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The Atlantean Language family appears to have died out completely with the loss of the continent. From the documents secured by the Alba Longan explorer, Tivasis, we can determine that it is completely unrelated to any of the nearby Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, or Vasconic language families. After the break you will find a brief outline of Kiyatsic grammar. Kiyatsic was chosen due to its conservative nature, meaning its grammar remained very close to the proto language.

The key to understanding Atlantean is an understanding of the masses of suffixes and infixes (but almost no prefixes.) Suffixes are used to indicate noun case, verb tense, and prepositional relationships. Suffixes can be, and frequently are stacked to produce complex verbs, which means that Kiyatsic can be classified as an agglutinative language, though it almost never reaches the level of complexity seen in languages such as Inuit.

Syntax

Like the neighboring Indo-European languages, Proto-Atlantean was a nominative-accusative language. What this means is that the agent of a transitive verb, is marked in the same way as the subject of an intransitive verb. The patient, or direct object, of a transitive verb is thus the outlier.

Word order is variable, although certain guidelines are followed more often than not:

  • The verb is virtually always the last word in the sentence, giving PA an SOV typology.
  • Adjectives precede nouns.
  • Unlike Western European languages, question words (who, what, when, etc.) simply take the place of the noun they are replacing.
  • Indirect objects usually precede direct objects.

Nouns

Nouns are grouped into one of three categories: sapient, animate, and inanimate. The sapient category includes humans as well as deities, spirits, and mythological beings such as nymphs and elves. Animates originally referred to all non-human animals, though the forest dwelling Parponics expanded the category to include certain types of trees. All other nouns fall into the inanimate category. These three categories are marked by the thematic vowels i, u, and a respectively (Parponic á, à, e.) Each of the myriad suffixes are formed by attaching the relevant vowel to one or two consonants.

Noun suffixes are used to mark case, or the role the noun plays in the sentence.

Nominative Case: The nominative marks the subject of the sentence and is marked by the suffix -nV (where V represents a variable vowel.) Ini nezoti = I slept.

Accusative Case: The accusative marks the direct object of a transitive verb via the suffix -sV (PA -lhV, Parponic -ssV.) Yani sanchaisu mañati = We ate the squirrel.

Dative Case: The dative marks the indirect object, or the person or thing on whose behalf the action is taken. It is marked with the suffix -fV (PA -mhV, Parponic -spV.) Ani ifi larkansa gipti = He gave money to me.

Instrumental Case: As the name implies, the instrumental case marks the means by which something is done via the suffix -mbV. If the root ends in a consonant a schwa is inserted before the m, indicated in transcription by an apostrophe. Tavik’mba guansu wentotti = He hit the dog with a stick.

The instrumental case can also be used to mark the agent of a passive sentence. Guannu ambi wentottetu = The dog was hit by him.

A unique use of the instrumental case is to mark quotations. In this case the instrumental suffix is added to the full verb rather than the root alone. Igdimba ini lati = I said, “go!” (literally, “I used [the phrase] ‘go!’ to speak.”)

Benefactive Case: This case is unique to the Atlantean language family, and represents the idea that the marked noun benefits from the action in a way not covered by the nominative, accusative, or dative. It is marked by the suffix -skV-. Iki senkathiski mañatsa fekti = I made food for my wife.

Malefactive Case: This is the opposite of the benefactive, marked by the suffix –rm-. Ani revan’rmi larkansa bantisti = She stole silver from the queen. (literally: She stole silver which harmed the queen.)

Verbs

Atlantean verbs present a simple past-present-future tense system represented by the suffixes -tV, -rV, and -bV, respectively. Mañati = She ate; Mañari = She eats; Mañabi = She will eat. Verbs are not marked for person or number, though the final vowel agrees with the class of the subject. Nithini mañati = The girl ate; Minunu mañatu = The cat ate.

In addition to the three tenses, two additional moods are possible: the imperative in -dV- and the suggestive in -zV-. Mañadi = Eat! Mañazi = Let’s eat.

More interesting is the use of infixes, placed between the root and the tense marker, to indicate what English speakers call helping verbs.

  • -kan- represents ability. Mañari = She eats; Mañakanri = She can eat.
  • -ne- indicates negation. Mañaneti = She did not eat.
  • -ya- indicates that something must happen. Mañayari = She needs to eat.
  • dur- means that the subject will stop doing something. Mañadurbi = She will stop eating.
  • -tai- indicates that the subject has a desire to do something. Mañatairi = She wants to eat.
  • -thai- indicates that the speaker wants the subject to do something. Mañathairi = I wish she would eat.
  • -nishi- means that the action has not yet taken place. Mañanishiri = She has not eaten yet.
  • -te- indicates the passive voice. Mañateti = She was eaten.
  • -s- indicates that the subject caused the object to do something. Ani asi mañasti = He made her eat.

Co-verb infixes can be combined to produce more complex verb forms: Mañakanneri = She cannot eat. Mañadurkannebi = She will not be able to stop eating.

Reflexive particle -s, and interrogative particles -n (PA and Parponic -m) are added after the tense/mood marker: Mañaris = She ate herself; Mañarin = Did she eat?

To be continued next week.

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