which class and form each verb takes is dependent on the verb stem, which is not heard in speech, thus the principal parts make it clear to speakers whether the verb is a strong one or not and to which paradigm the verb belongs.
Aspect & Tense
- These include verbs whose stems end in a plosive or a vowel. See the two examples below.
Strong Verb Class I
- Aed - Aedar - Aedáth - Aedlen - Aedarh - To Rule
Strong Verb Class II
- Edhe - Edhel - Edhey- Edhlar - Edheh - To Wield
These include verbs whose stem ends in a fricative and any other possible consonant.
Weak Verbs 1st Class
- Vall - Vallak - Vallakir - Vallaken - Vallakum - To Betray
Weak Verbs 2nd Class
- Hluf - Hlufan - Hlufte - Hlufrem - Hluftelen - To Jump
Verb Number Marking
The following are suffixes. These come after the fusional case/aspect marker.
Patient & Experiencer
Indirect Object, Direction to
e.g. Men of Rome
Pertaining to a Group/Thing
Lack of Noun
Case and Class Paradigms
In Aethêllan over time Case and Class/Gender have merged into one suffix. When Nouns take their Case and Class marker they now have a far more fusional method unlike its ancestor language Vamynouynem.
Strong Nouns are those which end in either a vowel, an approximant, or lateral approximant. Weak nouns are the remainder.
|Class I The Human Class|
|Class II The Non-Human Class|
|Class III The Flora Class|
|Class IV The Abstract Class|
|Class V The Mass & Inanimate Class|
Notes on Cases
- Theyn is an irregular verb, hence the short diphthong becoming a long vowel. This happens for all weak nouns with short diphthongs in Class I.
- Gâl translates roughly to Man though can also be used for both sexes.
- Theyn is often used for Woman though its literal meaning is One who gives birth.
- Kallâr translates to Sea-Bird. This is an irregular verb.
- Mârith translates to Snake. This is also an irregular verb.
- Tiwâr is a very tall, hard tree similar in appearance to that of our Oak.
- Fwin is a little vine that lives on larger trees and has tiny white flowers.
- Ennedîn translates to Elegance
- Nethwÿn translates to Intelligence.
- Eyelgar translates to Fire
- Dollgan translates to Mountain
- In Class V the Strong class are the Mass nouns and the Weak are the Inanimate Nouns. (Almost)Any noun can take Mass Noun (Strong) CLass V inflections and be used as a Collective Noun, however, the original Mass Nouns cannot take any other inflections or be used in any other paradigms.
Definite vs. Indefinite
The Definite marker for nouns is the allomorphic prefix (v)(i)-.
|The Man||A Man|
|The Elegance of Man||Elegance|
- NB Galîs is the collective noun for man, meaning something akin to Mankind/Humankind.
|Erg.||Va (I)||Be (We)||Me (We)|
|Abs.||Nen (Me)||Gen (Us)||Dae (Us)|
|Poss.||Neth (My/Mine)||Geth (Ours)||Yel (Ours)|
|Dat.||Hel (to Me)||ân (to Us)||Hwer (to Us)|
|Inst||Var (by Me)||Dôr (by Us)||Sâl (by Us)|
|Singular (Exclusive)||Plural (Inclusive)||Singular|
|Erg.||Lâ (Thou)||Eoâ (Thou)||Ete (It)|
|Abs.||Lîn (Thee)||Eoŷe (Thee)||Ete (It)|
|Poss.||Flan (Thy)||Eoin (Thine)||Ets (Its)|
|Dat.||Olf (to Thee)||Eois (to Thee)||Ses (to It)|
|Inst.||Fen (by Thou)||Eoân (by Thou)||Etsan (by It)|
|Third Person Singular|
|Living & Non-Gendered||Non-Living & Neutral|
|Erg.||De (He/She)||Agan (It)|
|Abs.||Ene (Him/Her)||Ani (It)|
|Poss.||Ures (His/Hers)||Gâna (Its)|
|Dat.||Del (to Him/Her)||Dor (to It)|
|Inst.||Ten (by Him/Her)||Than (by It)|
|Third Person Plural|
|Living & Non-Gendered||Non-Living & Neutral|
|Erg.||Mer (They)||Oro (Its)|
|Abs.||Nir (Them)||Non (Its)|
|Poss.||Hal (Theirs)||Moh (Its)|
|Dat.||Emlen (to Them)||Thân (To Its)|
|Inst.||Morth (by Them)||Orum (by Its)|
The following are a mix of prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes are marked, and the remaining are suffixes.
|Derivation Pattern||Affix & Example|
|Adjective --> Adverb (prefix)||an|
Quick > Quickly
|Adjective --> Noun (prefix)||agar|
Happy > Happiness
|Noun --> Verb||bel|
Glory > Glorify
|Noun --> Adjective||faltar|
Recreation > Recreational
|Adjectives --> Transitive Verbs||lis|
Rich > Enrich
|Nouns --> Transitive Verbs||fal|
Rapture > Enrapture
|Transitive Verbs --> Intransitive Verbs (Antipassive Voice)
Agent/Experience and Patient/Focus swap places
E.g.to hit > to be hit by
to like > to be pleasing to
|Intransitive Verbs --> Transitive Verbs
Increase transitivity, turn impersonal verb into agent-intransitive,
Intransitive verb into transitive, transitive into ditransitive
to rain > to water (plants, etc.)
to have > to give
|Inchoative/Inceptive Verb||See Inceptive Aspect|
|Opposite (Quality) (prefix)||rao|
Happy > sad, clear > vague
|opposite (reverse action)(prefix)
Agent and patient remain the same, action of the verb changes
Earn <==> spend, borrow <==> repay
Go somewhere in order to do VERB
to buy > to go shopping
Person who is doing VERB at the current moment
(Also inflects for tense)
Run > runner
|Person who does verb habitually||moth|
Write > writer
|Place where VERB is typically done||gen|
to cook > kitchen, to sleep > bedroom
|Place with lots of NOUN||othin|
Book > library, tree > forest
|Tool or substance used for doing VERB||arta|
to write > writing implement, to wash > soap
|ADJ = made of NOUN (prefix)||val|
Gold > golden, wood > wooden
|ADJ = having lot of/ some of NOUN (prefix)||var|
Money > rich, trash > messy
|ADJ = lacking/sparsity of NOUN (prefix)||ave|
Tooth > toothless, money > poor
House > mansion, cat > lion
Man > scoundrel, child > brat
|ADJ = tending to often do VERB/be ADJ (prefix)||gir|
think > thoughtful, forget > forgetful
|VERB = to use NOUN in a typical way||kâl|
Lips > kiss, Hammer > to hammer