From Linguifex
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bouncywikilogo.gif This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Atlantean. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Linguifex, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
D copy.pngI copy.pngG copy.png A copy.pngD copy.pngL copy.pngA copy.pngN copy.pngT copy.pngI copy.pngS copy.pngA copy.pngG copy.png
Dig Adlantisag
Pronunciation[diɡ ɑdlɑntisɑɡ]
Created byMarc Okrand
Setting2001 film Atlantis: The Lost Empire and related media
Native speakersnone ({{{date}}})
Sourcesconstructed languages
 A posteriori languages
Language codes
ISO 639-3none

The Atlantean language, (Dig Adlantisag) is a constructed language created by Marc Okrand for the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The language was intended by the script-writers to be a possible "mother language", and Okrand crafted it to include a vast Indo-European word stock with its very own grammar, which is at times described as highly agglutinative, inspired by Sumerian and proto-languages.


The Atlantean language is a historically constructed, artistic language put together by Marc Okrand for Disney's 2001 film Atlantis: The Lost Empire and associated media.[1] The Atlantean language is therefore based both on historic reconstructions as well as on the elaborate fantasy/science fiction of the Atlantis: The Lost Empire mythos. The fictional principles upon which the Atlantean language was created are: Atlantean is the “Tower of Babel language”, the “root dialect” from which all languages descended; it has existed without change since sometime before 100,000 B.C., within the First or Second Age of Atlantis until the present.

To accomplish this, Dr. Okrand looked for common characteristics from various world languages and was also heavily inspired by the Proto-Indo-European language. His main source of words (roots and stems) for the language is Proto-Indo-European,[1] but Okrand combines this with Biblical Hebrew, later Indo-European languages such as Latin and Greek, and a variety of other known or reconstructed ancient languages.[2][3][4]



Atlantean has its own script created expressly for the movie by John Emerson with the help of Marc Okrand, and inspired by ancient alphabetical scripts, most notably Semitic. There are, however, different kinds of transliteration into the w:Roman script.

thumb|The Atlantean script and numerals There is no punctuation or capitalization in the native Atlantean Writing System. Okrand based this on ancient writing systems. The Atlantean Script is normally in w:boustrophedon, that is to say it is written left to right for the first line, right to left the second, and left to right again the third, to continue the pattern. This order was also suggested by Okrand, based on ancient writing systems, and it was accepted because, as he explained, "It's a back-and-forth movement, like water, so that worked."[1][5]

The Atlantean script includes more characters than are actually employed in the language itself. These letters being c, f, j, q, v, x, z, ch, or th, they were created so that Atlantean might be used as a simple cipher code in the media and for promotional purposes. They are all also based on diverse ancient characters, just like the rest of the alphabet.[1]


IPA chart of Atlantean consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Labiovelar
Plosive p   b t   d k   ɡ
Nasal m n
Fricative s ʃ <sh> x <h/kh>
Approximant j <y> w
Trill r
Lateral l

Where symbols occur in pairs, the left represents the w:voiceless consonant and the right represents the w:voiced consonant.


Atlantean's phonetic inventory includes a vowel system with five w:phonemes. Most vowels have two prominent allophonic realizations, depending on whether it occurs in a stressed or unstressed syllable.

IPA chart of Atlantean vowels
Front Central Back
Tense Lax Tense Lax Tense Lax
High i ɪ u ʊ
Mid e ɛ o ɔ
Low a ə

Vowels in stressed syllables tend to be tense, and likewise unstressed ones tend to be more lax. Thus, for example, /i/ is realized as /i/ or /ɪ/ in stressed and unstressed syllables, respectively. Likewise, /e/ is realized as /e/ or /ɛ/, and so on. There are three diphthongs, namely ay, ey, oy.

Aside from the stressed-syllable-based vowel system, the only other example of prominent phonological phenomenon seems to be a special kind of w:sandhi occurring in verbs, when the pronoun is combined with the aspect marker.

When the suffix for the first person singular -ik combines with tenses that employ -i, -o (Past and Future tenses), it becomes -mik.

bernot-o-ik → bernot-o-mik

But when combined with suffixes that feature -e (Present tenses), the same suffix becomes -kik.

bernot-e-ik → bernot-e-kik


Atlantean has a very strict w:subject–object–verb word order, with no deviations from this pattern attested. Adjectives and nouns in the genitive case follow the nouns they modify, adpositions appear only in the form of w:postpositions, and modal verbs follow the verbs that they modify and subsequently take all personal and aspectual suffixes. However, adverbs precede verbs. The language includes the use of an interrogative particle to form questions with no variation in word order.[1]

Some sentences appear to employ some kind of particles sometimes termed "sentence connectors". These particles are of obscure meaning but are theorized to relate two clauses in a logical yet idiomatic manner.[1] The exact meaning and usage of these particles is not known, but without them sentences are difficult to reconcile with their translations.


Wiltem neb gamosetot deg duweren tirid.
city-acc dem part outsider-pl all.
No outsiders may see the city and live. But more literally: "He sees the city particle all outsiders."

In the example above there is no actual mention of the consequences for outsiders, yet the subtitle in the movie translates it as a warning even without any mention of living or dying. A possibility exists that, in order to match the lip movement of the characters in the movie and the time of the dialogue, the language had to be shortened, often leaving out key parts of the sentence. It is known that the Atlantean lines in the movie were w:ad-libbed afterwards.

Another example:, lud.en kwam gesu bog.e.kem deg yasek.en gesu.go.ntoh.
father-voc, person-pl dem-pl neg help part noble-pl
Father, these people may be able to help us. But more literally: "Oh Father, we cannot help these people particle they will help the nobles."[1]

In this example the sentences seem to be better connected, and the particle is rendered as almost "but, yet". It is difficult to reconcile the two, however.


Atlantean has seven cases for nouns, five for pronouns and two for numbers.

Grammatical cases

Grammatical Cases
Name Suffix Example English Gloss
Nominative no suffix yob the crystal (subject).
Accusative -tem yobtem the crystal (object).
Genitive -ag yobag of the crystal
Vocative -top Yobtop O Crystal!
Instrumental -esh yobesh using crystal
Essive -kup yobkup (as, composed of, being) crystal
Dative -nuh yobnuh (for, to, on behalf of) crystal

Other suffixes

Other Noun Suffixes
Grammatical Function Suffix Example English Gloss
Plural -en yoben crystals
Augmentative -mok Yobmok The Great Crystal

Nouns are marked as plural with the suffix -en. Case suffixes never precede the -en plural suffix. "-Mok" occurs after it.


Person/number suffixes
Person Number Familiarity Independent Pronoun Suffix English Gloss
1st Singular kag -ik I
2nd Singular moh -en thou
3rd Singular tug tuh tok -ot he she it
1st Plural gwis -kem we
2nd Plural Unfamiliar gebr -eh you (unfamiliar)
2nd Plural Familiar gabr -eh you (familiar)
3rd Plural sob -toh they

There are five cases for pronouns.

Grammatical cases

Grammatical Cases
Name Suffix Example English Gloss
w:Nominative no suffix kag I
w:Accusative -it kagit me, whom was (sent), etc.
w:Dative -ib kagib (to) me
w:Genitive -in kagin my (my heart, karod kagin)
w:Instrumental -is kagis by my means, with (using) me, via me, etc. Template:R


Verbs are inflected with two suffixes, one for tense/aspect and the next for person/number.[1]

Tense/aspect suffixes

Tense/Aspect suffixes
Name Suffix Example English Gloss Other Examples English Gloss
Simple Present -e bernot.e.kik I bring sapoh.e.kik I view
Present Perfect -le bernot.le.kik I have brought
Present Obligatory -se I am obliged to bring we are obliged to warn
Simple Past -i bernot.i.mik I brought es.i.mot, sapoh.i.mik it was, I viewed
Immediate Past -ib bernot.ib.mik I just brought
Past Perfect -li I had brought
Simple Future -o bernot.o.mik I will bring komtib.o.nen you will find
Future Possible -go bernot.go.mik I may bring gesu.go.ntoh they may help
Future Perfect -lo bernot.lo.mik I will have brought komtib.lo.nen you will have found
Future Obligatory -so I will be obliged to bring you will be obliged to find

Mood and Voice suffixes

Mood suffixes
Name Suffix Example English Gloss
Imperative Mood Singular no suffix bernot!, nageb! bring!, enter!
Imperative Mood Plural -yoh bernot.yoh!, nageb.yoh! (you all) bring!, (you all) enter!
Passive Voice -esh pag.esh.e.nen, bernot.esh.ib.mik you are thanked (thank you), I was just brought
Infinitive -e bernot.e, wegen.e, gamos.e to bring, to travel, to see

Other resources

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Production Notes." Atlantis-The Lost Empire. Ed. Tim Montgomery, 1996–2007. The Unofficial Disney Animation Archive. 13 January 2007. Animationarchive.netTemplate:Dead link
  2. ^ Kalin-Casey, Mary. “Charting Atlantis the crew behind Disney’s latest animated adventure takes you behind the scenes.” Features Interviews. 17 January 2007 Template:Webarchive
  3. ^ Murphy, Tab, Platon, David Reyolds, Gary Trousdale, Joss Whedon, Kirk Wise, Bryce Zabel, and Jackie Zabel. Atlantis the Lost Empire: The Illustrated Script [Abridged Version with Notes from the Filmmakers], 55.
  4. ^ Henn, Peter (June 1, 2001). "Finding Atlantis". w:Film Journal International. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  5. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan. “New movie trek for wordsmith.” USA Today Online. 24 May 2001. 12 Jan. 2007. USA Today