|Timeline and Universe:||Lorech|
|Spoken:|| National language in: Ilbiyon
|Basic word order:||Generally VOS|
Ilbiyoni or Ilbiyonĭm - pronounced /ˈyˑlbyˌjoˑnʏm/ (Eastern) or /ˈɨ̞lβʲo̞nɨ̞m/ (Western) - is a language isolate spoken in the Ilbiyon archipelago, a string of islands located in the Great Lake Lyric, which divides the nations of Elitho from Western Jinyero/Esfoth. Despite contact with both cultures dating back hundreds of years, Ilbiyon has retained its independence, and its language is relatively uninfluenced by Celinese and Jinyera - indeed, some claim that Ilbiyoni predates both languages.
As well as being spoken by 900,000 speakers in the independent Principality of Ilbiyon, it is also spoken in the Lake Lyric islands that are under Elithoan and Jinyer administration, and in small areas of mainland Elitho and Jinyero proper. There is also a robust community of non-Ilbiyoni researchers and explorers who have learnt the language in order to understand the myriad tomes of the Ĕlsinor Ilbiyonĕs - the Ilbiyon Palace of Books, the most expansive library in the world.
- 1 Nomenclature
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Orthography
- 4 Grammar
- 5 Derivational Morphology
Ilbiyoni's native name, Ilbiyonĭm, is a compound noun, composed of the words ilbĭ (lake) and yonim (language). Some believe that 'Lake Ilbiyoni' was one of several dialects, some of which were spoken on the mainland. Modern Ilbiyoni itself has a number of varieties, with the speech of each island being characterised by its own idiosyncracies; whilst these are usually classified as 'dialects' or 'regional varieties', an ongoing debate about whether Western and Eastern variety groups should be classified as competing standards of a single pluricentric language, or as languages in their own right.
Pronunciation varies greatly from island to island, but two broad varieties - Eastern Ilbiyoni, spoken in the isles closer to Jinyero, and Western Ilbiyoni, in the islands closer to Elitho. Whilst there is no agreed standard dialect, it is an Eastern islands dialect - that of Sĕroği, usually - which tends to be taught to second language learners.
The following phonology is based on the Ilbiyoni dialect spoken in Sĕroği, the most populous island in the peninsula and thus often considered to be the archetypal Eastern dialect. Most islands of Ilbiyon on the Jinyer side of Lake Lyric are more similar to the below than to the phonology of the average Western Ilbiyoni dialect, but the Săroği dialect does have idiosyncracies unshared by most Eastern dialects, such as the pronunciation of <v> as /b̪͡v/.
The archetypal Western Ilbiyoni phonology, described here, is that of the dialect of the isle of Erĕvir. The most notable divergence from Eastern Ilbiyoni is the spirantisation of medial and final plosives, such as /p/ to /ɸ/ and /t/ to /θ/.
Stress and length
In most words, primary stress falls on the first syllable, with secondary stress falling on every subsequently odd-numbered syllable: aĭniyadĕs - the teacher's - pronounced ['aʏnyˌjaˑdɛs] in the East and ['äɨnɨˌjäðɘs]in the West is a good example of regular stress. Primary stress can fall on breve-accented vowels - such as ĕlosimto ['ɛˑlo't͡syˑmto] (dawn) - but secondary stress cannot - c̆elorĕ (music) is pronounced ['ʈ͡ʂeˑlorɛ], not *['ʈ͡ʂeˑloˌrɛˑ]. Some speakers also do not place secondary stress on grammatical endings - so telbuain, from the child, where the -ain marks the the ablative case is often pronounced ['teˑlbu.ayn] rather than ['teˑlbuˌayn].
In Western Ilbiyoni varieties, stress does not ever change vowel length. In most Eastern Ilbiyoni varients, when primary or secondary stress falls upon a monophthong vowel, it is pronounced half-long. Diphthongs are unchanged by stress.
Ilbiyoni dialects are united through the use of a shared orthography. Eastern Jinyero has more accented consonants to reflect its somewhat larger number of phonemes.
|Orthography||Eastern Ilbiyoni||Western Ilbiyoni|
Consonants and semi-vowels
|Orthography||Eastern Ilbiyoni||Western Ilbiyoni|
|b||/b/||/b/ at the beginning of words, and /β/ elsewhere.|
|c||/k/||/k/ word-initial, and /ç/ elsewhere.|
|d||/d/||/d/ word-initial, /ð/ elsewhere|
|g||/g/||/g/ word-initial, /ʝ/ elsewhere.|
|p||/p/||/p/ initial, /ɸ/ elsewhere|
|t||/t/||/t/ initial, /θ/ elsewhere|
|Case||Final consonant||Final vowel (not i, u)||Final vowel (i, u)|
Modern Ilbiyoni retains a case system that it had several hundreds of years ago, which makes it unusual amongst languages of Greater Tygenoc - Celinese losts the last vestiges of the case system some two hundred years ago, and Jinyera is believed to have never had cases. Whilst there are some irregularly declined nouns, most words follow a pattern determined by how they end - with one pattern covering most words with final consonants, another for words ending in vowels other than i or u, and a third for ending in i or u.
The first cases that the learner becomes acquainted with are the ergative and absolutive cases. The ergative is an unmarked case, used for the subject of transitive verbs, whereas the absolutive is used not only to mark the direct object of a transitive verb, but the subject of intransitive verbs. Compare lonibu telbum (the child is reading) with lonibur liyorem telbu (the child is reading a book.) In the first sentence, the absolutive suffix is added to the word for child: telbum, because reading is being used as an intransitive verb. When a direct object is added, the absolutive suffix moves to the word for book - liyorem - and the child is now in the ergative case.
The dative case is used for indirect objects - sedir ĕlsinorar liyorem eldi means 'I gave a/the book to a/the book palace.' Book palace is in the dative, as an indirect object. The ablative is used not only to designate movement away or out of the marked object - e.g. Ğiniyŏrain (from Jinyero) - but to show causation - elğu piyŏrain (to leave due to fear). The genitive marks possession, and is placed on the possessor - c̆eră Sarĕs (Sara's dog). The possessed noun can be put into different cases, e.g. liyor Ĕlsinorain Ilbiyonĕs (a book from the Book Palace of Ilbiyon).
In Modern Ilbiyoni, nouns are not declined for number. For disambiguation, speakers may add onŭr or the abbreviated form on (one) after a noun to specify that it is in the singular, and dĭbrin or the abbreviated for dir (two) to specify that it is in the plural:
|Ilbi on||Island (singular)|
|On(ŭr) ilbi||One island|
|Ilbi dir||Islands (general plural)|
|Dir/dĭbrin Ilbi||Specifically, two islands|
Ilbiyoni has a fairly complex pronoun system that declines for case and number. However, it is not uncommon for speakers to stick to the singular pronouns to communicate singular and plural, except where emphasising or disambiguating.
Adjectives and Adverbs
One unusual aspect of the Ilbiyoni lexicon is the relative paucity of dedicated adjectives. Most of the time, nouns in the genitive case are used in much the same way as adjectives are. An honourable person would be translated as noriyĕs misor (a person of honour.) This is not completely alien to English - consider the English constructions 'a woman of influence', 'a city of chaos', 'a song of sorrow;' semantically, these are not dissimilar to 'an influential woman', 'a chaotic city', 'a sorrowful song.' Ilbiyoni nearly always only has constructions similar to the former list.
To avoid confusion between the adjectival and possessive uses of the genitive, the former is always marked by putting the adjectival genitive before the noun that it is modifying, whereas the possessive nearly always follows the noun. Thus telbuĕs c̆eră (a young dog) differs from c̆eră telbuĕs (the child's dog).
These genitive constructions can be used as adverbs when juxtaposed with verbs: telbuĕs dirbu (child.GEN complain) can be analysed as 'to complain childishly.'
In some ways, the verbal system of Ilbiyoni can be compared to that of neighbouring language, Jinyera - there are only two inflected tenses, past and nonpast (the latter used to communicate present and future), and verbs are not conjugated for subject - so ĕledu (to love) can also mean 'I love', 'he loves', 'they love' etc. Unlike Jinyero, the direct object of a verb can be noted by adding a direct object suffix to the verb, much like Celinese. Unlike in Celinese, this marking is obligatory, even when there is a separate direct object noun in the clause, so in Ilbiyoni, one would not say 'I'm reading the book' but quite literally 'I read it, the book': 'lonibur liyorem (eldi).' In that phrase, lonib is the root, to read; -u marks the non-past tense and -r marks a third person direct object.
|Ĕledu eldi||I love/will love (no direct object)|
|Ĕleduol eldi||I love/will love myself|
|Ĕledunt eldi||I love/will love you (singular or plural)|
|Ĕledur eldi||I love/will love him, her, it or them|
|Ĕledi eldi||I loved (no direct object)|
|Ĕlediol eldi||I loved myself|
|Ĕledint eldi||I loved you (singular or plural)|
|Ĕledir eldi||I loved him, her, it or them|
To change the subject, a different subject pronoun is used in the place of eldi - though often, the subject pronoun is dropped completely when the subject is implied or inferred, or when it has already been mentioned in a prior clause: hĕcidir ğinoyem eldi id ĕledir (I watched the film and loved it.)
To distinguish between singular and plural direct objects, 'on' (for the singular) or 'dir' (for the plural) is often placed directly after the verb, thus I hated him/her can be phrased ăvedir on (eldi), to distinguish from ăvedir dir (eldi), I hated them.
In common with many other languages of Greater Tygenoc, Ilbiyoni has a fairly robust system of derivational morphology to create meanings, using mostly prefixes and affixes.
- o(r) - Used to denote an opposite or reverse quality to what the unmodified word expresses: compare lirinya (happiness) and oriya (wealth) with olirinya and ororiya, sadness and poverty respectively. This can be used for verbs as well to express a reverse action - nolu (like, enjoy) becomes onolu (dislike); ěrenu (spend) becomes orěrenu (save).
- tan - This prefix suggests a reversal of a previous action - much like lock becomes unlock, the Ilbiyoni equivalent cilbu becomes tancilbu.
- mi - Prefixed to denote a person doing an action with another, or the action itself: seru (to sing) > siseru (sing together); belču (to plot) > sibelčad (co-conspirator).
- di(r) - Can often be translated by the prefixes 'bi-' or 'di-' in English, or the phrase 'in two', such as dirniru (to disect)
- -(y)ad- - Inserted between the stem of a verb and the tense and object endings, -ad is used as a common causative. Compare aĭniyu (to know) with aĭniyadu (to make known, i.e. to teach) or sebru (to die) with sebradu (to make dead; i.e. to kill).
- -(y)ěb- - Inserted between the stem of a verb and the tense-object endings, -ěb- denotes that the action is being done incorrectly, communicating much of the same meaning as 'mis-' in 'misuse' or 'misspell'. Compare pobi (to have written) with poběbi (to have badly written.)
- -(o)si(y) - Inserted between the verb stem and the tense-object endings, it denotes doing something to a greater extent or better level than another - ěrenu (spend) becomes ěrensiyu (outspend).
- -(y)od - This suffix denotes someone who does a specified action: indu (to drive) > induyod (driver); mǐlu (to swim) > mǐluyod (swimmer). When derived with the past infinitive, it communicates the idea of what an individual used to do: seri (to have sung) > seriyod (ex-singer).
- -(y)eb - This suffix is used in the place of -(y)od to denote someone who does a specified action badly - tebru (to act) becomes tebruyeb (ham actor). It can also be used in place of -(y)ad, e.g. trirad (healer) > triyeb (quack).
- -(y)ad - The noun form equivalent of the -(y)ad infix, added to a verbal stem without the tense-object endings, it denotes someone who makes a certain action done: aĭniyu (to know) > aĭniyad (one who makes things known; a teacher); triru (to heal) > trirad (one who makes healed, i.e. doctor, healer).
- -(i)ya - Taking the root of verbs only, one adds (i)ya to make abstract nouns. Toǧu (to build) > toǧiya (construction - i.e. the process or concept); oru (to be rich) > oriya (wealth).
- -(l)o - Similar to -(i)ya, but used to make concrete nouns: toǧu (to build) becomes toǧo (construction - i.e. a specific building); rivi (to have thought) becomes rivilo (thought, idea). Compare rivilo (a specific thought or idea) with riviya (thought, the abstract concept thereof.)
- (o)ǧoc - Used as a general pejorative: liyor (book) becomes liyorǧoc (pulp fiction); anesi (newspaper) becomes anesiǧoc (rag); telbu (child) becomes telbuǧoc (brat).
- (u)lyu - A product that comes about as a result of the verb modified: dirmoru (to copy) > dirmorulyu (a copy); tilvu (talk) > tilvulyu (noise; speech).
- -(e)li - Added to the end of a noun or a verb stem, it denotes the place where an action is usually done or where lots of the noun is usually found. Timu (dance) becomes timeli (dance hall, disco). Selsir (tree) becomes selsireli (forest).
- (u)bir - Usually added to a verb stem, it denotes the time typically associated with the verb: e.g. delnu (dream) > delnubir (night-time).
- (ě)nd - Used to denote an instrument, implement or substance used for doing the verb it derives from - e.g. riliyu (cook) > riliyund (oven).