My first major conlang, Çomyopregi, was spoken on Earth and belonged to the well-known Indo-European language family. But if it was a star, Sopih is a constellation. Sopih [so.pɨχ] is a world inhabited by humans much like us. They live in different cultures, speaking a cornucopia of languages with a range comparable to Earth's, yet which are intertwined through their own genetic and historical relationships.
This is an ongoing project, and not "final" by any means. Because of this, the information on many of these languages is incomplete (and occasionally even self-contradictory!). Also because of this, all of this will, at some point or another, inevitably be changed (which is a good thing!). Nevertheless hope you enjoy it.
Oh yeah, and most of the grammatical sketches are PDFs hastily converted from word-processing files.
The historians of Aipura recognized three major cultural spheres of settled people and gave them names based on their relative geographic positions: Western Civilization, Eastern Civilization, and Central Civilization. Aipura is part of Central Civilization, and of course, they felt flattered in the superiority implied by their "central" position. But the recognition of three civilizations is justified because the consituents of any civilization have influenced each other culturally and their histories are interwoven, and each civilization has experienced a distinctive history, and indeed their own perceptions of history.
All information is subject to change. The grammatical descriptions are presented "as is" and may contain incorrect or outdated information, or typos. (As a matter of fact, I already noticed some, and I will get around to fixing them. Not that that promise constitutes a legally binding contract.) The author hereby disclaims all liability for confusion and / or distress resulting therefrom, including, but not limited to, loss of revenue, declarations of war upon conworlds and botched dates with people from concultures.
Have a nice day!
Western Civilization occupied the western parts of Atonya and was comprised of the Qila kingdom and its tributaries, such as Thotha and Ašake. Qila has had only one imperial line, so dynasties cannot serve as markers of historical periods. Individual reigns are used for dating officially. The satellite nations abide by their own ruling dynasties, as well as the reigns of Qila. In part, this approach makes sense in an area that experienced few cataclysmic events or shifts in dominance among contending powers: the central figure has always been Guqila, which has displayed remarkable continuity through time. In Western thought, history is continuity.
Features of Western Civilization languages:
Remqila is the language spoken by the people of Qila. Since time immemorial the land has been under the rule (sometimes merely nominal) of a line of Empresses who extend back to their forebear, the god Qimbe. The extraordinary stability of Qila has contributed to a very conservative, stratified society, and has imprinted the language with a strong consciousness of rank. Words are ordered primarily according to an animacy hierarchy and there are many registers of speech and honorific forms. Verily it is said that Remqila is a language designed to express social relationships.
The version of Remqila presented here is Remqila 2.0. It has changed considerably since the first description of the language which appeared online several years ago, to the point that the phonology is almost the only part of the grammar that's still relevant. For those interested in Renqila 1.0 (where, notice, it is spelled with an n), you can see it here: Renqila.
Central Civilization, covering most of the Peninsula of Aipura and the Isles of Triconya, claims the Tag, Rimant, and Glindesan nations, the Artinaih empire, and the fractured nations left in their wake. Countries in the Middle Civilization first began dating by relation to reigns of their kings and a few events of major significance, such as the tidal wave that devastated much of the coastal region. With the increase of an historical consciousness through time, an epochal taxonomy began. This region of the world was politically fractured, unlike Western Civilization which was anchored in Qila or Eastern Civilization which was anchored in Tepat. There were several cultural centers of fluctuating importance among whom a balance of power existed, and the progressions of epochs correspond to the shift of dominance from one center to another. Middle Civilization explains history through the dynastic cycle, and dates history by the dynasty. During the long postlude to Artinaicanu power known as the "Dark Age," scholars codified a system of "Five Ages" which was propagated in one of the most widely read works of the time, The Rise and Fall of the Artinaicanu Empire. And speaking of that tidal wave, the region lies at the convergence of several fault lines. Although fertile, it also has large temperature changes and lies in the path of most hurricanes and blizzards. Being well-forested, most things are made out of wood, which brings with it fire hazards. Things are frequently destroyed and then rebuilt. This has encouraged a view of the physical world as impermanent, and taken with the dynastic and epochal cycles, has encouraged the view that everything recurs eternally. History is a cycle.
|Wheels within wheels...
How does linguistics work in the concultures of Sopih? Read about it here.
The languages of Central Civilization are characterized by being inflectional, particularly with regard to nouns, which often have several declensions that encompass different genders and numerous cases. Verbs are also conjugated for several distinctions of voice / valency and aspect. Some languages have large inventories of vowel phonemes, a particularly pervasive distinction being between a low front vowel /æ/ and a low back vowel /ɑ/. Some more features:
NOTES ON THE AIPURIC LANGUAGES (HTML)
While Aipuran may refer simply to any language which is spoken on the peninsula, the term Aipuric has a more specialized meaning, referring to a particular language family which is widely spoken on the peninsula. The family includes the language of the Artinaican Empire, and is itself included in the larger Northeast Atonic Family.
|See how this page looks to red/green colorblind people.|
PROTO-OBIC (coming soon ... er or later!) • ARAJAN GRAMMAR (also coming)
The Obic languages are a family of languages spoken throughout the western parts of the Aipuran peninsula. They are all descended from Proto-Obic. Two of the major languages are Mazlobi and Arajan.
Sopih, in psychedelic color
Arajan is an important classical language. The ancient language was an agglutinative VSO language with a case system split between animate and inanimate nouns. Both noun classes were marked for case, but core arguments were not marked on the verb. Verbs differed widely for how their arguments were marked, depending on whether they were transitive, intransitive, experiencer verbs, verbs of motion, and whether the subject was animate. Modifiers followed their heads, although there were no adjectives - genitive nouns, participles, or a few deictics were used. Arajan has two modern offshoots. The western variety is more conservative, while the eastern branch has become genderless, accusative, and SVO. Both now mark verb-subject agreement with affixes developed from cliticized pronouns.
Eastern Civilization consists of the Tepat League and its successors, the Swira Empire and the city-states of the East Coast, such as Pahas and Korelinas. Eastern Civilization dates mathematically from a fixed Year 0, which has been defined variously but became fixed as the proposed date of creation, and a complex calendar (still peerless for accuracy) based on independent cycles of the sun and moon is used, also incorporating other heavenly bodies. Throughout history (until they got conquered), Tepat became increasingly technologically and magically sophisticated, and it seemed as if the sky was the limit and life would keep getting better. History is progress.
The Eastern languages are very diverse, but a few features are widely shared:
CLASSICAL YUKTEPAT GRAMMAR (PDF)
The Tepat were an advanced civilization that flourished until they were conquered by nomadic warriors from the north speaking Swiric languages. Their old "empire" was a union of relatively autonomous city-states sharing the same general culture and political ideology. Having developed advanced mathematics in their astronomical studies, society was dominated by rationalist intellectuals adhering to a rigid mathematical logic, and dedicated to the idea that social perfection could be attained, morally by education, and materially by technology. What is known as the Classical Tepat language was a literary language written in a logographic script shared by city-states speaking different dialects or even languages. It was as well probably semi-artificial, modified prescriptively by academics according to their beliefs of what was logical, and as such might be the world's earliest auxlang. This logical language was isolating with rigid SVO word-order, a largely self-segregating (CV)CVC morphology, and phonological distinctions between content and function words. Indeed, it was widely believed that the lack of inflection and the logographic script constituted a superior linguistic design that made the Tepat think more rationally than people who spoke languages with messy conjugations.
I noticed that the PDF says that classifier phrases follow the nouns they count. It's lying. They precede the noun they count. This mistake and others will be corrected.
OLD SWÍRA GRAMMAR (PDF)
The earliest speakers of Swíra were nomadic goat-herders dominating the dry plains north of the Tepat civilization. Living in clannish tribes, with a warlike honor-obsessed ethos, and a mystical religion based on self-mortification and the use of hallucinogenic plants, they were everything the Tepat considered barbaric. Unfortunately, the Swira were soon to overrun Tepat and establish a feudalistic empire over it. The Old Swira language was formerly a robustly polysynthetic language, with no unbound forms, excepting a few conjunctions and discourse particles. In essence, everything got drawn into the verb like a black hole. The Classical language represented an amalgam of Old Swira and related nomadic dialects with a heavy infusion of learned Tepat vocabulary. The modern language has simplified its verb morphology, developed prepostitions from common gerunds, become more analytical, and become more consistently SVO, as they attempt to become "rational" like their predecessors.
KOTLISEU GRAMMAR (PDF)
On the East Coast of Suidira, there are a number of coastal valleys which are the homes of various city-states. Large empires could not be formed because each individual state felt secure in its nest of mountains, and it was difficult to get over those mountains take it over. Therefore the political landscape remained fractured but instead of trying to conquer each other, the states just traded with each other. So while the Tepatic League became more and more Democratic Socialist, the Eastern states became, and remain, staunchly bourgeois. One of the major economic powers of this region, along the northern reaches, is the nation of Kotlinas, where Kotliseu is spoken.
Within the Eastern Civilization languages, the East-Coast cities form their own smaller sprachbund-within-a-sprachbund: