The languages of the Ilii and Flaidish

Posted by Panu Höglund on 6:44 6/29/01

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What languages do the Ilii speak, and have you already written grammars or dictionaries for them? What about Flaidish? How do we pronounce Syxesteer?

Mark responds: Only one ilian language is known; it's said to be called Eteodäole, but it isn't even certain that this is an ilian word. The ilii have a great facility for languages-- they easily learn human languages-- and it is very possible that there is only one ilian language, because human rules of sound change don't apply to them. The ilii say that no human can learn Eteodäole; humans who have heard it say that it sounds more like singing than speaking.

I haven't ventured on a grammar, mostly because I want something very alien... something literally unlearnable and unpronounceable by human beings. Much as I admire Klingon, it's not a very alien language; it's simply as un-English-like as Okrand could make it; but that mostly meant borrowing from exotic human languages. I want something such that the very categories of terrestrial grammar don't apply. Lojban, in a way, attempts to meet that description; its adherents say that it's an attempt to defy Universal Grammar. I'm not sure about that; I looked at its pronoun system once, and decided that the odd category names only obscure a not-terribly-exotic pronoun system.

I don't have a grammar of Flaidish either, but there, I just haven't got to it. I've recorded only a few words, like flaid itself, or ubeer 'vampire', as well as city names such as Syxesteer, Pickapo, and Ledley. It should be pronounced as English. This isn't as much of a cheat as it sounds: the Great Vowel Shift is not at all unprecedented. So Syxesteer is pronounced (using Verdurian equivalents) SÎks ê stir.

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