My biggest is Ŋyjichɯn, usually referred to as Nyji because I'm lazy. It's on hold right now while I work on two extinct languages it borrowed heavily from. The first is Tsɑkø, which at the moment I consider a completed naming language. It has only very basic grammar and 250 words.
Tsɑkø has vowel harmony and some nice phonotactics (imo). I know there's some (or were?) easter eggs in some of the words, but I don't remember which. Here's some related words:
(art) rekkor - (artist) ʦomerekkor
(clay) βottɑæd - (ceramic) mørmøkottɑæd - (potter) ætekottɑæd
(fabric) tɯtj - (weave) ʦɯitil - (weaver) ʣɯmetɯtje
The other one that influenced Nyji is Maanxmuʃt (aka Maanxmusht when I don't feel like copying & pasting). It's Germanic-ish and extinct, but related to Ylialis and Lepadi. Ylialis is the equivalent of English on Thundera. Lepadi is going to experiment with gender when I get around to redoing it. Maanxmuʃt has complex consonant clusters and phonotactics, two genders, 6 cases, and strong and weak nouns. It's my current project and, I think, at the moment all the nouns on the page for it are wrong.
I'm mostly writing the site like a Ylialis-speaking researcher is writing it, which means using Ylialis words for all the language names & related words. So despite having very little for the language itself, I have some affixes. It also has some phoneme choices that make transliteration fun (I'm assuming a lot of sound changes over the centuries)
language / speech infix = -ali-. Examples: Ylialis, Mankmusalide (Maanxmusht), Nyjejualin ( Ŋyjichɯn)
inhabitant / citizen infix = -k-, plural -kus-. Examples: Lunderkusa (Thunderians), Yklis (citizen of Ylis federation countries), Yliaklis (inhabitant of a Ylialis speaking country), Dyndakuslae
speaker of a language = -kuli-, plural -kusli-Example: Yliakulis
genitive ending= -aokwi Examples: Ylialisaokwi, Nyjejualinaokwi
For realism, some of the language names in Ylialis don't match the native names, even accounting for transliteration. Balis = Ie, Aronmalim = Tsɑkø.
The other languages that have actually been started are Ie (a tonal isolating language) and Tynthna (it does fun things with syllable structure requirements).
Nyji and Tynthna also have writing systems. I've started the page for Nyji, but need to scan stuff for it and Tynthna.
I can actually translate sentences into Nyji as long as they don't need too many new words and I have a few examples on the Nyji lexicon tiddlywiki, tagged 'translation'
The other languages I have listed but need to redo:
Tusir - going to use triconsonantal roots. I'm probably going to change the name.
Okelen - the original plan was it had a logographic writing system, but I don't know if I'll stick with that. Okalen are explorers, botanists, and conservationists culturally, so a ton of plant and scientific words are borrowed from it into other languages.
The orthography pretty much matches IPA, unless I'm feeling lazy, in which case θ = th, ʃ = sh, ɦ = h, and ʀ = R.
basic vowels = i e a u o
long vowels = ii ee aa uu oo
diphthongs = uo ie iu ei ou
p t d k
v θ ʃ x ɦ
l j w
Stress is on the first syllable of the root. Long vowels are rare in unstressed syllables.
Syllables take the form of (C)(C)(C)VC(C)(C)
/ɦ/ and /ʀ/ only appear outside of consonant clusters
/r/ and /ʀ/ can't follow diphthongs
/m/ can't follow long vowels or diphthongs
After a vowel, /ɦ/ changes to /k/
After a nasal, /x/ changes to /d/
The syllable onset can be any of the following:
a cluster made up of /ʃ/ + (any unvoiced nasal, stop, or fricative) + (/r/ or /l/)
a stop or fricative + /r/ or /l/, but not /dl/ or /vl/
The syllable coda can be any of the following:
any unvoiced consonants, rhotic, nasals, or /l/
/r/ or /l/ + /x/
/x/ +/ʃ/ or /t/
/n m r/ or /l/ + stops, sibilants, or /θ/
Nouns are inflected for gender, number, and case. The two genders are animate and inanimate. Animate nouns and pronouns, are somewhat divided into masculine and feminine. The cases are nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, and instrumental. Nouns come in two forms: weak which are altered by suffixes only, and strong which also change through vowel gradation.
Feminine animate and masculine animate nouns inflect in the same ways. Feminine nouns end in /m n ʃ θ/ and masculine nouns end in /p t d k/ (not clusters). Generally the nouns reflect the natural gender, but words that ending with the aforementioned consonants are also treated as masculine or feminine. Words with multiple natural genders will be either weak or strong in all forms.
Weak nouns fall into the following categories:
- ending in a short vowel or diphthong, as long as it doesn't contain a long vowel in the first syllable
- ends in non-clustered /l x m n θ ʃ/ or the preceding followed by a short vowel. The short vowel will be dropped in most cases. The last consonant will change in some of the cases.
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative _ _ _ _ dox Accusative je _ _ rt je _ _ dort Genitive ɦi _ _ k ɦi _ _ dok Dative ʀo _ _ wiʀ ʀo _ _ doʀ Ablative wi _ _ tirt wi _ _ tur Instrumental xaʃ _ _ (e)m xaʃ _ _ dumx
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative ne nedox Accusative jenert jenedort Genitive ɦinek ɦinedok Dative ʀonewiʀ ʀonedoʀ Ablative winetirt winetur Instrumental xaʃnem xaʃnedumx
Example 2. domkda = cord
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative domkda domkdadox Accusative jedomkdart jedomkdadort Genitive ɦidomkdak ɦidomkdadok Dative ʀodomkdawiʀ ʀodomkdadoʀ Ablative widomkdatirt widomkdatur Instrumental xaʃdomkdam xaʃdomkdadumx
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative jaʀi jaʀdox Accusative jejaʀart jejaʀdort Genitive ɦijaʀak ɦijaʀdok Dative ʀojaʀwiʀ ʀojaʀdoʀ Ablative wijaʀtirt wijaʀtur Instrumental xaʃjaʀem xaʃjaʀdumx
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative ʃklaxtte ʃklaxttadox Accusative jeʃklaxttart jeʃklaxttadort Genitive ɦiʃklaxttak ɦiʃklaxttadok Dative ʀoʃklaxttawiʀ ʀoʃklaxttadoʀ Ablative wiʃklaxttatirt wiʃklaxttatur Instrumental xaʃklaxttem xaʃklaxttadumx
I'm also not sure what I wrote makes sense to anyone but me.
The language of the capital, where the Cats' Lair is located, is Ylialis. Most Thunderians can speak Ylialis conversationally, at a minimum. Ylialis is used for international standards, trade, administration, and politics. However, because of their long exploration and biological preservation, much scientific literature is in Okelealin.
A great deal of language history (along with other history) is stored in the Book of Omens, so firm knowledge goes back further than those worlds without mystical recordings. However, the Book of Omens' records are dependent on the knowledge of the Thundercats ranks, so are not comprehensive.
All Thunderian languages are descendants of 22 language super-families, but the most widely spoken languages come from only 6. The largest language super-family is Luonic. Family names are traditionally given in Ravar.
Typology by distribution
vso: 40.8%. Includes: Balis and Lio
svo: 23.9%. Includes: Lepalidy and Dynalija
sov: 14.1%. Includes: Nyjejualin and Ylialis
osv: 11.3%. Includes: Chala and Ykkl
vos: 7%. Includes: Okelealin and Seva
ovs: 2.8%. Includes: Apthi and Nyn
Here are some weak inanimate nouns
xrik = price
Code: Select all
Nominative xrik xrikdoʃ Accusative melxrikulk melxriklird Genitive omdrikik omdrikdimk Dative ɦuoxrikpom ɦuoxrikmout Ablative lixrikdeip lixrikvart Instrumental ʃerxrikilθ ʃerxrikʃolt
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative meike meikdoʃ Accusative melmeikulk melmeiklird Genitive ommeik ommeikdimk Dative ɦuomeikpom ɦuomeikmout Ablative limeikdeip limeikvart Instrumental ʃermeikilθ ʃermeikʃolt
Code: Select all
singular plural Nominative diux diudoʃ Accusative meldiulk meldiulird Genitive omdiuk omdiuxdimk Dative ɦuodiupom ɦuodiuxmout Ablative lidiudeip lidiuxvart Instrumental ʃerdiulθ ʃerdiuʃolt
Nyjejualin or the native word, Ŋyjichɯn, uses an alphabetic writing system with two forms, a formal one and an informal one. The formal writing is somewhat featural, with sounds with the same manner of articulation having similar letters, based symbolically on the position of the tongue and teeth. Vowels are all arrows, with the rounded vowels marked.
Traditionally, records are written on the bark of the Sai tree, which is strong and flexible but with a distinct grain. The bark dries as a flexible but dark surface and ink is traditionally yellow or cream ('ŋafnɯŋ' on 'lyasim'). Informal writings were done on the leaves of the Sai tree, which dry lighter, usually in red ink ('kiɯk' on 'lyasim').
Formal use includes announcements, newspapers, records, legal documents, scripture, and most books (aside from those meant for learning readers, which may use a hybrid system), while informal use includes letters, albums, journals, many textbooks, popular music albums, and notes.
The choice of material influenced the writing's angular nature, as it had to be clear despite the skips caused by the bark's grain.
In the formal script, plurals and paucals are marked instead of having the spelling reflect the pronunciation. The noun case markers and verb agreement markers are abbreviated to a single consonant, which are placed in the inflection slot of the syllable they're attached to. In irregular and single syllable verbs this means that, despite being said first, they're written last.
Informal script has special letters for long vowels, while the formal style doubles the letters.
Nyjejualin is writing from left to write, from up to down. Words are written in blocks of syllables.
In hand-written or hand-lettered manuscripts, and more elaborately created digital documents, letters will fit together and extend into adjacent boxes, even flipping consonants upside-down, so each syllable and word is an elegant unit.
The oldest records were inscribed into wood or stone, or engraved into the sai bark, and then usually highlighted with contrasting ink. This resulted in thin letters with little variation. Later scribes switched to a very stiff brush or reed pen, which allowed for more rapid writing as well as the correction of mistakes, if one was quick to sponge away the ink before it dried. For informal writing, on the sai leaves, a softer brush was used. These styles were known as 'South hand'.
However, Western scribes were already artists with a tradition of decorating using wide nibs to create subtly curved geometric designs on pottery and woven wall hangings. They adapted this traditon to the new writing method, in what is called shadow hand', named for the changing thicknesses similar to how a shadow changes through the day. They preferred bright white, yellow, or orange ink (colors called 'jasa').
Northern writers created a new version of the informal style - 'thorn hand' - using a soft brush on parchment and ending strokes with sharp upward or rightward serifs. They often dyed the parchment 'jio' colors - rich browns, blues, purples, and greens - then used pale or metallic inks ('ŋafnɯŋ' or 'lyasim'). North hand is also typically written more narrowly. For the formal writing, they preferred the old method of inscribing sai bark and highlighting with white or metallic ink.
Later writers created a variety of script or cursive versions, of varying levels of legibility. Many of these were derided for being 'flighty', 'irreverent,' and 'disrepectful of the venerable art of writing'.
Technology standardized much. Nyjejualinaokwi typewriters and early computers used clever mechanisms: there was a two-phase 'shift' key to bump the paper up for each block. Words were either written phonetically, despite using the formal letters, (a system still used with books for learning readers) or had the inflection symbols underneath. Line-spacing was large enough to accomodate either method. Paper, imported from the South or made by border clans, was significantly longer than that used in Ylialisaokwi documents, and often still is.
Some of the more advanced machines, as modeled in this document, had a 'half-space' key to bump blocks over to keep together syllables with inflection symbols, long vowels, or diphthongs. There exist rare typewriters designed for personal correspondence that use the informal letters.