Ciniáne, the old language of the God-Republic of Ciniá

Introduction

Ciniáne or Ciniáthyssyn “Ciniá’s language” is the language of the Ciniáne people. Prior to the Cataclysm, it was the most-spoken and official language of Ciniáthyleruggeá, The God-Republic of Ciniá. In the present day, it is spoken by most of the Ciniáne, an ethnic minority group of Tsurennupaiva.

Ciniáne was created in December 2016 for the second version of The Gate at the End of the World. The God-Republic of Ciniá was the country that Brithan Thiosciáre was from. I imported the character, country, ethnic group, and language  into The Land of Two Moons.

Ciniáne’s phonology is influenced quite a bit by Greek & Italian. Ciniá itself was inspired by Mediterranean cultures, so the influences seemed appropriate.

Phonology

All consonants can be geminated, though in practice this does not happen. Certain consonants “palatalize” before front vowels:

  • /s/, /z/, /ts/, /dz/ → [ʃ], [ʒ], [tʃ], [dʒ]
  • /kk/, /gg/ → [ttʃ], [ddʒ]

 

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal

m n

Stop

p b t d k g

Fricative

f v s z ʃ ʒ θ

h

Affricate ts dz tʃ dʒ

Approximant l j

Trill r

All vowels have long and short forms. Like with a lot of Romance languages (and perhaps other languages I am unfamiliar with), /i/ becomes /j/ before vowels.

 

Front Back

Close

i iː y yː u uː
Mid e eː

o oː

Open æ æː

ɑ ɑː

Why does this Italian-looking language have /y/, /æ/, and /ɑ/? Well, I’d just learned about Finnish vowels at the time, and I wanted a more symmetrical phonology. I also wanted to be able to use <y> in the alphabet.

Ciniáne also has a couple of dipthongs: /ɑi/, /æi/, /ei/, and /ou/.

Syllable structure is CVC, where C is any consonant (including geminated consonants) and V is any vowel (including diphthongs). I genuinely do not know why I did not flesh this out further.

Word stress is…inconsistent. Stress falls on the syllable with a long vowel, wherever that syllable might be. In words where there is no long vowel, stress falls on the penultimate syllable.

Pronouns

Pronouns are marked for case in the same way nouns are.

Person

Singular Plural

1st

zæn tsǽre
2nd lle

lletól

3rd cainé

muré

Ciniáne is pretty different than most of my other conlangs regarding pronouns…because the plural forms aren’t simply the singular with the plural suffix. That is genuinely what I do most of the time.

Nouns

Nouns have three cases: nominative (unmarked), genitive (-thy), and dative (-). The nominative is used in most places, the genitive is used to show possession and that a noun modifies another noun in some way, and the dative is used when the noun is any kind of object.

Nouns have two numbers: singular and plural. The plural marker is –tól.

  • béll “star” → bélltól “stars”
  • cithæ “person” → cithætól “people”
  • ssyn “language” → ssyntól “languages”

Adjectives

Adjectives precede nouns, and are not marked in any way.

  • eníane mǽlury “beautiful illumination”
  • gellæne lemúre “blue sky”
  • teleraí leccýne “exalted god”

To create adjectives from nouns and verbs, the suffix –ne is used. Most adjectives are created this way, even ones like that would like “blue” and “green” – there are Ciniáne nouns for “blue thing” and “green thing”, and they have –ne suffixed to created the adjectival versions of those words.

Ciniáne, by itself, means “of or pertaining to Ciniá”. Ciniáthyssyn is the specific word for the language, and Ciniáthycithætol is the word used to refer to the ethnic group.

Verbs

Verbs are marked for tense and aspect:

Infinitive

-i

Past

-éllæ

Past Habitual

-ttéa
Present

Present Habitual

-mmu

Future

-hy

I never created a large dictionary for Ciniáne. Here are some example sentences showing the different verb forms, using hyvælli “to speak”:

Zæn hyvæll Ciniánesú.

  • I speak Ciniáne.
  • 1SG.NOM speak.PRS Ciniáne.DAT

Tsǽre hyvællmmu Ciniánesú.

  • We (from time-to-time) speak Ciniáne.
  • 1PL.NOM speak.PRS.HAB Ciniáne.DAT

Lle hyvælléllæ Ciniánesú.

  • We spoke Ciniáne.
  • 2SG.NOM speak.PST Ciniáne.DAT

Cainé hyvællttéa Ciniánesú.

  • He/She/Ze used to speak Ciniáne.
  • 3SG.NOM speak.PST.HAB Ciniáne.DAT

Muré hyvællhy Ciniánesú.

  • They will speak Ciniáne.
  • 3SG.PL speak.FUT Ciniáne.DAT

Concluding Thoughts

Ciniáne is essentially a glorified naming language. When I created it in December 2016, it was so I had a conlang to participate in Lexember with. After I stopped working on The Gate at the End of the World, I had no real reason to work on the conlang anymore, so I abandoned it. Even after moving it over to The Land of Two Moons, it remained untouched.

I doubt I’ll come back to this conlang again. I still have no reason to touch it! However, Ciniáne is still phonologically & orthographically interesting to me, so I imagine I’ll recycle some parts of it into another conlang someday.