|Timeline and Universe:||theoretically this universe, future|
|Writing system:||None, the culture is illiterate|
|Basic word order:||SVO|
|Creator:||Humancadaver101 aka Schwhatever aka Buckfush530|
Kelsiut is a relative of Fórong and Faraneit, among other members of the Rajo-Faraneit Family. As it lacks an writing system of its own, the only word transcribed into Roman Orthography is the name, for ease with researching it on the internet.
Kelsiut distinguishes the following stop phonemes:
- /p b t d k g/
- /f v θ ð s z x ɣ/
- /l ɹ ɺ/
- /m n ŋ/
- /i e ɛ a ɔ o u/
- /ð z ɣ/ only contrast with their voiced counterparts medially (voicless otherwise)
- /ŋ n/ only contrast medially (/n/ otherwise)
- /ɹ ɺ/ only contrast when not in a cluster (/ɹ/ then)
- Stress-related allophony:
- Stops are aspirated when the onset of a stressed syllable
- Unstressed /i u/ become [j w] when they proceed or follow another vowel
- Unstressed /i u/ in other environments become [ɪ ʊ]
- Other vowels when unstressed slightly centralize
- Other allophony:
- /si zi xi ɣi/ > [ʃi ʒi çi ɟi]
- /ni/ > [ɲi]
- /θ ð/ after a rounded vowel > [f v]
A few dialects merge /s z/ with /θ ð/ in all positions, however, this is a minority realization.
One two major inflectional morphemes still exist in Kelsiut, given the strong tendency towards isolating forms. The first is the generic pluralizer: -b. A -b is attached to virtually any noun's end to make it plural, but frequently it considered unnecessary as context makes it clear that the thing is plural - so, while important, it is not frequently used.
More important than the pluralizer, is usually the sandhi which results. For instance:
Could be either-
bel vɔx tree pretty pretty tree
bel(b) (f)ɔx trees papery papery trees
But only context can provide the answer. See Kelsiut Mutations for more.
The other main inflectional morpheme is -k, which actually functions in a variety of ways depending on what it attaches to. Without it the transformational "mood" would need to be entirely different. For instance:
ɛf ixi lɛt ɔpuzik θɛkut ɛf ixi lɛt ɔpuzi-k θɛkut 1P.S.NOM break PAST root-TRANS flour I beat the root(s) into flour.
It is generally used in similar situations between objects that are equal or interchangable -
ɛf bɔnix dɔnk. ɛf bɔnix dɔn-k. 1P.S.NOM eat 3P.S.ANI-TRANS I eat (as much/the same food/etc) as him/her.
An inflectional alternation is visible in vɔp/vɔm and xiam/xiap as well, where the -m endings denote an irrealis mood, while the -p endings denote a realis mood.
bɔnix vɔp ɛf bɔnix eat CONT-REAL 1.S.NOM eat Eat while I eat.
bɔnix vɔm ɛf bɔnix eat CONT-IRR 1.S.NOM eat Eat while I might too.
In the first, the non-imperative action is certain to happen, while in the second it is utterly uncertain. Therefore the first agrees with the realis, while the second takes the irrealis.
Nonetheless, analysis is controversial, as this distinction is lacking in all other words in the language.
Kelsiut discarded almost every agglutinating or inflecting aspect of its originally less isolating grammar, making it one of the most analytical Rajo-Faraneih Languages. Its structure is relatively simple, beginning with very regular noun and verb phrase forms, then with larger clauses.
Modifiers to the base noun are divided into four basic categories: prepositions, quantifiers, demonstratives, and other qualifiers. The first two groups uniformally proceed the noun, the other two uniformally follow. Like so:
θi muk ti ɽi di lɛ in one house yellow his this In this one yellow house of his
As you can see, prepositions must proceed not only the main noun, but all other elements of the noun phrase. Quantifiers then follow, then the noun itself bookended by various other qualifiers, and finally the demonstratives. Genitive adjectives typical settle between the various qualifiers and demonstratives, which as led to a secondary word order of placing related clauses prior to the demonstrative but following the other qualifiers:
θi muk ti ɽi xi ixi mɛp lɛ in one house yellow REL break FUT this In this one yellow house that will break
The verbal complements are much more flexible compared to those in noun phrases. Essentially, which ever modifiers are viewed as most important are stressed by being more fronted that the others.
ɛf ixi ɔz mɛp detin 1-S-NOM break NEG FUT 3-S-ACC-INANI I will not break it.
Here, the negative aspect is stressed more strongly than the future aspect, so naturally it proceeds it. Still, under no circumstances do any adverbial particles proceed the main verb. A less marked way of saying the above would invert the tense and negative markers:
ɛf ixi mɛp ɔz detin 1-S-NOM break FUT NEG 3-S-ACC-INANI I will not break it.
While still marking the tense more heavily than the negativity, it serves as a default when neither is more important than the other - making it only a slight stress on the future tense.
The nominative subject's clause proceeds most others in general. A fronted prepositional clause is permitted, although it strongly topicalises and stresses the information given in that phrase - making it less frequent option. Following the subject, the verb phrase is placed, and then finally the secondary sections, which follow this order:
usk lɛ bɔnix muk ɔpuzi ɽi θi ti di xi ixi mɛp θi ko lɛ i li pa mɛp ti bi. man DEM eat one root yellow in house 3.S.GEN REL break FUT in moment DEM ABL all fall FUT CAUS old This man is eating one yellow root in his house that will break in a moment as all (the parts) fall down because (they're) old.
Clearly, direct and indirect objects proceed other noun phrases, but following them, a seemingly endless string of related information can be strung along. Generally, it's formatted with location and time prior to method and cause, but those extra components are rather flexible, and similarly to the verb phrase's subcomponents, they can rearrange easily to show greater weight in the overall meaning.
The front of the clause does take the various clausual modifiers, however:
xiap usk lɛ bɔnix ɔpuzib... xia-p usk lɛ bɔnix ɔpuzi-b... if-REAL man DEM eat root-PLUR If this man eats some roots...
This brings us to the xiap/xiam distinction, which was only perserved in Kelsiut and the Northern branch of Proto-Rajo-Faraneit. Xiap is used when the clause concerns a possiblity, typically the correct conditions that could bring about the result in the secondary clause (as in the above example), otherwise, xiam is used, to denote a different situation from what is real:
xiam usk lɛ bɔnix ɔpuzib... xia-m usk lɛ bɔnix ɔpuzi-b... if-IRR man DEM eat root-PLUR If this man would eat some roots...
This makes it seem less likely that the man will, and that this is more of a wish than a statement.
The other major clausual markers are all aspectual. Aspect, in many languages related to Kelsiut and Kelsiut itself, is handled outside of the main tense conjugations, in many cases with adverbial forms, such as in Kelsiut:
vɔp no bɔnix ɔpuzib. CONT-REAL 2.S.NOM eat root-PLUR You are eating roots. (Not, you eat roots)
The emphasis of the aspect has shifted from a general and relatively unmarked form into one that specifies that this event is either continuitive (You're in the process of eating roots), habitual (You're always eating roots), or progressive (While you eat roots). As with xiam and xiap, vɔp and vɔm decline for the modality of the phrase (either realis or irrealis), but they are far more ambiguous, as they specify a more spread out aspect in all clauses that they modify, but also function to denote two clauses' events occuring at the same time. More on this in the next section.
Like many Rajo-Faraneih Languages, Kelsiut prefers periphrastic constructions to multiple clause sentences, but such sentences are not entirely absent. For instance:
ɛf fɛz xi no bɔnix ɔpuzib ɛf fɛz xi no bɔnix ɔpuzi-b 1.S.NOM believe/think REL 2.S.NOM eat root-PLUR I think that you're eating roots.
There is a method that avoids two clauses. With the two clauses method, however, the above is merely the default word order or the form for emphasizing the contents of the second clause. Emphasis can be placed on the first clause by backing it:
no bɔnix ɔpuzib xi ɛf fɛz 2.S.NOM eat root-PLUR REL 1.S.NOM think I think that you're eating roots.
Notice that xi, merely functions as the barrier between the two clauses not truly belonging to one or the other. This is highly different from the function of vɔp, which clearly belongs to one clause or the other:
no on lɛt vɔp ɛf bɔnix lɛt 2.S.NOM watch PAST CONT 1.S.NOM eat PAST You watched while I was eating.
But vɔp remains at the front of the secondary clause, even when that clause is fronted:
vɔp ɛf bɔnix lɛt, no on lɛt. CONT 1.S.NOM eat PAST, 2.S.NOM watch PAST While I was eating, you watched.
Clearly a different paradigm from xi, which also does not agree with either phrase for modality, while vɔp must.
Back to the original sentence, almost every modality verb (think, doubt, must, should) which exists in English has a corresponding verb-noun in Kelsiut, which is then used rather strangly to avoid a diclausual sentence:
fɛz ɛ bɔnixk nis xi ɔpuzibk. fɛz ɛ bɔnix-k nis xi ɔpuzi-b-k. think 1.S.GEN eat-TRANS 2.S.GEN REL root-PLUR-TRANS (lit) My thinking is your eating that is (of) roots. I think you're eating roots.
Unfortunately, this greatly reduces the temporality of the construction. Tense is used by using the (generally adverbial) mɛp or lɛt:
fɛz ɛ lɛt bɔnixk nis xi ɔpuzibk. think 1.S.GEN PAST eat-TRANS 2.S.GEN REL root-PLUR-TRANS My thinking was your eating that is (of) roots. I had thought that you were eating roots (and you still are).
fɛz ɛ lɛt bɔnixk nis lɛt xi ɔpuzibk. think 1.S.GEN PAST eat-TRANS 2.S.GEN PAST REL root-PLUR-TRANS My think was your eating that was (of) roots. I had thought that you had been eating roots (but no longer are you eating nor am I thinking so).
Or, for something more modal, by most values:
siɛt di bɔnixk di xi ɔpuzik ri. siɛt di bɔnix-k di xi ɔpuzi-k ri. need 3.S.GEN eat-TRANS 3.S.GEN REL root-TRANS yellow His need is his eating that is (of) yellow roots. He must eat (some) yellow roots.
Kelsiut Divergence From Proto-Rajo-Faraneit
Kelsiut is spoken by a few small settlements in southern Measceineafh. The vast majority of the population lives on small islets within estuary-like floodplains. Typically, the plains are replete with water during the rainy season (winter and spring) due to rainfall as well as the majority of the dry season (summer) due to snowmelt from the eastern mountain range. During the fall, the water level recedes exposing the Kelsiut-speaking communities to Forong and other local raiders as well as Faraneit caravans, which are reputed for their unpredictable behavior towards non-Faraneih within the Measceineafh.
The majority of the Kelsiut subsist on a dangerous borderline between foragers and farmers. They are semi-nomadic, shifting camps when the water levels first become easily crossed, resorting to hunting game and gathering from wild food sources. Towards the end of summer, however, they return to their ancestral islets and wait for the rains to refill their natural moats. During the rainy season, they gather food from a few sources on their islet until most sources have dimenished greatly. Then they practice slash and burn agriculture along the opposite banks, rowing across their moats to briefly plant a few vegetables. On the islets, they harvest root-fruits from the puzil trees that grow around their houses and fish intermittantly before their crops are ripe. After harvest, the water recedes and they leave for more fertile pastures temporarily, allowing the islets to recharge with harvestable plants and game.
Their culture can easily be divided into the structure used on the islet and those used in the bush. During the dry season, while out in the open land, they follow a more militant paradigm. The groups splinter into smaller bands. Within the bands, women rarely leave the camps. They carry the sleeping mats and watch the children while travelling, but once camp is laid, they remain stationary and forage only within shouting distance. Children (generally defined as pre-pubescents) are permitted even less freedom, remaining within sight of the women in the camp. Men, when not travelling between camps, generally split into different foraging groups, which then disperse in the general area. During the distant foraging operations, the men also scout ahead in case of danger from other ethnic groups.
Other bands of Kelsiut-speakers are viewed as both potential trading partners as well as competitors. Usually bands of Kelsiut-speakers which meet in the open country are peaceful to one another and trade news of any Faraneit caravans or other intruders to the area as well as young girls as potential wives. The constant inter-islet interchange of wives has not only permitted the ethnic group to maintain genetic diversity within islets but also maintain some linguistic continuity. During rare periods of extreme famine, contacts between Kelsiut-speakers, particularly of different islets, can only be described as guerrilla warfare.
Once returned to the islet, the Kelsiut-speakers' culture dramatically changes methods. Instead of militant and male-dominated, the different summer bands on and islet function similarly to clans in Iroquois society. Agreements about land use or other large issues are discussed by all adults on the island, of both genders, until concensus is reached. Gender roles are much less sharpely defined, as both men and women, unless pregnant, clear the shore's brush to make it suitable for horticulture, as well as gather food and cook it. Men generally fish and women generally harvest the puzil roots, but it is not unheard of for individuals to violate this tendency. Men almost exclusively harvest the shore's crops, however, as it is viewed as potentially dangerous for women to work along the shore during the dry season.
Their religion can only be described as animistic, but with some polytheistic aspects.