Lihmelinyan 2.0

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Lihmelinyan 2.0

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

Hello all [:)]

This is not a radical re-imagining of my primary conlang. It's an updated, more streamlined presentation of it. When I first presented Lihmelinyan here, I was still in high school; I had not even taken an intro linguistics course. Safe to say I knew a lot for my age, but I know more now and the knowledge and understanding I've accrued since then has influenced the course of this language since I first conceived it. I have made a few minor changes to the language since I first introduced it however.

The goal with Lihmelinyan was to create a partially a priori language that takes its grammar primarily from archaic PIE reconstructions but still maintains an original vocabulary. My main source for the PIE grammar is Andrew Sihler's "New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin", with some help from Don Ringe's "From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic". I also consulted Fortson.

Lihmelinyan takes influence especially from Hittite, as well as Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Latin.

Now, for the in-world stuff (skip to next section if you're not interested!):

Conworld Stuff

Lihmelinyan is spoken in a medieval-esque fantasy kingdom called Manter. Manter is a large island roughly the size of France and is thus in essence a mini-continent. The Mantic languages are spoken across Manter and the family contains at least 7 primary languages and many dialects. Lihmelinyan is a language that originated in the area in and around Manter's capital and largest city, Lihmelinya. Lihmelinyan is a member of the Red Mantian branch of the Mantic language family.

Manter is roughly divided into four realms corresponding to the cardinal directions and their associated colors in Mantian lore: Black Manter (the north), Red Manter (the east), White Manter (the south), and Yellow Manter (the west). Red Manter is the most populous realm as well as Manter's cultural and historical heart. Lihmelinya has been the capital for almost 700 years when the four realms consolidated into a single kingdom. Following this, Lihmelinyan became the prestige language in Manter. It is a lingua franca spoken throughout the kingdom, especially by the educated, the clergy, and the ruling and noble classes. Lihmelinyan is slowly but surely displacing other Mantian languages and dialects. It is analogous to Mandarin's spread throughout China from the capital to the rest of the country.

I envision Manter as being like a medieval California. It has much the same climate, ranging from mountainous, forested, and green land in the north to the Italy-like warm Mediterranean climate in the center and east, and semi-arid in the south. Manter is hilly and mountainous in its center and northern regions, its hills are studded with oaks and chaparral-like scrub-land (if you've ever been to California's central coast, you'll know what I'm describing). Lihmelinya is located inland at the base of a range of hills (or low mountains) and my image of what it looks like is especially influenced by images I've seen of Volubilis in Morocco and I imagine the road to Lihmelinya's palace looking a lot like the palm-lined entrance to Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. [:)]

The Mantian flag consists of four vertical bands of red, white, black, and yellow of equal length. I will add a flag soon.

Basic Language Info

Lihmelinyan, like the archaic PIE languages its based on, is highly inflexive. It has primarily SOV word order, though SVO also occurs. It has no articles. Adjectives tend to follow nouns, though many will precede. It has postpositions rather than prepositions. It is pro-drop. I have borrowed most inflectional endings and some function words (but not all) from PIE. Nominal and verbal lexemes are original creations.


Phonology has never been my primary interest in linguistics, so I won't get bogged down in it, but I'll present it first because my presentation of the phonology before was lacking.

First off, in borrowing grammatical elements from PIE (namely inflectional endings), I have made a few sound changes and I'll show them here:

/o/ --> /a/
/sj/ --> /ʃ/
/bʰ/ --> /b/
/dʰ/ --> /z/
tH (t followed by laryngeal) --> /f/
/sd/ --> /z/

One archaic feature of Lihmelinyan is its preservation of PIE laryngeals.


Lihmelinyan has a four-vowel system that come in long and short pairs:

Code: Select all

     Front    Central    Back

High  i iː                u uː

Mid   e eː (ɛ)  (ɘ)                   

Low             a aː
Long vowels are written with macrons. Accented vowels are marked with an acute accent. So the complete Latin alphabet vowel inventory looks like this:

a, e, i, u, ā, ē, ī, ū, á, é, í, ú

When long vowels are accented, I usually don't mark them due to the difficulty of using accented macron characters. Words can never have more than one accent, so if a word has no accent mark and one long vowel, assume the long vowel is accented. Long vowels are usually inherently accented outside of inflectional endings anyhow.

/ɛ/ occurs as an allophone of /e/, primarily in accented and closed syllables.
/ɘ/ occurs as an allophone of /a/, primarily in unstressed inflectional endings. This sound was inserted to break up certain undesirable consonant clusters.

Syllabic Consonants

In addition to the four vowel phonemes above, Lihmelinyan also has two syllabic resonants, and . Unlike in Sanskrit, they do not have long counterparts. They are treated like vowels in syllables and they are typically the result of ablaut (zero-grade forms) and thus are nearly always unaccented. I often write them simply as <r> and <l> without the diacritic. It will not be hard to tell that they are syllabic since you will see them surrounded by consonants or word-initially followed by a consonant.

In word-final position, the syllabic resonants tended to attract a schwa sound, written <a>.


The consonant inventory is as follows:

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          Labial  Alveolar  P-A Palatal  Velar  Labiovelar  
Stop       p, b     t, d                  k, g     kʷ, gʷ
Fricative  f        s, z     ʃ    (ç)     x        xʷ

Nasal      m        n                    (ŋ)

Liquid              r, l

Approx.                            j               w
/x/ is written <h>
/ʃ/ is written <š>
/j/ is written <y>
/kʷ/ and /gʷ/ are written <ku> and <gu>. /xʷ/ is written <hu>. These sounds occur only before vowels.
/ç/ occurs as an allophone of /x/ before /i/
/ŋ/ occurs as an allophone of /n/ before /g/
/r/ is often pronounced as /ɾ/ between vowels.

Thus the Latin alphabet consonant inventory looks like this:

b, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, š, t, w, y, z


Ablaut is a key feature of Lihmelinyan morphology. The typical ablaut alternations in Lihmelinyan are between /a/, /e/ and the absence of /a/ or /e/ (full-grade vs. zero-grade) Lengthened grade occurs as well, but is much rarer. Ablaut alternations occur between verb and noun stems as well as in derivations. Here are some common alternations found:

Code: Select all

Full-Grade   Zero-Grade
a            -
e            -
ei           i
ai           i
eu           u
au           u
we           u
wa           u
ye           i
ya           i
In addition to the above, an /a/ or /e/ accompanied by /r/ or /l/ alternates with zero-grade syllabic resonants, mentioned above.

In general, a verb and an athematic noun will contain a full-grade syllable in the present and direct stems and its zero-grade alternant in the aorist and oblique stems. This is a general rule but does not apply to every verb and athematic noun.

There is also sometimes an alternation between two full-grade syllables or between lengthened grade and un-lengthened. The key being that the present and direct stems of verbs and nouns tend to be more "marked" than the oblique and aorist stems, and there will be some way to differentiate the two.


Every polysyllabic word has one accent. This is marked with an acute mark on the vowel (or, as I said, when long vowels are accented, they are left without the mark). The accent is, in general, one of stress, but it's also characterized by a higher pitch. An accent on the ultimate is often pronounced with a falling tone and is therefore sometimes marked with a grave mark. There are some general rules that can be said about Lihmelinyan accent:

-Disyllabic words are accented on the penultimate unless an inherently accented inflectional ending causes it to be accented on the ultimate. Some disyllabic function words are accented on the ultimate by default.
-Trisyllabic words are accented on the antepenultimate unless the penultimate is a long vowel in which case it will receive the accent.
-Words cannot be accented further back than the antepenultimate.
-Some inflectional endings are inherently accented. Some disyllabic inflectional endings will cause the accent to shift to the right.
-Some grammatical functions are marked by an accent retraction.


I'm not the best with phonotactics, but I'll try and describe some restrictions:

-voiced stops do not occur word-finally
-/ʃ/ and /f/ do not occur word-finally. /z/ occurs word-finally only in two inflectional endings. It otherwise never does.
-a schwa (written <a> and pronounced /a/ in some dialects) is inserted to break up disfavored consonant clusters like /tb/ or /td/.
-/m/ does not occur word-finally and is everywhere replaced by /n/.
-the voiceless stops, nasals, liquids, and /s/ can appear as geminates: tt, kk, pp, nn, mm, ll, rr, ss, etc. Other consonants are never geminated.

(Removed sample sentence because I've since changed some phonology. Will re-post later).
Last edited by KaiTheHomoSapien on 08 Oct 2020 20:31, edited 4 times in total.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Lihmelinyan 2.0

Post by eldin raigmore »

Where can we see more?
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Re: Lihmelinyan 2.0

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »

eldin raigmore wrote: 08 Oct 2020 19:43 Where can we see more?
Thanks for bumping this. I'm gonna post more. This conlang is so awesome that my other attempts at conlangs don't even come close. So I definitely want to add more content. :)
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Re: Lihmelinyan 2.0

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien »


To dive head-first into the grammar, I'll bring up the usual noun-declension stuff. First, Lihmelinyan doesn't really have "declensions" to speak of in the Latin sense. I organize nouns based on their stem. The groups, roughly, are: a/e-stem (thematic), ā-stem, i-stem, u-stem, consonant-stem, and ī-stem. (I've toyed with a marginal ū-stem class, but I'm unsure whether to include it).

Nouns can be masculine, feminine, or neuter. The proto-language had only animate and neuter and the masculine is the reflex of the inherited animate gender. The feminine is thus an innovation and is somewhat marginal in Lihmelinyan. It's characterized by two unique classes, the ā-stem and ī-stem nouns, as well as a few nouns in the other classes (there is no way to tell these nouns are feminine other than by agreement).

Nouns have three numbers: singular, dual, and plural. The dual is fully-utilized in Lihmelinyan though it is of course more marginal and has more syncretism than the singular or plural.

There are ten noun cases, though no noun is declined in more than nine of them. They key thing to know about the cases is the division between direct and oblique cases. The direct cases are:

Nominative - used for grammatical subject, predicate nominative, exclamations, the "default" case
Accusative - used for grammatical direct object
Vocative - used for direct address
Ergative - used for subject of transitive verbs only in neuter nouns

The direct cases mark syntactic functions and will all use the same stem in athematic nouns. In neuter nouns, the direct cases (minus the ergative, which is itself a Lihmelinyan innovation and an original "direct" case) have the same form. Neuter nouns are essentially ergative-absolutive.

The oblique cases:

Genitive - used to show possession and other relations between nouns
Locative - used to show location in time and space, used with postpositions that indicate no motion
Dative - used for grammatical indirect object, beneficiary, direct object of some verbs (semantically determined)
Ablative - used to show motion away from or source
Instrumental - used to show means, manner, or instrument, used for agents of passive verbs
Allative - used to show motion toward

Case Endings

Here are the basic Lihmelinyan case endings:

Code: Select all

Case          Singular       Dual           Plural
Nominative    -s             -e             -es
              -(endingless)  -ih (neuter)   -ā (neuter)
              -n (neuter)    -(lengthening)
Vocative      -(endingless)  -same as NOM.  -same as NOM.
Accusative    -n             -same as NOM.  -ns
Genitive      -s, -es        -aus           -ān
Locative      -i             -aus           -su
Dative        -ei            -ban           -bas
Ablative      -at            -ban           -bas
Instrumental  -h, -eh        -ban           -bi
Allative      -a             -de            -ze
Ergative      -anza          -antā          -antes
The ergative appears only in neuter nouns and its forms seem to be derived from what what was a originally a deverbal noun-creating suffix. The allative's only inherited form is the singular -a. The "-de" allatives seem to be incorporating an archaic postposition indicating direction toward, "de". "-ze" is plural -s + "de". The proto-language likely didn't have an allative.

20 is the maximum number of unique forms a noun can have.

Thematic Nouns

Thematic nouns are the largest and most productive noun class and they are the easiest to grasp, so they are what I like the begin with. Thematic nouns are the only class that have three separate paradigms for masculine, feminine, and neuter. The feminine ā-stem class has its origins in athematic nouns but has functionally become a part of the thematic class (evidenced by the fact that thematic adjectives decline as ā-stem nouns in the feminine).

Masculine thematic nouns are characterized by a thematic vowel (/a/ or /e/) before the case ending. Thematic nouns have also borrowed some case endings from the pronoun declension. There is no rhyme or reason to when /a/ or /e/ is the thematic vowel, but /a/ is used more often so this class is sometimes called the "a-stem" class. Thematic nouns are also characterized by a lack of mobile accent. The accent remains fixed on the root. This is in contrast with athematic nouns where it can occur in as many as three different places.

Here is the declension of the thematic masculine noun antīlas , meaning "rabbit" or "hare". (The hare is an important symbol of Lihmelinya and Manter at large).

Code: Select all

Case          Singular       Dual           Plural
Nominative    antīlas        antīlā         antīlās
Vocative      antīle         antīlā         antīlās
Accusative    antīlan        antīlā         antīlans
Genitive      antīlaša       antīleyaus     antīlazān
Locative      antīlei        antīleyaus     antīlasu
Dative        antīlāi        antīlaban      antīlabas
Ablative      antīlāt        antīlaban      antīlabas
Instrumental  antīlah        antīlaban      antīlāis
Allative      antīla         antīlāde       antīlāze
A few comments on this declension:

-There are a few endings which differ from what's shown in the table of endings above. These endings are the genitive plural -azān, the instrumental plural -āis, and the genitive singular -aša. These endings ultimately derive from the pronoun declension and have been carried over to thematic nouns.
-The genitive/locative dual ending -eyaus is the thematic vowel /e/ + /aus/. The /y/ was inserted to break up the hiatus. Lihmelinyan in general avoids hiatus.
-The expected allative singular would be synonymous with the dual nom/voc/acc, but the vowel has shortened. This most likely occurred to avoid ambiguity. The long ā in the allative dual and plural is a result of these cases being formed originally from nominative + a postposition. These are apparently a late addition.

Thematic Neuter Nouns

The neuter nouns use mostly the same declension as above, only with the addition of the ergative and the lack of a distinction between the nominative, vocative, and accusative. I will use the world nárdan, meaning "door":

Code: Select all

Case         Singular    Dual       Plural
Nom/Voc/Acc  nárdan	 nárdaih    nárdā
Genitive     nárdaša	 nárdeyaus  nárdazān
Locative     nárdei      nárdeyaus  nárdasu
Dative       nárdāi      nárdaban   nárdabas
Ablative     nárdāt      nárdaban   nárdabas
Instrumental nárdah      nárdaban   nárdāis
Allative     nárda       nárdāde    nárdāze
Ergative     nárdanza    nárdantā   nárdantes
-The neuter dual has a unique element -ih that appears in all neuter duals of every class.
-The neuter plural has its origins in a collective suffix -ā, identical with the feminine ā-stem singular.
-I like to think the neuter nominative -n (which is an aberration as other neuters are marked by the bare stem) has its origins in the accusative, on account of the nominative and accusative being the same.

I'll post the basic verb introduction next.
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