Aiyalura is the old language of the Seven Cities, used by scholars and elders. It has a very simple phonology, but its syntax is complex.
The following tables attempt to provide both a linguistically accurate phonology and a guide for non-linguists on how to approximate the sounds of Aiyalura.
|‘||?||Glottal stop – Cockney English “bottle”|
Diacritics (accent characters)
The acute accent indicates a long vowel (see Vinlandic for typical pronunciation); an umlaut indicates a nasal vowel, e.g. ö is pronounced like French “bon“.
Aiyalura has OV-based word order: OVS (object verb subject) in main clauses, SOV in dependent clauses. It is an agglutinative language, with lots of prefixes and suffixes; pronomial prefixes are used to mark both subject and object on the verb, so there are few independent pronouns.
Listing all the available suffixes is beyond the scope of this brief sketch, but you will get an idea of their scope and complexity from the examples below.
Here are some examples from the Night’s Masque books. In each case, I will give the text and an idiomatic translation, then a gloss (linguistic analysis) to demonstrate the morphosyntax. The hyphenated version is designed to help you identify the individual suffixes.
Note that the numbers refer to pronouns: 1S is first person singular (I, me), 2S is second person singular (you), and so on. Other abbreviations in capital letters are as follows:
AG – agent (subject of a transitive verb)
DUP – duplication (used to denote repetition or augmentation)
EMPH – emphatic mood – denotes the speaker’s certainty of a fact
IMP – imperfect aspect (i.e. an action that is incomplete)
NEG – negative particle
POSS – possessive
STAT – stative aspect (an ongoing situation, rather than a change of state)
The Alchemist of Souls: Erishen in the cellar
Icorrowe amayi’a. Dë sasayihama onapama.
“My beloved is coming. You cannot keep me here any longer.”
Dë sasayihama onapama.
NEG AUG-any-time 2S-AG-1S-confine-STAT
The Merchant of Dreams: Erishen’s song
Amayi’o anosennowe, amayi’o anodirowe
Dedëhami anolessowe. Acorro, acorro.
“I am your soulmate, I promise will seek you. I am your soulmate, I promise I will find you.
Never will I give up on you. I am coming, I am coming.”