Anzurian

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Anzurians are a race of aliens for which I have created a number of things, this language being one of the biggest. This is the first language I've ever created, and it's still not quite done. My goal is to have a language that is as independent of my native English as possible, and that suits the personality of the Anzurian people who speak it. Like many of my other endeavors, I'm also doing this to learn. Language has so much to do with culture, which ties this right in with my Anzurian culture project, and there are so many aspects and possibilities with language. For the first few months, every little thing I did with the newborn language incurred a few hours of research on some specific aspect of linguistics and/or phonology.

So, based on my reason for this project, Anzurian is an artlang being created to make my constructed world more complete. It is made to emulate a natlang, but still be simple enough that it can be effectively learned in the real world. I also wanted it to be very flexible, such that few words could say much. Hence, it is a more synthetic language than English, and its syntax is much looser. However, with this freedom one must realize that every choice one makes creates connotations and implications. Whether you place the affix at the beginning or the end of the word, for example (I'm staying away from infixes for now), and in what order the words are presented. In the end, this means that you can "play one of two games". Either the "I want to say as much with as few words" game, which results in longer words and more implications, or you can play the "I want to get the message across as simply as I can" game, which leads to short, base words and straightforward meanings. This kind of gradient allows for many levels of formality (the more complicated one being the more formal, naturally) as well as making the language both easy and difficult to learn, depending on which game you want to play first.


Phonology and Orthography

Alphabet

Letter S H S' F K X C' T' V D R T
Pronunciation (IPA) S ɦ ʃ f k ks or z ç ð or θ v d ɹ or ɾ t
Letter B C E G J J' L M N P Q W
Pronunciation (IPA) b ɣ ɛ g ɟ ʝ ɬ m n p kw w
Letter Y Z A A' I I' O O' U
Pronunciation (IPA) i z ø ɑ ɵ i ɨ o ɔ u

Phonotactics

Almost every vowel pair in Anzurian can be treated like a diphthong. The only official one is "ai" (pronounced like the English word "eye"), but when you speak the language, vowels flow together the same way a diphthong does. The exception to this would be when the two vowels are the same, in which case there is a brief stop between them. This can be full-out glottal stop, or just a subtle inflection to indicate the presence of two letters as opposed to one. Anzurian is a somewhat synthetic language, using affixes to conjugate verbs and add description to nouns. Whenever the letter of the affix and the letter of the base word that meet are both the same vowel, an "r" is inserted between them. If they are different vowels, the "r" may be inserted, but it is much less common. If these two letters are the same consonant, an "a" is inserted between them. If they are different consonants, the "a" may still be inserted to prevent an awkward-sounding word.

For example, the word for "to have" is "evą", and the affix to conjugate it for he/she/it is "-ąsa". If I were to combine them regularly, the two ą's would meet, which is a bit awkward. So, instead of "evąąsa", one would say "evąrąsa", meaning "he/she/it has".

Here's an example for the consonant version: one word for "to need" is "naaid", and the affix for "they" is "ʝan-". So, one would say "ʝananaaid" for "they need". One could also just say "ʝannaaid" and treat the two n's as one letter. But for other consonants (like k, t, b, etc.) that doesn't work so well.

Different dialects may use different inserted letters, saying "evąnąsa" or "evątąsa".

Grammar

Morphology

Syntax

Anzurian uses the Fluid-S syntax (a subtype of active-stative). And, like in Spanish, the conjugation of a verb can imply the subject, thereby removing the need for stating the subject. When you put these two pieces together, you get a word that tells you who did what and whether or not they were in control of the act. Because of the lack of pronoun, the subject is marked as either the agent or the patient by placing the conjugating affix at either the beginning or the end of the word.

Example: "Ivdama'" is the Anzurian word for "to say", and the conjugating affix for "I" is "vi". So one could say "vidama'" for "I say [purposefully]" or "dama'vi" for "I say [accidentally]" (Note that the "Iv-" from the original word was removed because that affix puts it into the infinitive form)

That being said, the typical order of words in Anzurian is subject-object-verb. But since subject is frequently implied by the verb, it more often looks like object-verb.

Number System

Phrasebook