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Sa halesta Iliesken - The flag of Islysia
Spoken in: Islysia [ɪ'sliʒə]
Timeline/Universe: Modern timeline
Alternate Earth
Total speakers: ~10 million native
Writing system: Modified Latin alphabet
Genealogical classification: Indo-European


Basic word order: SOV
Morphological type: Inflecting
Morphosyntactic alignment: Nominative-Accusative
Conlang details
Conlang type: Artlang/altlang
Inspirations: Baltic & Finnic languages
Lexicon size: >1000
Created by:
Cody Jaeger, 2006-present

• See also! Ilieskapédia

The Islysian language (ir kälvi Iliesken or ilieski, IPA: [ɪli'ɛski]) is spoken by nearly all of Islysia's population of ~10 million; by small ethnic-Islysian communities in neighbouring countries such as Sweden, Finland, Poland, and the Baltic Rim; and by small emigrant communities in the Anglophone countries.

The Islysian language is considered an Indo-European isolate. Much loaned vocabulary can be traced to Finnic, Baltic, Germanic, Slavic, and even Romance languages—for example, "poika" boy from Finnish; "arbat" tea from Lithuanian; "kamping" from English; and "dešöné" lunch from French.

There are several dialects of Islysian. While they are all mutually intelligible (except, perhaps, among the very elderly, who tend to retain antiquidated forms of speech), this article will focus on the spoken form of the Western Islysian (Vísilieski) dialect. This dialect, originating in the metropolitan areas of Islys and the Tälia Sound, is the most widespread dialect, spoken by approximately 60% of the Islysian-speaking population. Western Islysian is de facto accepted as the standard form of the language.


Iterekisna - Introduction

Ir istoria ir kälven Iliesken - The history of the Islysian language

It is commonly accepted by the linguistic community that, while heavily influenced (particularly in phonology and morphology) by neighbouring Baltic and Finnic languages, the Islysian language evolved separately from Proto-Indo-European. A few very close relatives have been partially attested, but if they were indeed separate languages, all were extinct and superceded by Islysian by about the fifth century AD. The Islysians, outside of their loose linguistic unity, lacked a stong sense of identity beyond the tribal level until they began regular contact with the Suiones and the Rus' in the 8th century AD.

In Islysian, the term Islys refers only to the region of the same name (specifically, the valley of Hythalia and the southeastern part of the the Visia peninsula), while Ilieska refers to the country as a whole. The exonym Islysia was first used by the Suiones, who sailed southeast into the narrow and rocky (but strikingly beautiful) Tälia Sound early in the 8th century. There they were met by a tribe of fishermen and simple farmers who called themselves Islyn. The Norse settlers, however, applied the name "Islysian" to all of the tribes who spoke what they referred to as the "whispered tongue" (likely due to the language's propensity for unvoiced consonants). A travelling Anglian scholar wrote circa 850:
"Those who the Vikings call Isliskingar, are the same sea-faring race the Fenni [Finns] call the Green-Eyed People... They are friendlier and more civilised than their neighbours the Balts, but their language is esoteric and they are reluctant to renounce their heathen ways."

Little is known about Islysia or the Islysian language over the next few centuries, except what was reported by foreign historians: apparently the kingdom was more or less Christianised by the 11th century, and extended its territory deep into what is now Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus in the 13th century.

The first written text in Islysian was the Code of Laws of Prince Iliem II, written in the 1340s, but literacy remained low (particularly in remote rural areas) for many centuries. In the middle of the 15th century, the Cyrillic alphabet briefly gained prominence in Islysia, likely due to the influence of Eastern Orthodoxy. During the 16th century, some important literary works on religious thought were published in Islysian, illustrating the intense debate in the country about the validity of the Reformation—these works were highlighted, even in their own time, by the heated open correspondence between the Archbishop of Islys and an unknown Humanist scholar using the pseudonym "Illyrius." Ensuing throughout the first half of the 1560s, this literary tirade was the most popular entertainment in the capital of Hythalinna (IL: Haiþalinna), with many popular plays (both comic and tragic) written about the Archbishop and Illyrius. It has been speculated that the contrast between the harsh, vitriolic tones of the Archbishop's letters and the logical yet witty musings in Illyrius's letters helped to swing the populace towards a favourable view of the Reformation.

Finally, King Andiri IV standardised the Islysian orthography in 1573. What followed was a period now known as the Islysian Renaissance, or the Islysian Golden Age: an explosion of artistic and literary works by various scholars and artists whose erudition helped to establish Islysian as a major literary and intellectual language in the region. The University of Hythalinna became one of the most prolific centres for Humanist thought in Central Europe. A complete copy of the New Testament in the Islysian language was first issued in 1578. Based on Martin Luther's 1534 translation into German, this book would prove integral in establishing the Protesant Church of Islysia as the religious power in the kingdom.

The Islysian language suffered a decline in prominence beginning in the 18th century, as the sphere of influence of the Russian Tsars extended to the Baltic. For a time, the Islysian language was actually banned in politics and education, but the underground literary movements were surprisingly resilient. After the Russian Revolution, Islysian once again became official. After World War I, Islysia struggled—and succeeded—in an effort to remain free of the Soviet Union, and the Islysians' love for their language was critical to the success of this movement.

Lantevaidaslys - Phonology

Islysian, long influenced by its North Germanic and Finnic neighbours, exhibits a rich vowel inventory which includes 13 monophthongs, 10 diphthongs, and one triphthong, in contrast with a relatively small consonant inventory.

Vokálet - Vowels

Short: /a ɛ i ɔ ʉ/ <a e i o u>
Long: /ɑ: e: i: o: u:/ <á é í ó ú>
"Neutral" (considered short, but with no long equivalents): /æ ø ɪ/ <ä ö y>

/a/ represents a sound that is actually closer to central [ä], and for purposes of allophony it will be referred to as a back vowel.

Diphthongs (pure):
/ae ai au/ <ae ai au>
/æe æi æy/ <äe äi äu>
/ɛi ɛu ea ei eɔ eu/ <ei eu ea éi eo éu>
/ɔi ɔa ɔu/ <oi oa ou>
/øi øæ øy/ <öi öä öu>

Diphthongs (semivowel types):
/i.a i.ɛ i.ɔ i.ʉ/ or [ja jɛ jɔ jʉ] <ia ie io iu>
/ua uɛ uɔ/ or [wa wɛ wɔ] <ua ue uo>
/ɥi ɥæ ɥø/ <ui uä uö>

The lonely triphthong:
/iai/ or [ jai] <iai>

All diphthongs may occur word-initially, but many (notably ui, ou, and uo) rarely or never do. Historically, initial ui has become u (uili > uli, totally, completely), ou to ú (ouden > úden, nothing) and uo to ó (uonissa > ónissa, to dream).

Soklasinet - Consonants

Stops: /pʰ tʰ kʰ b d g/ <p t k b d g>
Fricatives: /f θ s ʃ z ɦ ç/ <f þ s š z h hj>
Approximants: /ʋ j l/ <v j l>
Trills: /r/ <r>
Nasals: /m n/ <m n>

Islysian distinguishes consonant length. Long (geminate) consonants are written doubled, and they may only occur medially:

hala /"ɦala/ vs. halla /"ɦal:a/

Sanalantasli mainai - Allophony

The most regular rules are:
- /r/ [ʁ] before a consonant
- /r/ [ɾ] intervocalically
- /r/ [r_0] after /p t k/
- /n/ [ŋ] before /k/ (or /g/ in loan words)
- The aspirated stops /pʰ tʰ kʰ/ lose their aspiration following a consonant
- /g/ and /j/ are both [ʝ] before a front vowel. In diphthongs, an initial front vowel may be elided: Belgia (Belgium) is /"bɛlʝa/.
- /ɦ/ [x] before a consonant
- /pʰ tʰ kʰ/ [pʲ tʲ kʲ] before a front vowel
- /b d g/ [ʋ ð ɰ] intervocalically
- /b d g/ [v ð ɣ] before a consonant
- /i/ [ɪ] in an unstressed syllable before an approximant or geminate consonant
- /ɛu/ [ɛf] word-initially: euforia /ɛf:"ɔɾia/, eugenika /ɛf"ʝɛnika/

Islysian does not employ any sort of linking or external sandhi. Thus "ir sa" is /ir sa/ not /iʁ sa/.

Very common words and phrases are replete with contractions in spoken Islysian. For example, the relative clause "saka za" that, which is ['saksa]; "ja en, se en, isse en" I am, you are, he is are /jan sɛn is:ɛn/.

More informally, an initial unstressed /ɛ/ is often elided: this is most often heard in the case of the demonstrative pronoun "eta" this/it (is), which is very commonly elided to 'ta. In extreme cases, sentences such as "eta enka erda en ejou eli illa?" is this narrow table sufficient or not? may be heard as tankardan júlilla? However, it would not be likely to hear someone speaking in such an exaggerated manner except for effect.

Skeuti rakoini - Syllable structure

Islysian syllable structure is basically (C)(C)(C)V(C). Acceptable initial clusters are:
2 consonants:
- /s/ or /ʃ/ + unvoiced stop, approximant, or nasal
- unvoiced stop + /r/ or [r_0]; /p k/ + /l/
3 consonants:
- /s/ + unvoiced stop + [r_0]
No final clusters are allowed.

In loan words, Islysian uses the epenthetic vowel /i/ to break up illegal consonant clusters:

"hästi" horse /"hæsti/, ultimately from Swedish häst

Starkaslys - Stress

In the interests of not making this any longer than it already is, I'll just say that depending on the number of syllables in the word and the structure of those syllables, stress is almost always on either the first or second syllable (second-syllable stress only in words of 3+ syllables). The most notable exception is that words ending in the extremely common suffix -slys ("-tion", "-ment", "state or process of doing/becoming something", &c.) have stress on the penultimate syllable.

Kursa ilieskis - Writing in Islysian

Ir alfabet - The alphabet

Islysian is written with a modified Latin alphabet. The first written text in Islysian was the Code of Laws of Prince Iliem II, written in the 1340s. However, the Teutonic missionaries who introduced literacy failed to create an orthography specially designed for the language (they were probably in a hurry to get to heathen Lithuania), which is apparent by the wide spelling variations of the period: <ä> was interchangeable with <e>, and <ö> with <u>. /∫/ was variously written as <sz sj sch ch cj>. <k> and <c> were interchangeable, as were <v> and <w>. Above all, it seemed that every writer came up with his own realisation of /θ/.

Islysian spelling was finally standardised by King Andiri IV in 1573. His orthography is basically what is in use today (though the language underwent a major spelling reform in 1913). Andiri, a scholar of languages, imported the thorn (Islysian letter þa) from England and the S-caron (Islysian letter še) from Bohemia.

The modern Islysian alphabet has 26 letters: 8 vowels and 18 consonants. Collation order is as follows:


Vilainet kursatyllet - Non-native letters

The following letters are not considered part of the Islysian alphabet as they do not occur naturally in the Islysian language. They are only found in loan words, foreign names, and technical jargon (eg, "www.")

c - /k/ before a back vowel or finally; /ts/ before a front vowel - Colombia /kɔ"lɔmbi.a/; centennial /tsɛn."tɛ
q - /k/ - qurán /kʉ"ɾɑn/
w - /v/ or /ʋ/ - Wallenberg /"ʋal:ɛn.bɛʁk/
x - /ks/ before a back vowel or finally; /∫/ before a front vowel - faxa /"faksa/ (to fax); xylofon /"∫ɪlɔfɔn/

Divikursuret - Digraphs

Besides the diphthongs described in the section on Phonology, the only digraph in the modern Islysian orthography is <hj>, which is pronounced /ç/. This phoneme is relatively new to Islysian, having spawned from the previous cluster /hj/ only within the last two centuries. It most frequently occurs word-initially, and is almost never found word-finally except in a few colloquialisms, such as "ihj" [ɪç] - which is equivalent to either "ouch!" or "oy vey!"

Kiesai kursajöruret - Alternate realisations

In situations (eg. typewriters, keyboard, www addresses, etc) in which typing Islysian letters such as Še and Þa (the thorn) would be difficult or impossible the following realisations are acceptable:

ä - ay
ö - oy
š - sj
þ - tj
Additionally, acute-accented long vowels may simply be written doubled - each long-short contrast may have numerous minimal pairs, which could possibly cause serious confusion.

Digraphs are not considered separate letters of the Islysian alphabet. In alternate realisations, however, the two letters are treated as though they were the proper Islysian monograph: eg. "tjaysti" (þästi) often would nominally be sorted after, for example, "tyrsi" dry.

Suresaslys jau akruonimet - Capitalisation and acronyms

Capitalisation is absolutely regular. Only the first letter of a sentence and the first letter of a proper noun are capitalised. Often the genitive form of a proper noun functions as an adjective (see the second example below) and these are capitalised. Common adjectives and common nouns drived from proper nouns are not capitalised.

Ilieska (p.n.) Islysia
Iliesken (p.adj.)Islysian (lit. "of Islysia")
ilieski (c.n.) the Islysian language

Acronyms are written with the capitalised first letter of each component word, and any following letters from the same word are lowercase. There is no punctuation between letters of an acronym. Acronyms which are themselves loan terms are not usually translated.

ITv (Iliesken Televizia, Islysian Television) /i:te:"ʋe:/
IVA (Itenörjus valstíbet Ameriken, United States of America) /i:ʋe:"ɑ:/
UNProFor (UNPROFOR, United Nations Protection Force) /ʉn.pr_0ɔ"fɔr/

Kursahaftaslys - Punctuation

Formatting for full stops, commas, colons, exclamation/question marks, etc. is the same as in English—that is, no space after the preceding word.

Inverted commas are used to show emphasis of strength which, in speech, would be indicated by the speaker's tone of voice.

Illa, 'Kören' en meun isen. 'Kären' en mahan naina. No, KÖREN is my son. KÄREN is my wife.

Outward-pointing double angle quotes (without internal spacing) indicate speech. No comma is used to offset quotes. If the quotation includes the end of a sentence, the full stop goes inside the quotes, otherwise they go outside.

Se vardun «siras iši.» You said, "I like cheese."
Vót «kótet jau kienet jau tréša». There are "cats and dogs and a rabbit."

However, for ongoing dialogue, such as in narrative storytelling (which is always written in the present tense), em-dashes are preferred. To show the cutoff point of the dialogue where the sentence does not end, a colon is used.
—Saka? ja roti. "What?" I ask.
—Ö, ja vardu saka za idera skollis : isse varde. "Uh, I said I have to go to school," he says.

Indentation is not used in written Islysian, except for nesting lists. Double-spacing indicates a new paragraph, but blocks of dialogue use only single spacing.

Ir kun alfabeti - The alphabet song

Islysian children learn an "alphabet song" which is sung to the same tune as the English alphabet song:

Á ä be de jé ef ga,
Ha í ja ka el-äm-än-ó-ö,
Pe är äs, še te þa, ú vé ipsilon zéta
Ir alfabetas jussi, jazo stas nén klósoli?

The last line translates to: "I know the alphabet, isn't that lovely?"

Sanarakoinaslys - Morphology

Tuisli satslys - Basic syntax

Islysian is an inflecting language following a typically Indo-European nominative-accusative morphosyntactic alignment.

Nouns inflect for number and case. There are two numbers in Islysian, singular and plural. There are four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, and a simple locative (which often fulfills the function of dative). There are two genders in Islysian: masculine and feminine. There is no neutral gender. Masculine nouns have four possible declensions, feminine nouns only one.

Personal pronouns inflect for three persons (first, second, third) and two numbers (singular and plural). Personal pronouns feature nominative, accusative, and locative forms. The genitive actually has three forms (masculine, feminine, and a gender-neutral plural) which agree in gender and number with the noun they indicate possession of and therefore also function as simple possessives.

Adjectives inflect for number, gender, and case, and must agree in all three respects with the noun they modify. Unlike nouns, however, adjectives only have one plural form, which is indifferent to gender. The adjective comes before the noun.

Verbs inflect for tense, person, number, and mood, and they must agree with the subject. Islysian verbs have five tenses: present, past, present perfect, future, and future perfect (historically there was a past perfect tense, but since narrative storytelling is done in the present tense, it is no longer used). There is a conditional mood and a subjunctive mood, both of which can be used with all five tenses—thus to answer the question "idan?" will you go? the answer "ja idellai nem ja arverai" I would will go, but I have to will work is grammatically acceptable. Finally, there is a passive voice, and naturally only transitive verbs have passive forms.

For adverbs, no agreement of person, number, etc. is necessary. Most adjectives can be made into adverbs by adding the suffix -(e)þai.

Sanet ortaslys - Word order

Islysian word order is basically SOV.

Ja sa kirje sívi. I read the book.

There are cases in which SVO word order is acceptable. The most notable case is when using the copula "eissa" to be.

Vai on Iliesken. We are Islysian.
Sonic Youth en iten met fáston öraslon. Sonic Youth is one of my favourite bands.

Note that eissa, "to be," is not considered transitive in Islysian.

The indirect object (usually in locative case) comes after the verb.

Sto kita mis! Give me that!
Vai kienas krainek sis. We're buying you a dog.

Because of the Islysian language's inflecting nature, in casual everday speech, subject pronouns are often dropped from simple sentences:

(ja) Ir poikas irsi. I see the boy.
(vai) Sa linniai idek. We are going to the city.
(se) Pénte isten. You are right. (lit. "you have reason/logic")

In some cases the subject pronoun is absolutely necessary. For example, "krainu" could mean I bought, he bought, she bought, or it bought.

Adjectives come before the noun they modify.

Ir sieni poike The little boy
Sa siena kirja The little book
Ir sienai jallet The little rooms'

Adverbs come after the verb they modify, and no agreement of person, number, etc. is necessary. Most adjectives can be made into adverbs by adding the suffix -(e)þai.

Nu tuisse leteneþai. She sighs sadly.
Ja vardu tisteþai Ilas keu. I talked quietly with Ili.
Idas fauseþai skollis. They slowly walk to school.

Adpositional phrases take the order Time Manner Place.

Ihát idi metris sa syslinniai. Today I am going in the metro to the city centre.

Artikelet - Articles

Islysian has two definite articles: "ir" for masculine singular and plural, and "sa" for feminine singular and plural. There is no indefinite article, though it is not uncommon to specify using "iten," the number one (ex. "Ja kótas isti" I have a cat versus "ja itas kótas isti" I just have one cat).

As in languages such as French and Arabic, the definite article is used when describing abstract concepts (eg. "ir ei en sei" life is good; "ir politík mén interiesse" I am interested in politics). It is not used, however, when describing general concepts of tangible objects (eg. "kafas iši" I like coffee, "politet lukas" politicians lie). If it is used, it implies that you are describing a particular item or set (eg. "ir kafas iši" would imply something like I like this particular blend of coffee or I like the coffee at this café; "ir politet lukas" would mean these particular politicians lie).

Izeraninaslys vilainet sanet - Assimilation of loan words

Loan words in Islysian can be divided into two categories: "recent" loan words, and "Islysianised" loan words, which have been more or less completely assimilated into the Islysian language.

An example of the former is "ir week-end," directly from English. To the Islysian ear, such loan words sound distinctly "foreign," so older speakers and linguistic purists will tend to use an older, fully Islysian phrase such as "sa soima veikisti," lit. the end of the week. If and when this loan word is assimilated, it would undergo conformity to the Islysian phonology and orthography, including paragoge (typically of I), since Islysian does not allow final consonant clusters.

Since all loan words in Islysian are inherently masculine, regardless of their native gender or function, we could therefore expect "week-end" to Islysianise to "ir vikendi."

An example of the latter is "laina," land, which is a very old Germanic borrowing and cognate with Swedish län and English land".

Ivenavniket - Pronouns

Aninai ivenavniket - Personal pronouns

  Nom. Acc. Dat. Loc. Gen/Poss. (m/f/pl)
I ja mén miai mis meun/mahan/met
we vai mu meam vas mun/muen/mut
you(s) se sén su sis sin/sina/sinet
you(p) anai anai anam niai anän/ahan/anet
he isse han hannu hanis isän/issa/isset
she nu hana hanni haniai hanän/hänna/hanet
one an on onu onsi onän/ona/onet
they isai/nöi ište ištam ištiai išten/ištai/ištet

Note that unlike many European languages, Islysian lacks T-V distinction: the second person is divided only by singular and plural, not formal and informal. Everybody is addressed as "se," from young children up to the King and even God during prayer.

Roturai jau ninessulai ivenavniket - Interrogative and relative pronouns

Below are the interrogative pronouns. The indented sections below them are words which may be used to answer questions posed by these pronouns.

saka - what/which

eta - this one
stas - that one
saka za... - which / that...

kie - who

isse - he
nö - she
an kie za... - the one who...

kini - whose

meun - mine
isän - his
išten - theirs
kini za - his/hers who...

kis - to whom

mis - to me
hanis - to him
haniai - to her
kis za - to he/she who...

iþe - where

iþ - here
na - there
aisa - everywhere
iþe za... - where...

kyta - whither

von - to here
já - to there
kyta za... to the place where...

veuna - whence

isli - from here
stia - from there
veuna za... - from the place where...

jat - why

tak - because
jat za... - [that's] why...

jakin - when

sada - now
zát - then
vén - later
jakin za... - when...

kaþ - how

nin eta - like this
nin stas - like that
kaþ za... - in the manner that...

kalli - how much, how many

nén ejou - not enough
tal - a few, a little
ejou - enough
naš - much, many
nar - too much, too many
kalli za... - as much/many as...

daste - what kind, what like

stas en nin... - it's like...
daste za... - the kind that...

To form relative clauses, insert the particle "za" after the interrogative pronoun.

Jakin vaden? When are you coming?
Vizieva mis jakin za vaden. When you come, call me.
Stas en ir auto daste za Ili (sto) iste. That's the kind of car that Ili has.
Stas en jat za ja nén vizievu sis. That's why I didn't call you.

If you put the interrogative pronoun at the end of the sentence or phrase, it implies that you already know something but have just forgotten.

Isse hjallá kaþ? What's his name again? (lit. "he is called how?")

Interrogative pronouns are also used to set aside clauses.

Mis vike saka za eta ir melialän. I think that it's the best one.
(Mis vike - "to me it seems." In informal writing, the whole phrase is usually abbreviated mvsz.)
Se vardun saka za stas u klósoli. You said that it was beautiful.

Note that the phrase "saka za" is, in everyday speech, pronounced ["saksa].

Ivenavnikon elíslys - Pronoun dropping

As Islysian is an inflecting language, it has some pro-drop features. If a nominative personal pronoun is the subject, it is usually dropped.

(ja) Ir kotas irsi I see the cat
(isse/nu) Sto iše He/she like it
(vai) Ištet koté išek We like their cats
(ja) Sén irsi I see you
(isse/nu) Mén iše? Does he/she like me?

Substantivet - Nouns

Masculine nouns have four declensions, feminine nouns have two. The declension of a noun can be determined by the final letters in the nominative singular ("default") form.

Declension I: masculine nouns ending in a front vowel (ä, e, é, i, í, ö, y)
Declension II: masculine nouns ending in a back vowel (a, á, o, ó, u, ú)
Declension III: masculine nouns ending in a consonant
Declension IV: masculine nouns ending in -as or -slys
Declension V: feminine nouns ending in -a
Declension VI: feminine nouns ending in -is

Kassas - Case

There are five simple cases in Islysian.

Nominative: The default, unmarked form of the noun is used for the subject of a phrase.
Accusative: For the direct object of a transitive phrase.
Genitive: Used to express possession, origin, or motion away from. Can also function as a partitive.
Dative: Used for the indirect object of a ditransitive phrase.
Locative: Used to express static location or motion towards.

Javati - Gender

Islysian has two genders: masculine (myskati) and feminine (naini). All nouns are either masculine or feminine—there is no neutral gender. Gender is random, other than obvious inherent sexuality of animate nouns ("sa naina," the woman; "ir poike," the boy) and the fact that loan words are inherently masculine, regardless of their meaning in the original language. Feminine nouns can only end in the letter -a (or its long form -á), but the converse is not necessarily true: notable exceptions include "ir sa," the sea, "ir televizia" television, and "ir vaika," the child.

The grammatical gender of an animate noun corresponds to the noun's natural gender—however there is no distinct indication of whether a noun is animate or not (with very few exceptions, only nouns describing people or animals are animate). For such nouns, there is almost always one noun for each gender: for example, a male doctor is a toktori, while a female doctor is a toktora. If the gender of the doctor is unknown or is semantically irrelevant (eg. "Help! I need a doctor!") the masculine form is default. For some animate nouns, the only change is in the article: "ir agna" is a male ox, "sa agna" is a female ox. Groups of mixed gender are also described as masculine—therefore a toktori and a toktora would collectively be toktoret, not toktorai.

Isuovaraslys - Declension


Adiektivet - Adjectives

Ir filosofi adiektivon - The philosophy of adjectives

The most important thing, when describing something in normal conversation, is not to convey the most accurate description of a thing, but to convey the holistic feeling or perception of a thing. In other words, the qualitative takes precedence over the quantitative. For instance, an Islysian would not hesitate to describe a certain shop as "that noisy green shop" or a soft day as "a tired, drippy sky." Perhaps this could explain the popularity of Björk in Islysia.

Adiektivon satslys - Syntax of adjectives

Adjectives come before the noun they modify. They must agree with the noun in terms of number and case, but unlike nouns adjectives are indifferent to gender in the plural number. Thus an adjective of regular declension has fifteen possible forms.

klósoli = lovely, beautiful
  masc. s. fem. s. plur.
nom. klósoli klósola klósolai
acc. klósolas klósole klosolé
gen. klósolen klósolen klósolon
dat. klósolai klósoli klósolam
loc. klósolis klósoliai klósoliai

Partisippellet - Participles

Verb participles that function as adjectives can be formed by adding the clitic -ppa. Participles inflect just the same as any regular adjective.

Vardappa kien? Ihj, soi ja baitykju nar. A talking dog? Ugh, perhaps I've had too much to drink.

Adiektivon ortaslys - Adjective order

Islysian has no real preference as to adjective order: "sienai krönai virai" little green men and "krönai sienai virai" green little men are semantically no different and are both acceptable in Islysian, whereas the latter would sound awkward in English.

Nyjé adiektivé þuolla - Forming new adjectives

Islysian has several affixes that can be added to common nouns to easily create new adjectives. These work similarly to English un-, -ful, etc. and are described below.

Affix Description Original Derivation Translation
divi- dual, bi- sonesa divisonesa vowel > diphthong
iter- single, uni- isna iterekisna chapter, section > introduction, summary
-(a)llini -like, -ish kien kienallini dog > dog-like ("extremely loyal")
-(i)haj un-, -less vasna vasnahaj value > worthless
-tava -able hitta hittatava to believe > believable, credible
-ppa -ing (participle) siþa siþappa to swim > swimming (as an adjective)

Saradet - Verbs

A student of Islysian will notice that while most grammatical terms are clearly Germanic borrowings (substantivi = noun; adiektivi = adjective), the word "saradi," verb, is seemingly unique. This can be blamed on Reformation-era grammarians: they were reluctant to use "verbi" because this word bore a passing resemblance to an Izjö dialect colloquialism meaning "demon," and stake-burning was particularly in vogue under the overzealous Archbishop of Hythalinna. The wary grammarians, therefore, used the word "saradi," a very old word that once meant "action" or "choice."

Most of the rest of the history of Islysian linguistics, however, is not nearly as tongue-in-cheek.

Koniugaslys - Conjugation

Islysian verbs conjugate for person, number, and tense. There are five: present, simple past, simple future, present perfect, and future perfect. Historically there was a past perfect, but since narrative storytelling is now told in the present tense, it is obsolete. There is also a subjunctive mood and a conditional mood, which can be used with all five tenses. Finally, there is a passive voice, which is only used with transitive verbs.

There is only one form of conjugation for regular verbs. The infinitive is -a. Simple present conjugation for regular verbs is as follows:

  • Ja: -i
  • Se: -en
  • Isse/nu/an/eta/stas: -e
  • Anai: -et
  • Vai: -ek
  • Isai/nui/etai/stai: -as

Below are all of the forms of conjugation for a regular verb (iša, to like, to enjoy) and an irregular verb (eissa, to be).

Iša Pres. Past Pres. Perf. Future Fut. Perf. Pass. Cond. Subj.
To like likes liked has liked will like will have liked is liked would like should like
Ja iši išu išui išai išaskai išá išelli išera
Se išen išun išuin išan išaskan išán išellan išeran
I/N/A iše išu išui išai išaskai išá išelle išera
Anai išet išut išuit išéha išaska išát išellar išeranai
Vai išek išuk išuik išéhek išaskei išák išellek išerai
Isai išas išus išuis išessa išaskas išás išellar išerassa


Eissa Pres. Past Pres. Perf. Future Fut. Perf. Pass. Cond. Subj.
To be is was has been will be will have been - would be should be
Ja en u uné éja erai - selli eira
Se en u uné éja erai - sellen eiran
I/N/A en u uné éja erai - selle eira
Anai on sai uré eret éré - sellar eirai
Vai on sai urik erek éré - sellek eirai
Isai on sai uré eret éré - sellar eirai

Keukollasinet - Conjunctions

Keukollasinon Skapaslys - Usage of Conjunctions

Islysian conjunctions are used as follows.

X jau Y iši. I like X and Y.
X eli Y iši. I like X or Y.
Ja nén X iši nem Y iši. I don't like X but I like Y.
Aina X eli Y iši. I like either X or Y.
X nei Y iši. I like X but not Y.
Nei X nei Y iši. I like neither X nor Y.
X iši én Y. I like X, and Y as well.
Ja nén nem X iši én Y. I like not only X, but Y as well.
X isti da Y istai. I have X, therefore I'll have Y.
X iši tak Y. I like X because of Y.
X istai da Y istellai. I'll have X so that I'll be able to have Y.
X iši tašia Y en gössi. I like X even though Y is dreadful.
X iši tašia Y en sei. I like X, although Y is nice.

Navnet - Names

Navnon kajar - The culture of names

Titles such as Mr, Mrs, Dr, etc. are not used—everybody in Islysia, regardless of age or social standing, is on a first-name basis. The exception here is members of the royal family and the nobility, who should always be adressed with the title Adel (men) or Adella (women). This custom is rooted in the old Nordic tradition of purely patronymic surnames.

Islysians abandoned this custom around 1700. Today, most surnames are bynames: eg. Kören Ihalainen, literally Kören of Ihalia; Iliana Haiþalainen, literally Iliana of Hythalia. Surnames are passed from parents to their children, and names are rarely changed. Some modern names are derived from patronymics; such families are often descended from cultures in which this practise is or was prominent—notably Chancellor Isobel Nikoli.

Many Islysian surnames bear a striking similarity to Finnish surnames; this, however, is mostly coincidence. The common suffix -lainen is simply the singular genitive form of the feminine noun "laina," land, which is a very old Germanic borrowing (which has been Islysianised and therefore is no longer masculine) and a cognate with Swedish län and English land. "Hollainen," therefore, means simply Hollander.

These names are not inflected like ordinary nouns: the Ihalainens are "ir familí Ihalainen," not "ir familí Ihalainon" or "ir Ihalainet."

Siennavnet - Nicknames

Nicknames are usually derived from the first part of the given name, and are used on a very informal basis. Unlike feminine nouns, feminine given names and nicknames do not necessarily end in -a or -á.

Below are a few popular Islysian male and female given names, possible nicknames, and their rough English equivalents, if any.

Male Nicknames English
Andiri Andi Andrew
Iliem Ili, Ilia William
Kören Köri, Kori George
Nikola Niko, Koli Nicholas
Sakari Saki Zachary
Female Nicknames English
Irina Íra, Riena Irene
Kären Käri, Kära Karen
Maidalena Maja, Mai Madeleine
Samara Sama, Sami, Sara (None)
Þuraja Þuri, Þura (None)

Imeuset - Phrases

Below is a list of a few common Islysian phrases, their English translations, and an IPA pronunciation guide.

English Islysian IPA Notes
Hello Seihát sɛi'hɑ:tʰ
Goodbye Dessedei "dɛs:ɛðɛi
Yes Voi ʋɔi
No Illa "ɪl:a
Yeah/okay/sure Saha "saɦa Informal - formerly meant "correct"
I don't know Nén vaidi ne:n 'ʋaiði
I don't understand Nén enni ne:n "ɛn:i
This one - that one Eta - stas ɛtʰa - stas
Please Pari "pʰaɾi
Thank you very much Naš vähän na∫ ʋæ"ɦæn lit. "much thanks"
I don't speak Islysian. (Ja) nén ilieskas saini. ne:n ɪli"ɛskas "saini Language is in the accusative
Do you speak English? (Se) anglas sainen? "aŋlas "sainɛn
What does this mean? Kaþ stas fure? kaθ stas "fʉɾɛ lit. "how does this intend?"
How do I get to the city centre? Kaþ syslinniai idi? kaθ "sɪ "iði lit. "how centre(LOC) go(1PS)"
Where is nearest bank? Iþe ir hjerän banki hiersá? "iθɛ ir çɛ"ɾæn "baŋki 'hi.ɛʁsɑ lit. "where the nearest bank find(PASS)"
Where are you going? Kyta iden? 'kɪtʰa 'iðɛn
Where are you from? Veuna vaden? 'ʋɛuna 'ʋaðɛn lit. "whence come you?"