Vilani (language)

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This language is primarily used by the Vilani race throughout the Third Imperium supra-polity.

  • It is a supercentral language.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Vilani (more formally known as Standard Vilani, or SV for short) is the language of the Vilani people, and the descendant of Old High Vilani, the language of the First Imperium.

Structure[edit]

No information yet available.

Morphology[edit]

Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words.

  • morpheme, inflection, paradigm, declension, derivation, compound, etc.

Phonology[edit]

Phonology, the study of the sound systems of a language.

  • phoneme, allophone, segment, mora, syllable, foot, stress, tone, etc.

Grammar[edit]

Grammar is the structure of a language.

  • tense, aspect, mood and modality, grammatical number, grammatical gender, case, etc.

Syntax[edit]

Syntax is the study of how words combine to form grammatical sentences.

  • phrase, clause, grammatical function, grammatical voice, etc.

Meaning[edit]

No information yet available.

Lexicology[edit]

A lexicon is the word supply of a language.

  • word, lexeme, lemma, lexicon, vocabulary, terminology, etc.

Semantics[edit]

Semantics is the study of the meaning of words (lexical semantics), and how these combine to form the meanings of sentences.

  • meaning, sense, entailment, truth condition, compositionality, etc.

Pragmatics[edit]

Pragmatics is the study of how language is used by its speakers.

  • presupposition, implicature, deixis

History & Background (Historical Linguistics)[edit]

Archaic Vilani became the dominant language of Vland long before the Vilani began interstellar travel. Over the course or millenia, the language developed as the Vilani consolidated their holdings into the First Imperium, and the language adapted to some degree to non-humans as well.

Possessed by a grand sense of purpose, grammarians in the Ziru Sirka codified the language, removing or absorbing grammatical differences into the language of the First Imperium, now known as Old High Vilani. Standard Vilani is the formal commercial language of the Vilani worlds and megacorporations. In the Third Imperium, its status is second only to Anglic.

Etymologies[edit]

Vilani is the only surviving member of the only surviving branch of a typical human language tree.

Historical Language Tree for Vland

Elements of extinct languages from Vland can be detected in the Vilani lexicon today. For example, words with syllables ending in /b/ or /l/, are almost all borrowed from Chekaal, a cousin of Archaic Vilani. Words with an /h/ (except for /ch/, /kh/, and /sh/) and words ending in /z/ are borrowings from the extremely ancient and long extinct Dirmani people. Finally, words with syllables ending in /kh/ are borrowings from the Sazrak language family.

Words which have /t/, /ch/, and /o/ in them are Archaic forms of modern Vilani words (which usually use /d/, /kh/, and /aa/ respectively).

Of particular interest is with words with the syllable /-khal-/, which appear to have originally been Sazrak words which were borrowed by the conquering Chekaal, which were then borrowed into Archaic Vilani.

Language Families of Vland[edit]

All dates are 3rd Imperium baseline

Dirmani (-15,000?)
  • Bolsa (-13,500?)
Sazrak (-12,000)
Bholrak (-12,000)
Orrakil (-10,000)
Kaalan (-13,000)
Chekaal (-11,000)
Umshi Chekaal (-9,500)("West Chekaal")
Chekaalseras (-9,000) ("North Chekaal")
Archaic Vilani (-11,000)
Old High Vilani (-5,000)
Khal (substrate I)
Standard Vilani (-2,500)
Khal (substrate II)

Pre-Vilani Borrowings[edit]

Chekaal:

amusement                               rishnub
archive; data library (official)        dub-lar
fabric                                  palkhur
flock, group, herd ?                    khaalab
help, to_                               khuulab
house, dwelling                         sakhal < Sazrak
new                                     khal < Sazrak
incisor                                 dakhaamab
jet                                     akhrul < Sazrak
language                                pukhal < Sazrak
material                                palkhur
name (esp. of non-human objects?)       sakhel < Sazrak
scar, to_                               khul
sharp                                   makhbil < Sazrak
tusk                                    dakhammab
tree, willow-like_                      khaluppu


Dirmani:

duke 'under-king'                       sarpuhii
subordinate                             khaz
beautiful, be_                          lamaz


Sazrak:

close (of distance? opposite of open?)  akhlu 
error                                   riikh
fold, to_                               akhlaash
form (existential)                      adrakh
fume, to_                               akhrula
hammer, to_                             duraakh
hand                                    naakh
house, dwelling                         sakhla
new                                     akhla
idiot                                   pakh
jet                                     akhlu
language                                pukhla
man, male                               nidakh
name (esp. of non-human objects?)       sakhle
quick, be_                              dekh
repay, to_                              mukh
repeat, to_                             dakh
sharp                                   makhbi
splendid, magnificent, be_              makh
syllabary, traditional Vilani_          Ruuraakh
thin                                    bakh
untie, to_                              dukh
vat or vessel for beer                  lakhdan
yield, to_                              gaakh
grasslike plant, desert/dryland_        dikh


Archaic Vilani:

fanatic                                 khutak

Grammar[edit]

Vilani is ergative and agglutinative, with some synthetic aspects, and basically has a Verb – Subject – Object (VSO) word order.

Structure[edit]

Vilani is basically head-initial and right-branching. There are two basic sentence types: transitive and intransitive. Transitive sentences consist of a Verb, an Agent which performs the action of the verb, a Patient which is the recipient of the action, and an optional dative or benefactive Object (for use with things like prepositional phrases). Intransitive sentences consist of a Verb, a Subject to which the verb applies, and the optional dative or benefactive Object as mentioned above. In both cases, the verb contains much of the information regarding the relationship between the subject and objects of the sentence.

Ergativity[edit]

Vilani is ergative in its surface structure as well as its underlying syntax structure, meaning that its grammar treats the object of transitive verbs and the subject of intransitive verbs the same, while the subject of transitive verbs is marked in a different fashion.

This is in contrast with Anglic and most other commonly known Terran languages (one widely-spoken exception being Hindi), where the object of transitive verbs is marked in one way (”accusative”) and the subjects and agents of both transitive and intransitive verbs are lumped together into another grammatical category (”nominative”). Ergativity may also be viewed as treating agenthood, rather than patienthood, as the noteworthy or “marked” category.

The person, proximity, and animacy (but not number) of the “theme participant” (i.e., subject of intransitive verb, object/patient of a transitive verb) are encoded in the verb itself. In addition, the relative degree of animacy between the patient and the agent is also marked in transitive verbs (only).

Tone[edit]

Vilani is a tonal language, meaning that tone patterns make specific changes to words. In particular, tones effect both nouns and verbs. Tone patterns represent combinations of high and low pitched syllables within the Vilani word. There are six tonal patterns used in the Vilani language.

Certain physical structures and tone are often interchangeable, and usually represent registers of speech rather than grammatical differences.


Examples: Intransitive sentences[edit]

1. Leshaa Eneri. Eneri runs.

Leshaa: he-runs

le-: he/she does it

shaa: runs


2. Leshaana Eneri ka duraag. Eneri runs to market.

Leshaana: he-runs-to

-na: ‘to’ prepositional marker

ka duraag: (to) market

ka: flag indicating the start of a dative or benefactive object phrase.


Examples: Transitive sentences[edit]

1. Kikdishaa Enerigim argu. Eneri eats argu.

Kikdishaa: he eats it

ki-: it is being eaten

-k-: he/she is doing the eating

Enerigim: Eneri-does-it

-gim: Eneri is the agent, performing the action


2. Kikdishaani Enerigim argu ka duraag. Eneri eats argu at (the) market.

Kikdishaani: he-eats-it-at

-ni: ‘in, at, on’ prepositional marker

ka duraag: (at) market

ka: flag indicating the start of a dative or benefactive object phrase.


Example: Using Topicalization to Answer Questions[edit]

Q. Kikhugashna baan ka Eneri? What happened to Eneri?

Ki-khugash-na: it-happened-to

ki-: done by an inanimate thing

khugash: intransitive verb ‘to happen’

-na: ‘to’ prepositional case

baan: what?

Ka Eneri: (to) Eneri

ka: relational case marker.


A. Liraamgim leskhugash. An air/raft hit (the person in question).

Khal[edit]

Khal is a "Trade Vilani" language dialect.

Also called Karak Bilanidin ('Trade Vilani'), Gurek, Segureke, and even the Old High Vilani word Gurib, this is a broken form of Vilani used on the "frontier" (i.e. any town or world which doesn't have an indigenous Vilani population).

Khal isn't any one particular entity; it describes a number of pidgins and simplifications of Vilani which are found scattered across the Imperium. Therefore, it's more of a descriptive term than a language name. However, since all varieties of Khal share the Vilani lexicon, they tend to be at least somewhat mutually decipherable.

In its purest form, Khal uses actual Vilani words, in very simple sentences, with an Anglic grammar. In its basest form, Khal uses Vilanicized Anglic-derived words.

Khal is by its very nature primitive and functional.

Example[edit]

Menerii karak shalap. "We trade shalaps" or "Let's trade shalaps."

Menerii: we (you and me) karak: to trade shalap: a shalap (a pig-like animal)

Vilani words, but Anglic grammar (of a sort).

Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)[edit]

This language is primarily in use in the following areas:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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