Classical Ályis [ˈaʎis] is the language that originated the Modern Ályis language and somewhat influenced the Thandaran, the former being the language of the Ídharas people, the dwellers of the Island of Ídharos, the northwesternmost of the Great Islands. The word ályis itself means simply “speak” or, when referred to as a proper name, “the speak”.
Classical Ályis is the ídharan ceremonial language, used in formal contexts such as religious celebrations, court trials, royal audiences, school lectures. Although this practice is widespread in the island of Ídharos, not all cities in the imperial island of Thándaræ follow it.
The rules presented here were established by the ídharan Tradition Masters Council in the year 10I (that is, the tenth year of the Kingdom of Ídharos), after a decades work of standardization of the ídharan vernacular language.
Phonology, orthography, and pronunciation
|Flaps & Taps||ɾ|
¹ The sound /h/ is considered a “foreign” sound and usually appears only in loanwords and foreign names, although it can appear as an allophone of /ɦ/.
See also: Ánvalyis (Classical Ályis writing system)
The above phonemes are rendered in writing as follows:
| B b|
| P p|
| D d|
| T t|
| Z z|
| S s|
| G g|
| C c|
| L l|
| R r|
| M m|
| N n|
| V v|
| F f|
| DH dh|
| TH th|
| ZH zh|
| SH sh|
| GH gh|
| CH ch|
| LY ly|
| H h Ħ ħ|
| NY ny|
The consonant variants in italics are used when one desires to be as faithful as possible to the native orthography when transliterating.
² As /h/ is an allophone of /ɦ/ in Classical Ályis, it was frequently written with the same letter. Ídharan purists, however, tended to use the letter for the lenited M m for /h/ in foreign words and names when it occurred in positions where Ályis could only have /ɦ/. Therefore, if one wants to make such distinction when romanizing, one would use Ħ ħ for /h/ when it appears phonemically.
| A a|
| Æ æ|
| E e|
| I i|
| O o|
| U u|
Consonants and vowels
The position in a word doesn't change a consonant sound. The consonant L, however, can become labialized as /lʷ/ before other consonants or in word-final positions, and the consonant H may be realised as /h/ instead of /ɦ/ when it comes before a voiceless consonant.
Vowels, on the other hand, usually don't become nasalized before /m/, /n/, and /ɲ/, but the vowel e is pronounced as /e/ in such positions even when stressed (stress is indicated with a breve sign, as in ă; see below).
|A|| /a/ when stressed |
|nára ['naɾɐ] “they (n) are hated”|
|Æ|| /e/ when stressed|
| ǽgis ['eɡis] “this” |
ághæn ['aɣɐen] “frightening”
|E|| /e/ when followed by /m/, /n/, or /ɲ/ |
otherwise /ɛ/ when stressed
| déme ['deme] “I am” |
délne ['dɛlʷne] “I look like”
|I||/i/||faín [fa'in] “green”|
|O|| /ɔ/ when stressed and followed by /i/, /l/, or /ʎ/ |
| dólmes ['dɔlʷmes] “horse” |
ádolme ['adolʷme] “to ride [a horse]”
|U||/u/||úmar ['umaɾ] “less”|
In the descending diphthongs, if the second letter is stressed, the vowel cluster is a hiatus, not a diphthong:
| áinar ['ainɐɾ] “now”|
dízais ['dizɐɪs] “brother”
| áubæn ['aʊbɐen] “superfluous”|
áraus ['aɾɐʊs] “wolf”
|EI||/ei/||heis [ɦeis] “foreigner”|
|EU||/eu/||cámeus ['kameus] “table”|
| sóiles ['sɔiles] “sparrow”|
dómois ['domoɪs] “crow”
In the ascending diphthongs, if the first letter is stressed, the vowel cluster is a hiatus, not a diphthong:
|UA||/wa/||tuaís [twa'is] “city”|
| úmues ['umwes] “sheep”|
guésas ['ɡwɛsɐs] “feather”
|UI||/wi/||puis [pwis] “fruit”|
| áluos ['alwos] “mouse”|
uólyas ['wɔʎɐs] “vapor”
Stressed syllables are indicated with an acute accent (ǽ/ăé, Ǽ/Ăé, á, é, í, ó, ú, Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú). Alternatively, to more closely resemble the ályis writing system, ánvalyis, stressed vowels can be indicated with a macron on æ (as in ǣ, Ǣ) and a breve on the other vowels (as in ă, ĕ, ĭ, ŏ, ŭ, Ă, Ĕ, Ĭ, Ŏ, Ŭ).
Disyllabic words are, in general, paroxitones, and the stressed vowel usually doesn't change with the addition of prefixes and/or suffixes — for example, ánis “life” → shinánis “their (f) life”; ále “to love” → shále “they (f) love” → shálete “they (f) love you (s)” → shiálete “they (f) loved you (s)” → oshiálete (they (f) would love you (s)). Exceptions to this rule are the prepositional prefix + demonstrative pronoun combinations — ǽcis “this” → ídæcis “of this”; words with three or more syllables are, in general, proparoxytones.
When a prefix is linked to an unstressed monosyllable or suffix, the stress falls on the prefix, as, for example, is the case of iv- “with” + -te “you” = ívite “with you”. Stressed monosyllables, on the other hand, usually retain the stress: aus “dog” → dináus “my dog”.
The only article is the definite, li, and it is only used when the context alone is not enough to precisely identify the object being referred to. Being relatively rare, it most common use is as a honorific, as in Li Ástanæs Cállæ “The King Cállæ” as opposed to ástanæs Cállæ “Cállæ the king”.
Masculine and feminine pronominals are only used when applied to humans and the gender is either known or homogeneous within a group — that is, a group of two men and a woman would be referred to with a neutral pronominal.
Personal pronominals (subject)
|st-||you (formal)||sht-||you (pl, formal)|
Personal pronominals (object)
|-te||you (obj)||-the||you (pl, obj)|
|-ste||you (obj) (formal)||-shte||you (pl, obj) (formal)|
|-le||it (obj)||-ne||them (n)|
Demonstrative and indefinite pronominals
The prefixes are linked to consonant-starting words with the vowel -i-, except when its absence would cause a double consonant; in this case, the consonants merge into a single one.
|æg-||this [noun] (close to the speaker)||æc-||that [noun] (close to the person spoken to)||ærc-||that [noun] (away from both)|
|ǽgis||this (close to the speaker)||ǽcis||that (close to the person spoken to)||ǽrcis||that (away from both)|
|æl-||many noun (pl)||æv-||all, every noun||æf-||no noun|
|æn-||some noun||ær-||few noun|
|ǽnis||a handful||ǽris||a few|
- gris “sand” → ægrís “this sand”
- ces “rock” → æcém “these rocks”
- aus “dog” → æfáus “no dogs”
- aum “dogs” → æláum “many dogs”, æváum “all [the] dogs”
|mínye||how much, how many||íhæ||what|
It is possible to omit the copula from a sentence and link the interrogative pronoun directly to the personal suffixes and demonstrative pronouns:
- Vínyete? = Vínye téne? = “Who are you?”
- Dínyele? = Dínye léne [ǽgis/ǽcis]? = “Whose is it/this?”
- Íhæle? = Íhæ léne [ǽgis/ǽcis]? = “What is it/this?”
All nouns end in -s, and the plural is made by changing -s to -m. Nouns derived from verbs usually end in -is.
- Augmentative: om- + noun
- Diminutive: um- + noun
If the noun starts in a consonant other than m-, p-, or b-, om- and um- change to on- and un-, respectively. Double consonants created this way merge into one.
- énis “[a] person” → énim “people”
- oménis “[a] big person” → oménim “big people”
- pas “[a] hand” → pam “hands”
- umpás “[a] small hand” → umpám “small hands”
- fais “[a] leaf” → faim “leaves”
- onfáis “[a] large leaf” → onfáim “large leaves”
- nuis “[a] hole” → nuim “holes”
- unuís “[a] small hole” → unuím “small holes”
Case in Ályis is marked with prepositional prefixes, according to the table below. The quick reference list follows.
|Adessive||in, located at, present at||in-|| Diára inævivímim. |
“I was hated in all places.”
|Antessive||before, in front of||ep-|| Doácle áglis ididinháus épite. |
“I will close my house's door before you.”
|Inessive||in, between, among, inside of||im-|| Dinháus imishím. |
“My house is between theirs.”
|Postessive||behind||ob-|| Ziáranfe puim obizinháus. |
“He hid the fruits behind his house.”
|Subessive||under||ib-|| Siánvame faim ánsin ibærcém. |
“She found dead leaves under those rocks.”
|Superessive||on, on top of||eb-|| Cem nénme ebigís. |
“Rocks remain on the ground.”
|Abessive||without||av-|| Dinízais záuhe dhinháus avicém. |
“My father built our house without rocks.”
|Ablative||by, by action of||el-|| Ziárba elærcizáis. |
“He was bought by that man.”
|Benefactive||for, for the benefit of, intended for||il-|| Odiánse ílite. |
“I would die for you.”
|Causal||for, because of||od-|| Dánvalye odámlis idánvalyis.|
“I write for the pleasure of writing.”
|Comitative||with, along with, in company of||iv-|| Sárle dáse ívise. |
“She wants me to go with her.”
|Final||for, for the goal of, intending to||it-|| Diáse etíncar itadáigete. |
“I went there to save you.”
|Genitive||of, pertaining to||id-|| Diérne álnyalfæs idástanæs. |
“I became the king's counselor.”
|Instrumental||with, using||ev-|| Doáuhe dinháus ágar evicém. |
“I will build my house only with rocks.”
|Oppositive||against||al-|| Ínar zoéme álite. |
“He will always be against you.”
|Possessive||of (ownership, possession, connection, or association)|| din-/dhin-|
| Ægáus zindinízais. |
“This dog is my father's.”
|Respective||concerning something, about||ad-|| Dámle ærcaílim adilís. |
“I like those legends about water.”
|Egressive||after, beginning from||ap-|| Doáse etidinháus apitináizis. |
“I will go to my house after your departure.”
|Elative||from, out of||ed-|| Vadoárse editinánis. |
“I won't be absent from your life.”
|Lative||to, destined to||et-|| Ǽrkim noáse etisinháus. |
“These [things] will go to her house.”
|Terminative||until, as far as||ot-|| Íngar doénme otisinánsis. |
“I will stay here until her death.”
For quick reference, the following table lists all prepositional prefixes and their corresponding cases:
Case markings are linked to a word starting with a consonant with the vowel -a- if the word is a verbal form, and with the vowel -i- otherwise. See below.
- Dánve áglis ididinháus. “I see the door of my house.”
- Nílar æcizáis álite, ha áinar ílite. = “Yesterday this man was against you, but now he is for you.”
|stin-||your (formal)||shtin-||your (pl, formal)|
If the word being linked to begins with a bilabial consonant, the -n- changes to -m-. Double consonants formed when linking merge into one.
- nízais “father” → dinízais “my father” → zindinízais “my father's”
- pam “hands” → dimpám “my hands”
- Dhámle shtinástanis, Li Dhinástanæs. “We like your reign, our king.”
Adjectives, adverbs and verbs can be used as nouns, without changing forms in the process; this is called substantivisation. For example, the adverb íngar “here” can be substantivized to mean the same as ægivímis “this place”, and the adjective áthnin “happy” can be used without a noun, meaning “happy one”. Likewise, subordinate clauses can also be substantivized.
Such words/clauses used as nouns can then receive case markings just like ordinary nouns (in the case of subordinate clauses, only their verb takes the case prefix).
- Dárle dálve adábacin. “I want to learn what is important.” (lit. “I want that I learn about important.”)
- Hæ tháse etínacar. “Go there.”
- Diáuhe ærciháus itasámnele. “I built that house for her to live in it.” (lit. “I built that house for her to inhabit it.”)
All adjectives end in -n, and the ones derived from other words usually end in -æn or -in; many adjectives are derived from verbs.
- Comparative of superiority: om- + adjective
- Comparative of inferiority: um- + adjective
- álnyin “good”, “useful” → omálnyin “better”, “more useful”
Tenses and modes
The general structure of a verbal word is [secondary temporal prefix] + [personal prefix] + [primary temporal prefix] + [verb root] + [mode suffix] + [object suffix]. Not all combinations are possible for all verbs.
The three mode suffixes are -e, -i, and -a, and they are used as follows:
- Infinitive: root + -e
- Participle: root + -a
- Gerund: root + -i
For the following list, the -e ending can be changed to -i to give the idea of progression or continuous action. In some cases, it is possible to use the participle mode suffix to express a past, present or future state without using a copula.
- Present tenses
- Simple Present: person + root + -e (action in course or true at the moment of speaking)
- Progressive Present: person + root + -i (action in course at the moment of speaking)
- Past tenses
- Finished Past: person + -i- + root + -e (action completed in the past)
- Progressive Past: person + -i- + root + -i (action in progress or true for some period of time in the past)
- Perfect Past: i- + person + -i- + root + -e (action completed before a past event)
- Perfect Progressive Past: i- + person + -i- + root + -i (action in progress or true for some period of time before a past event)
- Future tenses
- Simple Future: person + -o- + root + -e (action to be executed in the future)
- Progressive Future: person + -o- + root + -i (action expected to be in progress or true for some period of time in the future)
- Past Future: o- + person + -i- + root + -e (a future action relating to a past event)
- Past Progressive Future: o- + person + -i- + root + -i (a future action expected to be in progress or true for some period of time, relating to a past event)
- Present tenses
- Ve + corresponding indicative form
- Hæ + Simple Present
- ve diéni = “if I were”
- hæ táhe ǽgis = “do this”
Omitting a verb is quite common in Ályis, although not mandatory ― if its meaning can be inferred from the context, it is very likely to be left out. A special case is the passive voice (see below).
Examples: (the grayed word is the omitted verb)
- Nólar dinísis soáse etitinháus. “Tomorrow, my mother will go to your house tomorrow.”
- Ægáus léne ídide. “This dog is mine.”
- Tindísis séme epærcém. “Your sister is in front of those rocks.”
The simplest form of passive voice is a verbal form with the participle ending -a and without an object suffix. The primary and secondary time prefixes can apply, and adverbs of time can be added to the phrase in order to position the idea more precisely in time, as in the last example below.
- Sála. = “She is loved.”
- Liárca. = “It was/has been weakened.”
- Doálca. = “I will be strengthened.”
- Tálnyaza! “[You're] welcome!” (not used as a response to thanks)
- Zhiárba elærcizáis. “They (m) were/have been bought by that man.”
- Inævigáim idhiára. “We had been hated everywhere.”
- Nílar íngar diálnyaza, ha áinar va. “Yesterday I was welcome here, but not today.”
- Note: the above phrase could also be written Nílar íngar diálnyaza, ha áinar vadálnyaza. See verbal ellipsis above.
Most adverbs end in -ar and they usually come before the word they modify, especially when it is a verb. In many cases, the -r can be dropped to link the adverb to the verb it modifies, thus creating new verbal forms. If the original verb starts in é-, the starting vowel merges with -a- into -æ-. A very common example is the verb álnyaze “to welcome”, created by linking the adverb álnyar “well” to the verb áze “to come”. This, in turn, leads to a very common salutation among the ídharash: Tálnyaza! “[You're] welcome!” (Note that, unlike English, this is not used as an answer to thanks.)
Some very important and very common exceptions to the above are:
|Linked to an adjective||Linked to a noun|
|om-||Comparative of superiority||Augmentative|
|um-||Comparative of inferiority||Diminutive|
The (unstressed) adverb prefixes om- and um- can also be linked to other adverbs (with the vowel -a- if they begin with a consonant) to change their meanings. Thus Tomálnyaza! would mean something like “You're very much welcome!”
All conjunctions are independent words.
|hi||and||ho||so||iláinæ||while, as long as|
- Simple numbers: -l
- Tens: -lal
- Hundreds: -lel
- Thousands: -lyal
- Millions: -lyel
Numbers are writen and read from left to right; round numerals can have two numeral suffixes, shifting the stress:
- 10,001: elályal hi el
- 11,002: álal-élyal hi cal
- 111,222: élel-élal-élyal hi cálel-cálal-cal
- 9,456,123: mólyel hi tólel-rálel-gólyal hi élel-cálal-fol
- 9,000,000: mólyel hi úlel hi ul, to emphasize the number's “roundness”, or simply mólyel
The numerals ul, úlal, úlel, úlyal, and úlyel can also indicate the idea of emptiness at different degrees.
Trivia: the expression hi úlel hi ul' is a common expression among the ĭdharash and means “absolutely nothing”.
Since the subject is always tied to the verb, the sentence structure can be either SVO (subject-verb-object) or OSV (object-subject-verb), and both can be used interchangeably as long as there is no impact on clearness. Word order is normally used for emphasis.
- Sánve aus. “She sees [the] dog.” — emphasis on the subject (she)
- Aus sánve. “She sees [the] dog.” — emphasis on the object (dog)
- Fámnas ziáse etamizinháus. “Fámnas went outside his house.”
Adverbs most often precede the words they modify, but it is possible to place it after their verb in subordinate clauses. Adjectives almost always follow their corresponding words.
- Nílar diánve cem faín. “Yesterday I saw green rocks.”
- Ces faín nílar diánve. “It was a green rock that I saw yesterday.”
- Etíncar doáse. “I will go there.”
- Hæ etíngar táze! “Come here!”
The most common types of subordinate clauses are three: Noun clauses, Adjective clauses, and Adverbial clauses.
There are two main types of noun clauses: subject noun clauses and object noun clauses. No special word connects a noun clause to the main clause. In such constructions, the adverbial clause is allowed to follow its verb rather than precede it. Neither construction is considered wrong.
- Subject noun clauses most often appear as the predicate of another clause:
|Not always||it is good||we do||everything||we want.|
|“It is not always good for us to do everything we want.”|
- Object noun clauses appear as the object of another clause:
|Only||I want||here||you come.|
|“I only want you to come here.”|
|I don't want||you come||with me.|
|“I don't want you to come with me.”|
There are two types of adjective clauses:
- Descriptive: these describe (hence the name) the term they refer to. They come between commas.
|My brother,||much known||in this city,||tomorrow||he will arrive.|
|“My brother, who is well known in this city, will arrive tomorrow.”|
- Restrictive: these narrow down the meaning of the word referred to. They do not come between commas.
|[The] man||the day before yesterday||i saw||is young.|
|“The man i saw on the day before yesterday is young.”|
|Leaves||they are green||more||they are common.|
|“The leaves that are green are more common.”|
|Déme ánin.||“I am alive.”|
|Tálede?||“Do you love me?”|
|Vi, táve dálete.||“Yes, you know I love you.”|
|Va, vadárete, hi távele.||“No, I don't hate you, and you know that.”|
|Vasáve vazárete.||“She doesn't know he doesn't hate you.”|
|Dárle táze ívide.||“I want you to come with me.” (lit. “I want that you come with me.”)|
|Dílæ tárle táse ávide?||“Why do you want to go without me?” (lit. “Why do you want that you go without me?”)|
|Vasárle sáse ívite.||“She doesn't want to go with you.” (lit. “She doesn't want that she goes with you.”)|
|Vadiávi ziémi álide.||“I didn't know [that] he was against me.”|
|Shoánse!||“They (f) will die!”|
|Odiánse ílite…||“I would die for you…”|
|Dinárfis ádæcis valoérne!||“My thoughts on this won't change!” (lit. “My thought of this won't change!”)|
|Ínar doénme íngar.||“I will always stay here.”|
|Vi, dáve ómomar dálye.||“Yes, I know [that] I speak too much.”|
|Aínar ǽrkilas siárnyælni.||“She looked bad before that day.” (lit. “Before that day she was looking bad.”)|
|Hæ ástis lástethe!||“May the light shine upon you!”|
Ínar diáve ómar tiánlize úmar tiánlise, ha ánar diárfe thinánlis liéni ho álcin.
Always I-PAST-know more you-PAST-be-friend-of-PROG-him less you-PAST-be-friend-of-PROG-her, but never I-PAST-think your(pl)-friendship it-PAST-be-PROG so strong.
“I always knew you were more friends with him than with her, but I never thought your friendship was so strong.”
Vénar lálnye dháhe ǽvis dhárle, ve dhoárle dhánle ævénim.
Not-always it-be-good we-do all/everything we-want, if we-want we-be-friend-of all-people.
“It is not always good for us to do everything we want if we want to be friends with everybody.”
Ínar doárle omálnyin ílite, ínmar vatáflede.
Always I-FUT-want more-good for-you(obj), even not-you-believe-me.
“I will always want the best for you, even if you don't believe me.”
Ánar osiáreze, ínmar ve otiáilese 'hæ táreze'.
Never FUT-she-PAST-hate-him, even if FUT-you-PAST-tell-her that she-hate-him.
“She would never hate him, even if you told her 'hate him'.”
Vínye shéne, díme sháze, hi díle íngar shéme?
Who they(f)-be, whence they(f)-come, and why here they(f)-be?
“Who are they (f), where do they (f) come from, and why are they (f) here?”
Vínyete, dímete, tílete?
Who-you(obj), whence-you(obj), for-what-you(obj)?
“Who are you, where do you come from, what are you here for?”
Ægitidináus ómar lálnye.
This-to-dog much it-be-good.
“This, which is for my dog, is very good.”
Ærgis liéni ítide.
That it-PAST-be-PROG to-me.
“That was for me.”
Va, vadáfe tindízais.
No, not-I-know your-brother.
“No, I don't know your brother.”
“That dog is my sister's.”
“Many tell stories, and many are the tales that have been heard of; legends of heroes and heroines, miraculous rescues and countless prodigies, opressed people that have been freed and insurrections in the hope of justice. Some of these stories talk about things that happened indeed, while others not as much; there are those that did not even happen, but their characters and events shall exist for as long as they are retold. There are also those who tell such stories purely and simply for the delight of telling them, and there are those who tell them to pass on messages; there is one, a very well known one, that says that he does not want to pass on any messages, but that he instead does so only for the pleasure of being a storyteller.
“That is not my case. I make this account with the intent of conveying a message to whomever reads it — or many messages, depending on who reads it. These messages are wayfarers that expect to find houses that open their doors to them and allow them in — may there be many able to do so. The message is meant to the good of those who read it; I want it to please them and to be useful for them. However, the delight in storytelling is not absent from this one of mine: the scribe I employ in order to pass on my message in the form of a story writes for pleasure, and I'm well aware of that, and this is why I chose him: it benefits him very much, and I am aware of that too, to pass on my tale. That way I please him as well and I fulfill my intent.
“Let me introduce myself: I have been called by many names in many places, but, in the story I present to you, I am known as the Wise Ádæn, counselor of the young king Kállæ. I will tell what may be necessary and will show only what may be relevant to the fulfillment of my objective. I may omit some details you might consider to be interesting, or I may show some aspects you might consider to be superfluous — from my part, however, I will show only what, as I see it, has (or might have) a meaning to those who come into contact with these brief parchments.”
(From the prologue of The Legend of Ídharos)
The words shown here are only a few of those that appear in this article; for a more comprehensive list, please see the main article: Classical Ályis lexicon.
|ádolme||['adolʷme]||v.||to ride [a horse]|
|élne||['ɛlʷne]||v.||to look like|
|éme||['eme]||v.||to be (temporary)|
|énis||['enis]||n.||living being; person|
|mínye||['miɲe]||pron.||how much, how many|