Ways of Darkness
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Wood Elven language

From Ways of Darkness
Language: English
Wood Elven
Regionmainly Dragoc and Artaburro, also spoken by Wood Elven diaspora in Etrand and Froturn
EthnicityWood Elves
Native speakers
~1,781,000 (831)
Torgyrian
Early forms
Wood Elven cuneiforms (Dragoc)
High Elven alphabet (Artaburro)
various (diaspora)
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Wood Elven is an Elven language, the official language of both the Kingdom of Dragoc and the Principality of Artaburro, as well as the language of Wood Elven diaspora all around Artograch.

The language has two main variants, the Dragoc variant and the Artaburro variant, which - other than religious terminology and political jargon - are mutually intelligible with each other, and differ only in pronunciation, with some slight diferences in vocabulary (the Dragoc variant being more purist, the Artaburro variant having more loanwords, higher exposure to foreign influence).

Evolution from Classical Wood Elven

Consonants

Classical Wood Elven Current Wood Elven
Dragoc Artaburro
/m/ [m]
/n/ [n]
/ɲ/ [ɲ]
/p/ [p]
/ɸ/ [h], [ɸ] before /u/, [ç] before /i/ and /j/ [h], [f] before /u/
/h/ (oreign phoneme) [h], [ç] before /i/ and /j/
/f/ (foreign phoneme) [ɸ] [f]
/b/ [b~β] [b]
/v/ (foreign phoneme) [v]
/t/ [t]
/d/ [d~ð] [d]
/t͡s/ [t͡s]
/s/ [s]
/d͡z/ [d͡z~z]
/z/
/t͡ɕ/ [t͡ɕ] [t͡ʃ]
/ɕ/ [ɕ] [ʃ]
/d͡ʑ/ [d͡ʑ~ʑ] [d͡ʒ]
/ʑ/
/r/ [ɾ̺~ɽ~ɺ̪~l̪~r] [ɾ~r]
/j/ [j]
/k/ [k]
/kʲ/ [kʲ]
/kʷ/ (foreign phoneme) [k] or [kw] [kʷ]
/g/ [g~ɣ] [g]
/gʲ/ [gʲ~ʝ] [gʲ]
/gʷ/ (foreign phoneme) [g] or [w] [gʷ]
/w/ [w]

Vowels

Classical Wood Elven Current Wood Elven
Dragoc Artaburro
/a/ [a]
/aː/ [aː]
/o/ [ɔ]
/oː/ [oː]
/ɔː/
/e/ [ɛ]
/eː/ [eː]
/ɛː/
/i/ [i]
/iː/ [iː]
/u/ [ɨᵝ~u~y] [y]
/u2/ [u]
/uː/ [ɨᵝː~uː~yː] [yː]
/u2/ [uː]

Phonology

Consonants

Dragoc

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plain Sibilant Palatal Plain
Nasal m n ɲ
Stop Voiceless p t t͡s t͡ɕ k
Voiced b~β d~ð d͡z~z d͡ʑ~ʑ gʲ~ʝ g~ɣ
Fricative Voiceless ɸ s ɕ ç h
Voiced
Approximant / Flap w r* j
  • [ç] is the allophone of /h/ before /i/ and /j/
  • [ɸ] is the allophone of /h/ before /u/ in native words, but appears as a separate phoneme in foreign words.
  • The pronunciation of /r/.
    • Apico-alveolar / retroflex flap [ɾ̺~ɽ] before /a ɛ e i/ and when palatalized. Some younger males may also use a post-alveolar approximant [ɹ̠], especially in slang.
      • Some male speakers consistently use the apico-alveolar flap [ɾ̺], regardless of the following vowel.
    • Dental lateral flap / approximant [ɺ̪~l̪] before /ɔ o u/. The approximant is rare, mostly restricted to younger female speakers, especially singers.
      • Some female speakers may consistently use the dental lateral flap [ɺ̪], regardless of the following vowel.
    • In aggressive speech and cursing, the alveolar trill [r] is used. Some - mainly older - male speakers may consistently use the trill, even in normal speech, sometimes in formal speech too.


Artaburro

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plain Sibilant Palatal Plain Labial
Nasal m n ɲ
Stop Voiceless p t t͡s t͡ʃ k (kʷ)
Voiced b d d͡z~z d͡ʒ g (gʷ)
Fricative Voiceless f s ʃ ç h
Voiced (v)
Approximant / Flap r*, (l) j w
  • [ç] is the allophone of /h/ before /i/ and /j/
  • /v/, /kʷ/ and /gʷ/ appear only in High Elven and Etrandish loanwords.
  • Unlike in Dragoc Wood Elven, in Artaburro Wood Elven, /r/ and /l/ are distinct and phonemic.
    • /l/ appears only in loanwords, mainly from High Elven and Etrandish.
    • /r/ is realized as an alveolar flap / trill [ɾ~r], regardless of the vowels that follow it.

Vowels

Dragoc

Front Back
Close i ɨᵝ~ʉ~y (o~ʊ)
Mid Long
Short ɛ ɔ
Open a

/i/ and /iː/, /u/ and /uː/, as well as /a/ and /aː/ differ only in length, no difference in vowel quality.

Historical /u/ can be pronunced as [ɨᵝ~ɯᵝ], [ʉ~u] or [y], depending on the environment:

  • [ʉ~u] after labial consonants and nasals (including /ɲ/).
  • [y] after /j/ and palatal(ized) consonants (except /ɲ/).
  • [ɨᵝ~ɯᵝ] everywhere else

[o~ʊ] is considered the allophone of /ɔ/ between another vowel and a syllable boundary - for example, /naɔ/ is pronounced [näo̯~näʊ̯]. In foreign words, the diphthong [au̯] also makes an appearence.

The cluster /aɛ/ can be pronounced in various ways - as [äʔɛ], [äjɛ], [äɛ̯] or even [äɪ̯], causing confusion with /ai/. Some speakers collapse the cluster to a long [æː].

Artaburro

Front Back
Close i, y (u o~ʊ)
Mid Long
Short ɛ ɔ
Open a

/i/ and /iː/, /y/ and /yː/, /u/ and /uː/, as well as /a/ and /aː/ differ only in length, no difference in vowel quality.

Historical Wood Elven /u uː/ got completely fronted to /y yː/. /u uː/ appear only in loanwords, mainly from from High Elven and Etrandish.

[o~ʊ] is considered the allophone of /ɔ/ between another vowel and a syllable boundary - for example, /naɔ/ is pronounced [näo̯~näʊ̯]. In foreign words, the diphthong [au̯] also makes an appearence.

The cluster /aɛ/ can be pronounced in various ways - as [äʔɛ], [äjɛ], [äɛ̯] or even [äɪ̯], causing confusion with /ai/. Some speakers collapse the cluster to a long [æː].

Grammar

Wood Elven is a flexible subject-object-verb and agglunative language. It had also preserved the vowel harmony of its ancestor Proto-Elven in grammar, having most (but not all) conjugations come with two variants, depending on what kind of vowel did the Proto-Elven root word end with.

Nouns

Number Singular Plural
Case}}.ender Masculine Feminine Neuter Personal Neuter
nominative -o / -(y)o -a / -(y)a -on / -(y)on -ai / -(y)é -i
genitive -oan / -(y)oan -anai / -(y)anyé -an / -(y)an -ain / -(y)én -in
dative -o / -(y)o -anó / -(y)anyó -an / -(y)an -aya / -(y)aya -re
accusative -oanu / -eanu -anari / -(y)anyari -anan / -(y)anyan -ayan / -(y)ayan -ine
locative -uwan / -(y)uwan -uwanai -uwanan -uwain -uin

The various cases had the following functions:

  • The nominative case usually marks the subject of the sentence.
  • The genitive case marks ownership. For example, "yóbyoan hiomyanyo" means "(the) male elf's manliness".
  • The dative case usually marks indirect objects, similar to the use of English "to" and "for"
  • the accusative case usually marks direct objects, ones that are being directly targeted.
  • The locative case is used in conjunction with various suffixes, in itself it has no meaning at all.

Pronouns

Person First Second Third
Number Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Case}}.ender Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative aga age ho ko sa kon
genitive magai magen hon hén koan sanai kan sén
dative ago agé fuan héri kuwa sanó kean seya
accusative againo agayan honan heyan koano sanaya kanan seyan
locative aguwan agen honawan heyén kuwan sonai konan soin

Verbs

Simple Continuous
Past -iru / -iryu -yúmo / -yúme
Present -iri -igio / -igie
Future -igo / -igyo -ingyo
  • The infinitive is marked by -iri, just like Present Simple.
  • Adding an extra -i at the end turns the verb perfect. An example:
    • "seppiri" means "to make someone / something beautiful". It is in Present Simple.
    • "seppigyo" is the same verb, but in Future Simple instead. For example, "you will make her beautiful".
    • "seppigyoi" is the same verb, but in Future Perfect instead. For example, "you will have made her beautiful".

The present simple also has a secondary role - being used for ordering. For example, in Wood Elven, there is no distinction between stating that someone is doing something and ordering someone to do something. The difference between stating facts and ordering}}.ommanding is indicated by context and tone of voice.

Adjectives

Adjectives have three forms in Wood Elven:

  • Normal adjective: -ani / -(y)ani
  • Comparitive adjective: -anori / -(y)aneri
  • Superlative adjective: -anogi / -yanyogi

Adverbs

Adverbs have three forms in Wood Elven:

  • Normal adverb: -ann / -(y)ann
  • Comparitive adverb: -ainn / -(y)énn
  • Superlative adverb: -óga / -(y)óga

Inclusive or vs Exclusive or

Wood Elven distinguishes between the "inclusive or" and the "exclusive or". The earlier means, "either A, B, or both of them", while the latter means "either A or B, but not both of them - never both of them".

  • The word for the inclusive or is 「zó」
  • The word for the exclusive or is 「ko」

Numerical system

Wood Elven uses a hexadecimal system.

Numbers larger than 16 are formed by chaining up multiple numbers and adding a postfix. Numbers larger than 16 and smaller than 256 are divided into two numbers that are smaller or equal to 16. Numbers larger than 256 but smaller than 65536 are divided into two numbers that are both smaller than or equal to 256. Similiar segmentation goes on with numbers larger than 65536 but smaller than 4294967296, or numbers larger than 4294967296.

Numbers from 0 to 16

  • 0: myoi
  • 1: ó
  • 2:
  • 3: gon
  • 4: nai
  • 5: sai
  • 6: zoi
  • 7: goi
  • 8:
  • 9: rógó (greater 1)
  • 10: róhó (greater 2)
  • 11: rógon (greater 3)
  • 12: rónai (greater 4)
  • 13: rósai (greater 5)
  • 14: rózoi (greater 6)
  • 15: rógoi (greater 7)
  • 16: róté (greater 8)

Numerical postfixes

  • hexadecimal up: -awa / -(y)awa
    • Used to separate the upper and lower segments of a hexadecimal number larger than 16 but smaller than 256. For example, "óawa-ó" - "1 up 1" - is the hexadecimal number 0x11, equivalent to the decimal 17. Logic and consistency would suggest that 16 (or 0x10) be said as "óawa" - "1 up", but it is actually said as "róté" - 16. The reason for that is that the concept of zero was discovered by the Proto-Elves roughly at the same time as they transitioned from octal to hexadecimal, and the use of the number carried over.
  • double:
    • Used to separate the upper and lower segments of a hexadecimal number larger than 256 but smaller than 65536 - both segments being numbers smaller than or equal to 256. For example, "óawa óí óawa ó" - "1 up 1 double 1 up 1" - is the hexadecimal number 0x1111, equivalent to the decimal 4369. Both segments are 0x11, and the usage of the word "double" combines them into one number: 0x1111.
  • quad: -kotsu / -kyotsu
    • Used to separate the upper and lower segments of a hexadecimal number larger than 65536 but smaller than 4294967296 - both segments being smaller than or equal to 65536. For example, "óawa óí óawa ókotsu óawa óí óawa ó" - "1 up 1 double 1 up 1 quad 1 up 1 double 1 up 1" - is the hexadecimal number 0x11111111, equivalent to the decimal 286331153.
  • octa:-échi
    • Used to combine the upper and lower segments of a hexadecimal number larger than 4294967296 but smaller than the second power of 4294967296. Used similarly to quad and double, with both segments being smaller than 4294967296.
  • negative: -nyú
    • Used to postfix a negative number. For example, '"óawa ó" - "1 up 1" - is the equivalent to the decimal 17, while '"óawa ónyú" - "1 up 1 negative" - is the equivalent to the decimal -17.
  • Ordinator: -iji
    • Turns a cardinal number into an ordinal number. For example, "ó" means "one", while "óiji" means "first".
  • Radix point: tsui
    • Literally means "full", it separates the integral part of a number from the fractional part. For example, "ó tsui róté" means 0x1.F, equivalent to the decimal 1.9375.