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Spoken in: British Isles and elsewhere
Conworld: Atla; The Elvenpath
Total speakers: --
Genealogical classification: Hesperic
Created by:
Jörg Rhiemeier 2000-

The Albic language family constitutes the main conlanging project of Jörg Rhiemeier, and is a part of Atla. So far, only one language, Old Albic, has been worked out in detail. The Albic family is a branch of the larger Hesperic family of the same author.

Project history


The project began when Jörg found this Tolkien fan-fiction story on the Net in April 2000. Immediately, he asked himself, "What kind of language would those Elves in the modern world speak?", and began working on Nur-ellen, a descendant of Sindarin. This turned out to be difficult as many words and grammatical forms of Sindarin were unknown. In Nur-ellen, some of the characteristic features of the later Albic languages, such as the active-stative morphosyntactic alignment with degrees of volition, began to take shape.

During the work on Nur-ellen, the notion of the "British Elves" began to take shape, and Nur-ellen was considered for inclusion in the collaborative conworld Ill Bethisad. This did not materialize due to disagreements with some members of that project. The issue triggered discussions that ultimately led to the formation of the League of Lost Languages.


The language having been divorced from Tolkien's legendarium like this, Jörg increasingly realized that the language could no longer be a descendant of any of Tolkien's Elvish languages. Hence, he began reworking the language completely. Also, he envisioned a whole family of "Elvish" languages. Meanwhile, Jörg had read the book Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans by T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov which laid out an alternative reconstruction of Early Proto-Indo-European as an active-stative language, and he decided that his Elvish languages were to be related to Indo-European, branching off at such an early stage.

This language family, having nothing to do anymore with Tolkien's languages (though quite a few "provisional" words survived from Nur-ellen), could no longer be called Quendian, so the name was abandoned and the family provisionally named "Q". (This is not to be confused with another "real-world Elvish" conlang also named "Q", by Danny Wier, which was later merged into Tech.)


The family received its final name in early 2004 (the first mention of "Albic" on the CONLANG list dates from February 23, 2004). By this time, the contours of Old Albic were clearly showing in the drafts. A first sketch of Old Albic was posted to CONLANG on June 21, 2004:

This version of the language differed in some respects (most notably the nominal morphology) from the later, "mature" version, but the basic structure has not changed much since then.

Currently, a new (and hopefully final) version of the grammar and a dictionary of Old Albic are under preparation. For the time being, this page has to make do though some details have changed.


The notion that the Albic languages were related to Indo-European and constitute a residue of a layer of languages spoken in western Europe before the spread of the Indo-European family led to the exploration of further languages that are not part of Albic proper but related to it. This family is called Hesperic. It is based on research of the author into the linguistic prehistory of Europe (see Aquan).

The Albic language family

This part of the article is pending revision. --WeepingElf 08:30, 22 January 2013 (PST)

The name "Albic" is from the Old Albic self-designation Alba (plural Elbi). Old Albic was the dominant language of Britain before the immigration of the Celts; its speakers, the Elbi, were the bearers of a unique ancient civilization which gave rise to the Celtic and Germanic traditions of Elves, the Greek tradition of Hyperborea and possibly also of the Atlantis myth. They were essentially humans who behaved in some ways similarly to the Elves of J. R. R. Tolkien (whose languages were influential on the creation of the Albic languages). The modern Albic languages are spoken by tiny minorities which together make up about 50,000 people; they descend from various vernacular dialects of Old Albic.

Four branches of the Albic family can be distiguished: South Albic, consisting of Classical Old Albic, Low Elvish and Macaronesian; Neck Albic with a single language (name not decided yet); North Albic, represented by Caledonian; and West Albic, to which belongs Ivernic. These four branches already existed as dialectal divisions in classical times, with Classical Old Albic showing characteristic features of the South Albic branch.

The Albic languages belong to the Hesperic family and share a number of features (such as VSO word order and initial mutations) with the Celtic languages of the British Isles as well as with the Razaric family; these three families thus form a linguistic area (see this article for details). The Albic languages are active-stative languages of the fluid-S subtype; other interesting features include autosegmental behaviour of vowel features (leading to various umlaut and vowel harmony phenomena), marking of degrees of volition by various noun cases, suffixaufnahme (i.e., possessors agree with the possessee in number and case in addition to their own number and case marking), and a duodecimal (base 12) number system.


Preliminary list, subject to revision