Languages of Meitsung: Célis Zisun

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Introduction

Of the conlangs I created for the the story that eventually became The Book of Immortality, the dragon language was always the most fleshed out. It had to be, as it was used as a magic language and there were going to be passages written in it. I didn’t have to expand the grammar much.

Also, this conlang didn’t have a real name until earlier this year. Célis zisun means “mountain language”, and it’s one of the two dragon languages spoken in Greater Meitsung – primarily in East and West Rhécare. The other dragon language, mízha zisun “island language”, is spoken on the island of Mízharos.

Phonology

The original dragon language contained /ɲ/, /ɸ/, /β/, /x/, /ɣ, and /ʍ/ in addition to every consonant listed in the table below. The number of fricatives was truly ridiculous, and it made no sense to have /ɸ β/ and /f v/ as well as /h/ and /x/. Those consonants weren’t even allophones or anything – they were independent phonemes.

 

Labial

Dental

Alveolar

Palatal

Velar

Glottal

Nasal

n (ɱ)

 

n

 

 

 

Stop

p

t d

 

 

k g

 

Fricative

f v

θ ð

s z ʃ ʒ

 

 

h

Approximant

 

 

l

j

w

 

Rhotic

 

 

ɾ r

 

 

 

In contrast, I added one vowel – /e/. The original dragon language only had /ɛ/ as a front mid vowel.

 

Front

Central

Back

Close

ɪ i

 

u

Mid

ɛ e

 

o

Open

 

a

 

Diphthongs are /iu/, /io/, /iɛ/, and /ia/. Syllable structure is CVF, where C is any consonant, V is any vowel, and F is /n/, /l/ or /s/. There are no words that start with vowels. Primary stress falls on the first syllable of a word, and secondary stress falls on following odd syllables.

Orthography

Since this conlang was first developed when I was still obsessed with Irish orthograph, there are some influences – namely, using <c> to represent /k/. That also immediately distinguishes it from the other languages of Meitsung.

Letter

a

c

d

dh

e

é

f

Sound

/a/

/k/

/d/

/ð/

/ɛ/

/e/

/f/

Letter

g

h

i

í

l

m

n

Sound

/g/

/h/

/ɪ/

/i/

/l/

/m/

/n/

Letter

o

p

r

rh

s

sh

t

Sound

/o/

/p/

/ɾ/

/r/

/s/

/ʃ/

/t/

Letter

th

u

v

w

y

z

zh

Sound

/θ/

/u/

/v/

/w/

/j/

/z/

/ʒ/

Nouns

Nouns (and adjectives) are marked for case, number, and definiteness; those markers are suffixed in the form case-number-definiteness with the exception of the vocative case, which is a prefix.

There are six cases: nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, instrumental, and vocative. For some strange reason, there were originally separate possessive and genitive cases. I’m genuinely not sure why.

Case

Marker

Nominative

Genitive

-in

Accusative

-ul

Dative

-eta

Instrumental

-we

Vocative

a-

Célis zisun has two numbers: singular and plural. The singular is unmarked, and the plural suffix is –le. Nouns are assumed to be indefinite by default. The definite ending is –(a)ne.

Why is there even a definite marker in this conlang. I’m not sure. Perhaps I was thinking of the Scandinavian languages at the time.

Pronouns

Pronouns are marked for case and number in the same way nouns are – not definiteness, because…that wouldn’t make any sense.

 

Singular

Plural

1st

len

riv

2nd Informal

rhal

rhale

2nd Formal

van

vanle

3rd

dhas

dhasle

Verbs

Verbs are marked for tense, mood, and person/number. There are three tenses: past, present, future, and three moods: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. The 2nd person formal and informal are not distinguished in verbs.

 

 

Singular

Plural

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

1st

2nd

3rd

Past

Indicative

-esan

-esva

-esica

-esrí

-essi

-esne

Subjunctive

-eson

-esonva

-esonica

-esonrí

-esonsi

-esonne

Present

Indicative

-an

-va

-(i)ca

-rí

-si

-ne

Subjunctive

-onan

-onva

-onica

-onrí

-onsi

onne

Imperative

-lion

-liova

-lioca

-liorí

-liosi

-lione

Future

Indicative

-inan

-inva

-inica

-inrí

-insi

-inne

Subjunctive

-inonan

-inonva

-inonica

-inonrí

-inonsi

-inonne

Numerals

Célis zisun‘s number system is base ten. To form numbers in the teens, the word lemu “ten” is followed by a numeral. For example, lemu fari is 15. To form multiples of ten, a numeral (2, 3, 4, etc.) is followed by the plural form of ten. Heda lemule is 40 and pel lemule wora is 68.

Other Things

There is a copula, hen, that’s much more irregular than other verbs. Adjectives follow nouns, and adverbs follow verbs. Word order is Subject-Object-Verb, and has been through all forms of this conlang.

Despite this conlang being more fleshed out than the previous two, it’s still largely a naming language. Perhaps sometime in the future I’ll come back and work on it more, but for now this is all there is.

One thought on “Languages of Meitsung: Célis Zisun

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