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| Nojalengo |
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Nojalengo (Νοιαλενγω) is an a posteriori constructed language that began its life in the seventh century AD, when a monk known by the name of Cosmas embarked on a project to create a "lingua communicationis universalis", or a language of universal communication. Suppressed by the Church for over a millennium, in the nineteenth century it was rediscovered and amended by a secretive club of linguists in London. Νοιαλενγω means new language.
Cosmas and the lingua communicationis universalisEdit
In the seventh century, a Byzantine monk by the name of Cosmas decided to construct a "lingua communicationis universalis", or a language of universal communication. This project, he believed, would solve conflict and restore peace and harmony the world over; he wished to recreate an almost Edenic calm in the world. He chose the Greek alphabet, Greek being the lingua franca for the region where he lived. The roots of the language were taken from a variety of different languages (Cosmas, it is believed, was a talented polyglot), including Germanic, Semitic, Slavic and Romance roots.
However, the Church looked down upon Cosmas's works scornfully; it was viewed as disobeying God's will. Their justification was the story of the Tower of Babel; God made people speak different languages so they would not become too powerful. By constructing a universal language that all people could speak, Cosmas was going against God's wishes.
The abbot of the monastery where he worked warned him that if he did not stop by his own accord, his work would be punished. These threats did not deter Cosmas, who continued his work on the language. At first, his abbot was taken aback by this blatant rebellion, and begrudgingly let him continue. But after mounting pressure by other Church officials, Cosmas was ordered to stop or be excommunicated.
Cosmas stopped his public work on the language, but continued to work in secret long into the night. He wrote manuscripts on and in the language, and hid them away in metal caskets which he buried in the grounds of the monastery.
When Cosmas died in around 703AD, he had left behind a grammar of the language and around five thousand words, as well as some small sections of the Gospels translated into Nojalengo. (It is believed by some that Cosmas had helpers in his monastery due to some manuscripts having subtly different handwritings, but these slight variations could just be due to Cosmas's aging.)
The Babelbane SocietyEdit
In 1865, while on a holiday in Turkey, English eccentric and amateur archaeologist Eberhard Stanbury started digging up a patch of ground near an old stone wall. For several days he dodged Ottoman officials and worked tirelessly, until he uncovered several old vellum-bound manuscripts and illuminations of the Bible, chant books, a variety of monastic possessions and eight metal caskets. He wrote to his wife on July 16, 1865, "My excavation of this little plot of land ten miles south of Smyrna is almost complete. I am to sell these monastic trinkets to the museums upon my return, save from these caskets, which I have yet to open. I wish not to open them and let their contents turn to dust in this abhorrent atmosphere, but I shall disclose them back by your side. I shall judge the matter upon discovering the contents of these strange metal boxes."
Back in England, the manuscripts, illumination, chant books and monastic miscellanea were all sold to a variety of museums as per the letter, but Stanbury kept the caskets. When he opened them, he found a series of yet more manuscripts and codices, written in the Greek script. These manuscripts contained a grammar and basic glossary for a previously unknown language written in the Greek script. Its differences were far too great for it to be a previously unknown dialect of ancient Greek.
Stanbury collected together a secret group of linguistic experts to analyse the language, who determined that the language had roots in Slavic, Germanic, Romance and Semitic languages. Inside one casket was also a note explaining the history of the language, written this time in Latin, by Cosmas.
Over the next 30 years, this collection of linguists, taking the name of The Babelbane Society (harking back to Cosmas's plights) worked on the manuscripts, editing them and updating the linguistic influences to include more modern words, until, in 1895, they completed the First Book of Nojalengo, or Υνημα Λιβερο Νοιαλενγος, still unpublished. The group continued to work on the language and other constructions, recruiting new members as necessary - it continues still today, to manage the updating of Nojalengo and its other language projects. The individuals' identities remain unknown.
Classification and DialectsEdit
Although it is a constructed language, there are two main variants of Nojalengo, dubbed Archea and Moderna (from the Nojalengo words for ancient and modern. Nojalengo Archea is the original language as coined by Cosmas and his possible assistants. Nojalengo Moderna is the current continually updated version maintained by the Babelbane Society. The edits and additions made by the Society were considered too great, and so for reference Cosmas' version of the language is kept as a separate archaic variant. Apart from the much smaller word list, Nojalengo Archea's grammar was much more constrained (the study of linguistics was nowhere near as advanced); also, Cosmas elected to use an extended form of the Greek alphabet consisting of a diacritic system, whilst Babelbane narrowed down the alphabet considerably. This article deals with Moderna unless otherwise stated.
|Plosive||p b||t d||k ɡ||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||θ||s z||ʃ||x||h|
All syllables in Nojalengo contain a vowel as their nucleus. There are no diphthongs, so two vowels in a row are two separate syllables. There can be at most two vowels in a row before a consonant is needed. Consonant clusters consist of at most two consonants in a row, except when there is a sound followed by [dz], when two consonants are followed by [s], or after a nasal consonant followed by a homorganic consonant (such as [nt], [ns], [mp] or [ɱf]). In Archea, there are geminates, but in Moderna there are not. Any consonants in a cluster all must share the same voicing. Words can never start with a vowel sound - if there is no written consonant before it, even if a consonant sound ends the previous word, the vowel sound should start with [ʔ].
|Letter||Α α||Β β||Γ γ||Δ δ||Ε ε||Ζ ζ||Η η||Θ θ|
|Letter||Ι ι||Κ κ||Λ λ||Μ μ||Ν ν||Ξ ξ||Ο ο||Π π|
|Sound||ɪ, i, j||k||l||m, ɱ||n, ŋ||x||ɔ||p|
|Letter||Ρ ρ||Σ ς||Τ τ||Υ υ||Φ φ||Χ χ||Ω ω||Ἁ ἁ|
|Sound||r||s||t||ʉ, v||f||ʃ||o̞||ha, hɑ|
|Letter||Ἑ ἑ||Ἡ ἡ||Ἱ ἱ||Ὁ ὁ||Ὑ ὑ||Ὡ ὡ||Ῥ ῥ|
NB: the letter υ functions as both a consonant and a vowel, dependent on where it is in a word. If it is between two other vowels, it acts as a consonant and is pronounced [v]. Any other time, it is a vowel and is pronounced [ʉ]. The letter ι functions similarly, when it comes between two other vowels, its sound is [j]; otherwise, it is a vowel sound of either ɪ or i (which does not matter). The sound [dʒ] is approximated with δχ, although strictly that would sound as [dʃ]; however, phonotactically that cannot occur.
In Nojalengo, all nouns end with 'ο' - this is a signpost to indicate that they are nouns. There are eight cases and two numbers, but no genders. The cases are the nominative, vocative, accusative, dative, genitive, ablative, locative and instrumental. The numbers are singular and plural.
In the table below are the endings for the nouns, separated by hyphens, using the example noun λενγο, or language:
The nominative is the subject of the sentence. For example, "The language is dead."
The vocative is used to address something. For example, "O language! why art thou dead?"
The accusative is the direct object of the sentence. For example, "He spoke the language."
The dative is the indirect object of the sentence. For example, "He added fifty new words to the language."
The genitive shows possession. For example, "The language's grammar was simple and mathematical."
The ablative shows origin or cause. For example, "The words were taken from the language."
The locative shows location. For example, "The hidden Hebrew etymologies in the language were very interesting to the aging linguist."
The instrumental shows something used in an action. For example, "He wrote the poetry in [using] the language."
Proper nouns coming in to the language, as well as foreign loanwords, most often are not translated (apart from common given names). As such, their nominatives often will not end in 'ο'. Thus, they are treated slightly differently. Take the table for the last name 'Σμιθ' (Smith).
Note the changes in the singular nominative, vocative, genitive and ablative.
As in many languages, if the verb 'to be' connects two nouns, both are in the nominative (they are compliments of each other).
In Archea, the singular noun contained the letter ω in place of the letter ο in the nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.
|1st singular||2nd singular||3rd singular masc.||3rd singular fem.||3rd singular neut.||1st plural||2nd plural||3rd plural|
Note for possessive pronouns (such as in the phrase "The book is yours) you just use the genitive form.
In Archea, as for nouns, the letter ω was used in place of the letter ο.
Adjectives are declined very similarly to nouns. However, in the nominative they end in an α, and so in the table are some slight adjustments. Take the adjective νοια (meaning new).
The comparative is indicated by the word 'μηι' placed before the adjective, and the superlative by the word 'πληι'. These are not declined.
Adjectives are placed after their corresponding nouns but before any genitives that may relate to the noun. For example, the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is translated "Ρεπυβλικο Δεμοκρατα Ποπολος Αλδζαιηριος", or Republic Democratic of People of Algeria
Nojalengo's verb construction is comparatively simple. There are 2 voices, 4 aspects and 3 tenses, alongside 6 moods and related participles. All verbs are regular.
The four aspects are the finite (akin to the simple aspect in English), the continuous (akin to the progressive), the eventual (akin to the perfect) and the dumive (akin to the progressive perfect).
N.B. These terms come from Cosmas' original grammar (there labelled as φινιτω, κοντινυω, ευηντυω and δυμιω (see the final paragraph in the Nouns section for notes on the spelling)).
The three tenses are past, present and future.
The six moods are the infinitive, the indicative, the interrogative, the conditional, the subjunctive and the imperative. They mostly work as in other languages. A few notes to clarify the use of the conditional and subjunctive:
In the sentence "The cake that I am eating is good", the phrase "that I am eating" would be in the subjunctive (namely the present continuous subjunctive).
In the sentence "If you go to the party, I will go too", the phrase "if you go to the party" would be in the subjunctive (present finite subjunctive), and "I will go too" (the result of a particular condition) would be in the conditional (present finite conditional).
In the sentence "I would go to the party that you are going to if Adam is going too", there are two subjunctives and a conditional. The phrase "I would go to the party" is the possible result, and thus is the conditional (a present finite conditional). The two phrases "that you are going to" and "if Adam is going too" are in the subjunctive (both present continuous subjunctives).
Below is a verb table for the active voice of the verb μανγηρεν (to eat), with each affix separated by a hyphen. (To form the passive, the prefix "γε" is added (or "γεφ" if the verb's stem starts with a vowel).
|tense + aspect||infinitive||indicative||interrogative||conditional||subjunctive|
In conclusion, to form the verb, take the stem, add the affix of the right aspect, then add the affix of the right tense, and then the affix of the right mood, then the prefix of the right voice.
The gerund is the same as the present participle.
Most adverbs end in -ψ, and are formed from related adjectives as follows:
In conclusion, to form an adverb from an adjective, you remove the final α, replace it with an ε and add ψ at the end.
There are two articles, the definite (ὁ) and the indefinite (υν).
Prepositions end in -υ and do not decline. They are followed by either the ablative, locative or instrumental; which depends on the preposition.
Conjunctions do not have any set ending, and do not decline.
Numerals end in η and do decline. See the following table for the numeral νυλη (zero).
The language's syntax is SVO. As previously mentioned, adjectives come after the nouns they are describing, but before any genitives.
JOHN 1:1-3 (English)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
ΙΟΝΙΩ 1:1-3 (Nojalengo Archea)
Εν η γηνηςη ετειβα ω Λογω, ινα ω Λογω ετεοβα μετυ ων Βοχων, ινα ω Λογω ετειβα ω Βοχω. Ω ιδμω ετειβα εν η γηνηςη μετυ ων Βοχων. Τυδι ρεςι γεκρετειβα ελας; ινα ςιν ελας νιὁ γεκρειηβα δα γεμανγειβαδα.
ΙΟΑΝΙΟ 1:1-3 (Nojalengo Moderna)
Εν ὡ γηνηςω ετειβα ὁ Λογο, ινα ὁ Λογο ετεοβα μετυ ὁν Βοχον, ινα ὁ Λογο ετειβα ὁ Βοχο. Ὁ ιδμο ετειβα εν ὡ γηνηςω μετυ ὁν Βοχον. Τυδι ρεςι γεκρειηβα ελω; ινα ςενε ελας νιχο γεκρειηβα δα γεμανγηβαδα.