Old Elvish [araem'atal, uh-RAYM uh-TAHL, "the magical language"], as it is now known, was a language spoken by the nomadic Green Elves during the period of 005 OA - 340 OA (Old Age, or approximately one millenium before the crowning of Queen Tarista) between the rules of Queen Ava of the Wooded Elves and King Aristeus of the Landburrow Elves. Queen Ava was known to be the one who promoted the speaking of Old Elvish, and during the Abstergens Days this language was the only spoken, until a few decades after Aristeus's death, where Early Elvish began to appear amongst the Water Elves. During the War of the Millenium, where the Water Elves were hired as mercenaries, Early Elvish flourished and is the mother of the current elfin language, Elvish.
|Name: Old Elvish, sometimes known as Elven or Elfen in southern parts of the country
Head Direction: N/A
Number of genders: 0
The first few dialects of Old Elvish appeared around 7 or 8 OA, where the nouns had three genders: masculine, feminine, and non-living, or as it is known now, the neuter. All three genders were declined heavily in what is thought to be six declensions, but over time, Prince Asfar of the Landburrow Elves pushed into being a new dialect, which is the largely-surviving one, where the nouns do not have any gender and do not decline as heavily. However, most of the verbs have the same conjugations, and almost all irregularities have been stripped away, leaving only a few incredibly irregular verbs.
Old Elvish is thought to have originated from Erau, where Prince Asfar began talking to his courtiers in a language slightly different from their current one to prevent succesful eavesdropping. From Erau, it is thought to have spread by merchants and adventures all over the elfin land, from Crowfell to Amanon to Sulberry. The language flowered and grew, and elves began omitting many declensions and conjugations, leaving only the barest necesities with which to convey information efficiently.
Old Elvish is described by scholars as having many soft-sounding syllables, sounding more like what is now known as "Latin" than the guttural dwarf language, where speakers mostly use the back of their throats to produce most of their words. In Old Elvish, all the words are pushed to the front of the mouth and are generally said with the tip of one's tongue.
|Cc||king before consonants, send before vowels||k, s|
Any diatrices or macrons are used solely for distinguishing purposes and are not pronounced differently from their mother vowel. However, most elves prefer to draw out vowels with a macron a bit longer then usually, making ē sound like aay.
Generally consonants are not found together, but when they are they must be dismissed as "not important" and must be said quickly. Vowels are more commonly found together, and there is no firm rule as to how those diphthongs are pronounced.
Punctuation is the set of rules that governs the symbols used in Old Elvish writing to convey a specific meaning in the most efficient way possible. The seven forms of punctuation are: the period, comma, capital letters, long dash, question mark, exclamation mark, and apostrophe.
The period - "full stop" - is used in Old Elvish to:
- 1. Symbolize the end of a sentence: "The dog has ears.", but
- 2. NEVER to shorten a word; the elves were a hard-working people, never lazy, and never designed any abbreviations for any of their words.
The comma, or the "half-stop", is used in Old Elvish to divide a part of a sentence to make the meaning clearer. There is no strict rule for when to use a comma, though:
- 1. It is used most of the time to separate independent and dependent clauses in a sentence,
- 2. but never to separate appositions.
- 3. Commas are used in groups of two or more objects - living or non-living - and separate every one of them: "the cat, the dog, and the mouse.
Capital letters are used for the beginning letter of a word after a period. They are never used in-between periods unless to symbolize names, and names only. Days of the week, months of the year, etc. are never capitalized.
The Long Dash
The long dash is used to symbolize quotes. For example:
—Hello, John— I say.
—Hello, Joe— he replies.
The Question Mark
The question mark is used at the end of a sentence to indicate interrogativity. It is never used in the middle of a sentence, such as used in Spanish.
The Exclamation Mark
The exclamation mark is used at the end of a sentence - never in the middle as sometimes in Spanish - to indicate accentuation and other strong feelings, i.e. anger, excitement, etc.
The apostrophe is used in Old Elvish for a few reasons:
- 1. To separate one word into two "quasi-words" through a vowel: say there is a word, baano. Old Elvish grammer rules say that two same vowels cannot be adjacent to one another, unless you want to become very irregular, and since this language naturally wants to get rid of every irregularity possible, you would write/say baano as ba'no.
- a. How do you know where to put the apostrophe? It doesn't really matter. Baano could be b'ano, too, but it is preferable to have at least one vowel to the left of the apostrophe.
- ps. for your general information, there is no word called "baano" in this language.
- 2. To convey information more easily.
- a. Imagine this scenario: you would like to say the phrase "move back!". The words for "move" and "back" are cen and ab', respectively. Notice the apostrophe at the end of ab'. This means that the word cannot go by itself; there are no Old Elvish words which end in an apostrophe. This therefore signifies that in order to say "move back", you would write/say ab'cein! (Please see the section on Verb Moods to understand why cen morphs into cein.)
- i. In this same manner, "move again!" would be re'cein!
Old Elvish is generally an O/V/Adv/S/Adj language.
|Direct Object||Verb||Adverb||Indirect Object||Subject||Adjective|
English: The small boy throws the ball playfully to the dog.
Old Elvish: ball throws playfully-ABLATIVE dog-ALLATIVE boy small
Clauses come after the independent clause, though the conjunction is found at the end of the dependent clause with the Conjunctive Simple Tense.
Old Elvish grammar is not too hard to learn, but it does have some noun declensions and a unique system of verb conjugations because it has been proven to actually be a branch of Ancient Elven.
There are no articles in Old Elvish; "the" and "a" are ommited. However, "é" is used with an apostrophe after the noun it modifies to signify both "this" and "that" and "these" and "those".
Nouns decline, and there are two separate sets of declensions, though they do not have a name. The first set of noun declensions is those concerning nouns ending in a vowel. The second set is those concerning nouns ending with a consonant.
near the book,
next to the book,
in the book,
between the books,
2 objects, use this case, but no pluralization.
3+ objects, use case with plural and number after
under the book,
on (top of) the book,
out of the book,
to the book,
into the book,
through the book,
across the book,
|- the "contrative" case||
against the book,
|- the "conative" case||
with the book
|- the "inconative" case||
without the book, bookless,
without a house,
|- the "antitive" case||
in front of the book,
|- the "abilative" case||
from the book,
First Declension Nouns: (-a, -e, -i, -o, -u, and rarely æ)
First declension nouns can end in any vowel, thus the blank in "Nominative-Singular".
Second Declension Nouns: (any consonant)
Demonyms are formed in Old Elvish by placing ō in front of the place if it begins with a vowel, ōd in front of a place if it begins with a consonant.
Adjectives do not decline, and they do not agree in number with the nouns they modify. The position of Old Elvish adjectives has been widely reputed by several well-known scholars, because while the Tenesur Prophecies, a saga written by the renowned Azar of the Ice Elves, places its adjectives in front of the noun it modifies, the Amaron Chronicles, written by a distance cousin of Azar's, places the adjectives directly behind its governing noun. Perhaps most controversial is the Quaem Cerod, which written in what the English call "iambic pentameter", has the adjectives either at the beginning or at the end of the sentence, making it unclear which noun they modify.
- However, scholars comparing many works of Old Elven priests and sorcerers agree that adjectives almost always come after their governing nouns. In poetry, they conveniently come before the nouns they modify to help stress rythmn patterns or end-rhymes.
The comparative and superlative cases of the adjectives are formed by adding ö and ön respectively to the adjectives.
Adverbs come directly after their verbs, no matter what the situation, and take on the ablative case: +æ.
All prepositions come directly after their objects, which take on the accusative case.
Personal Pronouns are only very rarely used in Old Elvish. They are:
When used, personal pronouns almost always are used solely in the dative case, and sometimes in the locative case. Genitive case personal pronouns are never used, unless for emphasis or poetical purposes.
Verbs are the most important part of speech.
All verbs end in "-en".
In order to conjugate a verb, one must take what the elves call the "precedent" - the prefix - and attach it to the beginning of the verb. The "successor" - suffix - of the verb changes according to the tense. The suffix of infinitive verbs is "-en".
Verbs can be changed into nouns by changing the "-en" to an "-on". For example, toren means "to eat". Therefore, toron means "the eater" or "he/she/it who/which eats". For further example, a puzzling inscription is found over the grave of an unknown elf: Îmorestkos almes’toron, which literally means, "He who eats the apple will sing." Scholars have been puzzling over the phrase for centuries, though they believe it is a witty reference to Almetrus, the wise elf who wrote the Alcandor Chronicles.
Present: (I write, you write, he/she/it writes, etc.) - Rule: Change "-en" to "-ein". Remember, personal pronouns are never used when they are the subject of the sentence. Note: The Present and Present Progressive are the same, except for convenient poetic uses, where poets have been known to use the appropriate for of "to be" and then make a participle from the main verb.
elenen: to write
- This verb is not irregular. As you might have noticed, it starts with a vowel. Vowels will not form a diphthong if one of them has a diatrix, macon, or forward accent above it. The only exception is found here, in the third person singular and plural, where both times the "i"s with the diatrix and macron are forced to take on the y to give a smooth flow to the language.
Two of the same vowels cannot go together, unless one of the has an umlaut, and that too is very rare. Therefore, the first-person-singular present-tense requires an apostrophe after the first letter, because two "e"s cannot go together and none of them have the umlaut. It is a common rule that if the first-person takes on an apostrophe, so does the second person. In the third person, îyelenein is just one of those morphing words; when one says "ie" (separating both vowels; sounds like ee-eh) quickly, a natural "y" sound appears between the vowels, which is why it is spelled like that. The same concept applies with the plural.
Past: (I wrote, you wrote, he/she/it wrote, etc.) - Rule: Change "-en" to "-os" and conjugate with the same precedents. Note: There is no difference between the past and the past progressive, although Azar is known to sometimes have used the correct past-tense form of "to be" with the present participle of the main verb.
Future: (I will write, you will write, he/she/it will write, etc.) - Rule: Change "-en" to "-kos" and conjugate with the same precedents.
Passive Present: (I am written, you are written, he/she/it is written, etc.) - Rule: Place a "t-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "-ein".
Passive Past: (I was written, you were written, he/she/it was written, etc.) - Rule: Place a "t-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. Change "-en" to "-us".
Present Perfect Simple: (I have written, you have written, he/she/it has written, etc.) - Rule: Place an "r-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "-a".
Past Perfect Simple: (I had written, you had written, he/she/it had written, etc.) - Rule: Place an "r-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "-as".
Present Perfect Progressive: (I have been writing, etc.) - Rule: Place an "m-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to ïn.
Past Perfect Progressive: (I had been writing, etc.) - Rule: Place an "m-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "-is".
Future Progressive: (I will be writing, etc.) - Rule: Place a "d-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "ö".
Future Simple: (I will have written, etc.) - Rule: Place a "d-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. Change "-en" to "-ôt".
Future II Progressive: (I will have been writing, etc.) - Rule: Place a "d-" as a prefix to the precedents of the verb. "-en" changes to "-ü".
Imperative: The verb does not take on any precedents. Change the "-en" to "-ein".
Present Participle: Change "-en" to "-kós". There are no precedents for this tense.
Past Participle: Change "-en" to "-kosos".
Gerund: There is no "gerund" in Old Elvish. Simply use the infinitive of the gerundive verb.
The following are called the "special moods":
Interrogative (Do you write?, etc.) - Rule: formed by placing the special word ne right before the verb. A question mark is used, but not needed. Inflections in pitch, of course, were utilized and must never be neglected.
Adhortative (I should write, etc.) - Rule: formed by placing the "adhortator" pe before the verb.
Exhortative (I must write, etc.) - Rule: formed by placing the "exhortator" cuad before the verb.
Conditional (I would write, etc.) - Rule: formed by placing le before the verb.
There are 2 special tenses in Old Elvish, call the "Conjunctive Simple" and the "Negative Simple".
- Just like prepositions, conjunctions and relative pronouns come directly after the whole clause they modifiy.
- Because some clauses can get pretty long, the elves used the Conjunctive Simple on the verbs in the clause. The Conjunctive Simple is formed by adding an "s-" as a prefix to the precedent of the verb.
- There is no word for "no" in Old Elvish. Therefore, in order to express negativity, one must place an "n-" as a prefix to the precedent of the verb.
There are only two known irregular nouns in Old Elvish: Atia, the goddess of the elves, and Tea, the high priestess of Atia.
|Vocative||Atiae||The vocative is not found for any regular noun.|
|Perlative||Atii||When two "i"s are found together, they usually morph into one and take a macron.|
|-||Atya||in front of Atia|
|-||Teya||in front of Tea|
There is only one irregular verb in Old Elvish: se, "to be" (notice that it does not even have the "-en" symbolizing an Old Elvish verb):
Present Past Future Present Perfect Simple Past Perfect Simple Conditional Conditional Progressive Conditional Simple 1st es esê sum fes res ron tu tud s'um f'es tu'a tu'ad r'es r'o t'u t'ud 2nd ed edê med fed red rod ta tad me'd fe'd t'a t'ad r'ed r'ua t'ua t'uae 3rd em emê mes fen ren rom tad ted me's fe'n ta'd ta'dê r'en r'uam t'ea t'e
WORK STILL IN PROGRESS.