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Undique, the sorcerer's tongue

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The Sorcerer's Tongue
Undique
Type
Fusional
Alignment
Tripartite
Head direction
Mixed
Tonal
No
Declensions
Yes
Conjugations
Yes
Genders
Yes
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect



General informationEdit

 Native pronunciation: /'un.di.kwe/  (OON-dee-kway), from undi 'our' and kwela 'power, knowledge'

Undique is widely known in Mygith as the Sorcerer's Tongue. It is the language of the Ancients who once dwellt in the Mage City (Undiquitus) of Masecraeia on the Eruscan Sea, where word-magic has been studied, developed, and taught since prehistory.

This is the language in which sorcery is conducted, written, and read; it has two written forms, which are sometimes used together. The first is an alphabet, which is used for most purposes, especially for all non-magical purposes; the second form is ideographic, and is used for alchemy, and sometimes in scrolls and enchantments.

Linguistically, Undique is a fusional language roughly resembling Indo-European languages. It has 26 consonants with voicing distinction, including labiovelars and two uvular sounds, and nine vowels plus length distinction. There are six cases - ergative, absolutive, accusitive, genitive, dative, and instrumental, (as well as reflexive particles and anaphora in the pronominal paradigm), and three animacy states. It has five tenses, two aspects, and marks for evidentiality, and optionally for subject volition. It is a pro-drop language.

PhonologyEdit

ConsonantsEdit

Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labiovelar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive p b t d k g kw q ʔ
Fricative v f þ ð s z š x xw χ h
Approximant j w
Trill r
Lateral app. l

There was a historic /gw/ phoneme, but it has merged with /w/. 

VowelsEdit

Front long Front short Central Back short Back long
High í i ə u ú
Mid-high é e o ó
Mid-low ɛ́ ɛ ɔ ɔ́
Low á a ɑ ɑ́

AlphabetEdit

 Undique is written in two different native writing systems - the first being alphabetic, and the second ideographic. The alphabet is used in everyday writings - letters, official records, books - and, as a right-to-left cursive script, bears some resemblance to modern Arabic. The ideographic script, on the other hand, is used to preform magic, and is generally arranged in a ring formation. 
Undique script bit1 corrected

Here it will be written in an IPA-based Romanization, with a few non-IPA exceptions (such as thorn in place of theta, a in place of ash). Also, the forms "c" and "ʒ" will be used to denote postalveolar affricates - [tš] and [dž] respectively - although these are in fact entirely-predictable palatalized allophones of /k/ and /g/.

PhonotacticsEdit

Undique allows relatively complex syllable structure, although complex onsets are often avoided with an epenthetic schwa or barred i. The stress system is trochaic, generally with penultimate primary stress, but feet will align to the beginning of a heavy syllable.

There are three noun classes, divided by thematic vowels, which are referred to as grammatical genders; the feminine i-class (front vowels) /i, e, ɛ/, neuter a-class (low vowels) /a, ə, ɑ/, and masculine u-class (back vowels) /ɔ, o, u/. These classes are used in case derivation, and are assigned by the last vowel in the word in the ergative case, or the last long vowel if there are any; so while vosi, 'fish,' is feminine, lósi, 'tortoise,' is masculine.

Some synchronic rules of the language are:

  • x, k, g → ʃ, t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ /_i, e, j, r
    • "velars palatalize before i, e, j, r" 
    • /varg-je/ → [vard͡ʒe] 'it will...'
  • x, k, g → ʃ, ʒ /i, e, j, r _ #
    • "velars palatalize (differently) word-finally after i, e, j, r"
    • /þalɛc/ → [θælɛʃ] 'knee'
  • short V → ∅ /between two feet
    • "short vowels delete between two feet"
    • /cé.lu.wes-i/ → [t͡ʃeːl.wesi] 'he is born'
  • short V → h / V:[+Obs -Voi]_#
    • "short vowels debuccalizes word-finally following a long vowel and a voiceless obstruent"
    • ​/lópə/ → [loːpʰ] 'tomorrow'

Grammar OverviewEdit

Gender Cases Numbers Tenses Persons Moods Voices Aspects
Verb No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Nouns Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Adjectives Yes No Yes No No No No No
Numbers Yes Yes No No No No No No
Participles No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Adverb No No No Yes No No No No
Pronouns Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Adpositions Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Article Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Particle No No No No No No No No


As a cased language, Undique has relatively free word order, but in subordinate clauses the main constituents appear as VSO. Modifiers preceed their complement.

Undique has six cases: ergative, absolutive, accusitive, genitive, dative, and instrumental. The ergative is the subject of transitive verbs (a verb with both subject and object), whereas the absolutive is the subject of intransitive verbs (where there is no object). The accusative is the direct object, the dative the indirect; genitive is a possessor, and an instrumental is a tool used in the completion of an action.

The case system is generally simplified to a system of two (active/ passive) or three (ergative, absolutive/accusative, oblique) cases on words other than pronouns or nouns (e.g. on verbal agreement and numbers).

There are also three genders (more accurately states of animacy). These are šarna or animate (people and animals), módɛm or moderate (fluids, plants, and magic), and qekwɛm or inanimate.

PronounsEdit

Erg. Abs. Acc. Gen. Rfx. Dat. Instr.
1 sg ɑnə ɑ́n ɑnəm ɑləm ɑnút ɑliš ɑntɛ 
pl ún no nónɛm  undi undún wéš wɛtɛ 
2 sg ɔtə ɔ́s ɔtɛm ɔsəm ɔsút séš sɛnt
pl ɑkə ɑ́ŋk ɑcim indi indín ɑciš kɛnt
3

an

sg í in ime im ít ijiš intɛ
pl ɛðə ɛ́ð ɛðɛm ɛði ɛðín ɛ́k ɛðɛ
3

mod

sg ijé ijín ijɛm ijəm ijɛ́t jiš intɛ
pl ewɔ éw ewɛm jundi jún juk juntɛ
3

in

sg isə is isɛm im isít isok iþɛ
pl exwɔ éxw exwɛm xweli xunún exwok xweþɛ

NounsEdit

Nouns are declined by number, case, gender, and animacy. There is much synchronism across the animacy paradigm, particularly between animate and moderate classes, but a few distinct forms remain.

Feminine noun declension
Animacy # Erg Abs Acc Gen Dat Instr
Animate sg -in -ɛr -əm -k -ɛnt
pl -ɛh -ine -ɛre -ɛndi -éc -þi
Moderate sg -in -ɛm -əm -k -ɛnt
pl -ɛh -ew -ɛme -ɛndi -éc -þɛ
Inanimate sg -s -in -ɛq -xəm -k -ɛnt
pl -exw -ine -ɛqe -ɛndi -xéc -þɛ

It is worth noting that although the underlying phoneme in the singular dative forms is -k, this is realized in the majority of feminine words as -c [š] due to palatalization.

Masculine noun declension
Animacy # Erg Abs Acc Gen Dat Instr
Animate sg -un -ot -əm -k -ɔnt
pl -ɔh -uno -oto -ɔndi -ók -þu
Moderate sg -un -om -əm -k -ɔnt
pl -ewɔh -ew -omo -ɔndi -ók -þu
Inanimate sg -t -un -oq -xəm -k -ɔnt
pl -ɔxw -no -oqo -ɔndi -xók -þo
Neuter noun declension
Animacy # Erg Abs Acc Gen Dat Instr
Animate sg -ən -ɑr -əm -k -ɑnt
pl -ɑh -əna -ara -ɑndi -ák -þə
Moderate sg -ən -ɑm -əm -k -ɑnt
pl -ɑh -əna -ama -ɑndi -ák -þə
Inanimate sg -ən -ɑq -xəm -k -ɑnt
pl -ɑh -əna -aqa -ɑndi -xák -þa

VerbsEdit

In progress

ModifiersEdit

Adjectives and adverbs immediately follow their head. Adjectives and adverbs are little differentiated within the language besides in position, with the exception that adjectives agree with the gender of their noun - cast with a thematic vowel e, a, or o depending on whether their noun is feminine, neuter, or masculine. Some adverbs are further marked with -m.

Quantitatives ('some'), comparatives (bigger) and superlatives (biggest) behave similarly to numbers and determiners in English, and preceed their heads.

Locative particles, also known as directionals, are similar to English prepositions or verb particles - get up, fall down - and are suffixes on the verb.

Temporals are a specific set of adverb-like forms that have to deal with time, such as 'yesterday,' 'soon,' or 'again.' These are always phrase-initial.

SyntaxEdit

In general, due to its robust morphology, Undique has a very free word order. VSO is most common, however.

The verbal complex is generally ordered as well, although arguments can it in any order around (or even within) it, in the order illocutionary particle, modals, tense, aspect, verb root. However, due to affix lowering which indicates tense and aspect agreement on aspects and verbs, even these items can sometimes be found in alternative orders.

Adjectives and adverbs are always adjacent to their nouns/verbs, although temporal adverbs appear phrase-initially. This is also true of the question particle hazɛ́ŋ, 'when', the only "wh-word" with "wh-movement" - all others appear in-situ.

Subordinate clauses, where VSO always occurs, are denoted by the use of special subordinate moods called repurcursive moods; if he'd done Y, then X, or he won't do Y, so X won't happen either. 

VocabularyEdit


No. English undique
1Iɑ́n
2you (singular)ɔ́s
3hein
4weno
5you (plural)ɑ́ŋk
6theyɛ́ð
7thisContionary_Wiki
8thatContionary_Wiki
9hereContionary_Wiki
10thereContionary_Wiki
11whoContionary_Wiki
12whatContionary_Wiki
13whereContionary_Wiki
14whenContionary_Wiki
15howContionary_Wiki
16notContionary_Wiki
17allContionary_Wiki
18manyContionary_Wiki
19someContionary_Wiki
20fewContionary_Wiki
21otherContionary_Wiki
22oneoni
23twodoχ
24threetej
25fourkwɛr
26fivepɛŋ
27bigContionary_Wiki
28longContionary_Wiki
29wideContionary_Wiki
30thickContionary_Wiki
31heavyContionary_Wiki
32smallContionary_Wiki
33shortContionary_Wiki
34narrowContionary_Wiki
35thinContionary_Wiki
36womanfɑ́tuwe
37man (adult male)afɑ́
38man (human being)Contionary_Wiki
39childɛntiŋ
40wifeɑkwɛn
41husbandþejun
42motheranrə
43fatherwen
44animalnaþro
45fishvosi
46birdahe
47dogteŋgə
48louseContionary_Wiki
49snakevatqa
50wormþaðe
51treekɔri
52forestdrɛg
53sticktokle
54fruittanþín
55seedimolə
56leafferiən
57rootContionary_Wiki
58barkContionary_Wiki
59flowerContionary_Wiki
60grassContionary_Wiki
61ropeContionary_Wiki
62skinContionary_Wiki
63meatContionary_Wiki
64bloodContionary_Wiki
65boneContionary_Wiki
66fatContionary_Wiki
67eggContionary_Wiki
68hornContionary_Wiki
69tailContionary_Wiki
70featherContionary_Wiki
71hairContionary_Wiki
72headContionary_Wiki
73earContionary_Wiki
74eyeContionary_Wiki
75noseContionary_Wiki
76mouthContionary_Wiki
77toothContionary_Wiki
78tongueContionary_Wiki
79fingernailContionary_Wiki
80footContionary_Wiki
81legContionary_Wiki
82kneeContionary_Wiki
83handContionary_Wiki
84wingContionary_Wiki
85bellyContionary_Wiki
86gutsContionary_Wiki
87neckContionary_Wiki
88backContionary_Wiki
89breastContionary_Wiki
90heartContionary_Wiki
91liverContionary_Wiki
92drinkContionary_Wiki
93eatContionary_Wiki
94biteContionary_Wiki
95suckContionary_Wiki
96spitContionary_Wiki
97vomitContionary_Wiki
98blowContionary_Wiki
99breatheContionary_Wiki
100laughContionary_Wiki
101seeContionary_Wiki
102hearContionary_Wiki
103knowContionary_Wiki
104thinkContionary_Wiki
105smellContionary_Wiki
106fearContionary_Wiki
107sleepContionary_Wiki
108liveContionary_Wiki
109dieContionary_Wiki
110killContionary_Wiki
111fightContionary_Wiki
112huntContionary_Wiki
113hitContionary_Wiki
114cutContionary_Wiki
115splitContionary_Wiki
116stabContionary_Wiki
117scratchContionary_Wiki
118digContionary_Wiki
119swimContionary_Wiki
120flyContionary_Wiki
121walkContionary_Wiki
122comeContionary_Wiki
123lieContionary_Wiki
124sitContionary_Wiki
125standContionary_Wiki
126turnContionary_Wiki
127fallContionary_Wiki
128giveContionary_Wiki
129holdContionary_Wiki
130squeezeContionary_Wiki
131rubContionary_Wiki
132washContionary_Wiki
133wipeContionary_Wiki
134pullContionary_Wiki
135pushContionary_Wiki
136throwContionary_Wiki
137tieContionary_Wiki
138sewContionary_Wiki
139countContionary_Wiki
140sayContionary_Wiki
141singContionary_Wiki
142playContionary_Wiki
143floatContionary_Wiki
144flowContionary_Wiki
145freezeContionary_Wiki
146swellContionary_Wiki
147sunContionary_Wiki
148moonContionary_Wiki
149starContionary_Wiki
150waterContionary_Wiki
151rainContionary_Wiki
152riverContionary_Wiki
153lakeContionary_Wiki
154seaContionary_Wiki
155saltContionary_Wiki
156stoneContionary_Wiki
157sandContionary_Wiki
158dustContionary_Wiki
159earthContionary_Wiki
160cloudContionary_Wiki
161fogContionary_Wiki
162skyContionary_Wiki
163windContionary_Wiki
164snowContionary_Wiki
165iceContionary_Wiki
166smokeContionary_Wiki
167fireContionary_Wiki
168ashContionary_Wiki
169burnContionary_Wiki
170roadContionary_Wiki
171mountainContionary_Wiki
172redContionary_Wiki
173greenContionary_Wiki
174yellowContionary_Wiki
175whiteContionary_Wiki
176blackContionary_Wiki
177nightContionary_Wiki
178dayContionary_Wiki
179yearContionary_Wiki
180warmContionary_Wiki
181coldContionary_Wiki
182fullContionary_Wiki
183newContionary_Wiki
184oldContionary_Wiki
185goodContionary_Wiki
186badContionary_Wiki
187rottenContionary_Wiki
188dirtyContionary_Wiki
189straightContionary_Wiki
190roundContionary_Wiki
191sharpContionary_Wiki
192dullContionary_Wiki
193smoothContionary_Wiki
194wetContionary_Wiki
195dryContionary_Wiki
196correctContionary_Wiki
197nearContionary_Wiki
198farContionary_Wiki
199rightContionary_Wiki
200leftContionary_Wiki
201atContionary_Wiki
202inContionary_Wiki
203withContionary_Wiki
204andContionary_Wiki
205ifContionary_Wiki
206becauseContionary_Wiki
207nameContionary_Wiki
Numbers by case and gender
gen animate moderate inanimate
case erg abs obl erg abs obl erg abs obl
0 šer šerɛ šeri jašer šerje šerəš šerət šeriak šerəsm
1 oni onjɛ oní jani onje janjəš onjət oniak onjəsm
2 doχ doχɛ doχi jadoχ doχew jadoχəp doχət doχiak doχekw
3 tej tejɛ
4 kwɛr kwɛrɛ
5 pɛŋ pɛNGɛ
6 xwéš xwékɛ xwéci jaxwéš xwéšew jax
7 séf séfɛ
8 ɔšiþ ɔšiþɛ
9 nun nunɛ
10 dɑm dɑmɛ
11 ondə
12 dódə
13 tézə
14 kúdə
15 pendə
16 xukdə
17 sédə
18 ɔ́xə
19 núdə
20 wicem
30 tejom
40 kukom
50 pɛm
60 xwékom
70 séfom
80 ɔ́xəm
90 nukom
100 ɑcim
200 docim
1000 qerɑm

Example textEdit

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