Dialectology of Ksreskézaian Measured from the start of human contact with the Ksreskézai.

The Rotomem


The general term Rotomemi has been used to describe the language spoken by the first humans to set foot on Ksreskézo, but it is not known what they called their language. The standard term applied to it is Sotaní Rotomemía, i.e. the final form of the Rotomemi language. No samples of this language survive, except in translation into classical Ksreskézaian and Slokdtabaní Rotomemika (slave Rotomemi), a retronym applied by the Lilitai to the dialect used in the oldest papers preserved by Moiléa Tévopía. Slave Rotomemi appears to be about 20-30% Ksreskézaian roots, heavily Ksreskézaian grammar, and about 15% identifiable Telaian or other Terran roots. The rest is hypothesized to have come from trade and contact with other civilizations. Like most Ksreskézaian languages it exhibits a nature-vs-people gender system and a nominative-accusative morphosyntactic alignment. Most likely, Sotaní Rotomemía was ungendered and tripartite.

Slave Rotomemi, despite its name, only remained an active language of the Slokdtabasa for a couple of decades once they were introduced to the Ksreskézai. Dramatic shifts occur around 5300 ksepo as the Slokdtabasa's masters demanded better intelligibility. This coincided with the recent development of the Wemnían dialect of Ksreskézaian, which was a very expanded form of the language that fostered very precise statements. The resulting slave tongue, called Míteví Slokdtabaní Tshírafo (literally, primary slave language) was very similar to Wemnían, although it featured several anachronisms from classical Ksreskézaian for their masters' amusement, making it best-described as a synthetic dialect of Ksreskézaian that the Slokdtabasa were required to use. Still, as many as 35% of roots were not Ksreskézaian; these were substituted back in from Rotomemi. Notable roots surviving in Lilitika include kru, 'chroma', and atshu, 'astra'.

Dialogue between slave and master languages


Over the next two thousand years, power shifted on Ksreskézo from Wemno to the oases of the Dashro valley, on another continent on the other side of the planet. These merchant-kings had been the first purchasers of the new bipedal slaves, and by 7200 ksepo they had tired of using the Wemnían way of speaking, replacing the language with their own, best captured in a 7239 treatise. This led to the Dashro Oasis dialect, a more compact form of speaking well-suited to parched desert throats. These changes were mirrored in the Slokdtabasa language, leading to Dashroní Slokdtabaní Tshírafo.

The Dashro palace system collapsed suddenly in 9012 ksepo, after a long series of droughts brought on by the geologic drying of the delta that fed the agricultural industry in the valley. Culturally this allowed Wemnían to become prestigious again, leading to its refinement into a poetic form that remained a persistent feature in Ksreskézaian culture well into the 14th millennium ksepo. Most Slokdtabasa were expected to use this language exclusively, leading to Wemní Slokdtabaní Oksiko, which bore very few features of the previous Rotomemi-influenced languages and only a handful of roots that were now considered affectations, and had even been transferred back into Ksreskézaian, although they had not supplanted any Ksreskézaian words and were only used as synonyms.

The desert hegemony left a legacy, however, and that was in the wealthy merchants who left the sands and returned to the Tévopío plains. By 13200 ksepo, they had reconsolidated power from the Wemnían-speaking monarchies that dotted Ksreskézo, leading to the Unified Tévopían dialect, which struck a compromise between poetic Wemnían and Dashrian. This coincided with the founding of the modern Ksreskézaian Empire headquartered at Tévopío. At the same time the slokdtabasa were re-trained to speak Mitrajoní Oksiko (Imperial), which is a rare example of a step backward in the oksification of the language spoken by the slaves of the Ksreskézai, as the language was regressed in parallel with the core language of the masters to match the stylings of the Dashro regime. Some features of poetic Wemnian were preserved, but most of the language returned to the Tshírafo phase of its development.

There were no major language developments for more than five thousand years in educated speech after this system was put in place. This extraordinary sluggishness can be attributed to the preservative effect of changing responsibilities on the part of the slokdtabasa in affluent and noble households; it had become apparent in the late thirteenth millennium that the extraordinary longevity of the humans made them excellent pillars of tradition, as well as governesses. In combination with developments in information exchange, it became much more practical to continue to use the language of generations past. It was not until 18255 ksepo, when riots protesting the corruption of Alchemical Mysterium permeated the major cities of the Ksreskézaian Empire, that doctrine was updated and the people's language, Oksirapho, rose to prominence.

Oksirapho manifested in two principal forms; Slokdtabaní Oksirapho and Oksení Oksirapho. The Slokdtabaní form re-acquired most of its features from Ksreskézaian, through the vernacular, but in practice the mandated Oksirapho forms were not well-suited to the human tongue, and the Slokdtabasa, being very long-lived creatures of habit and conservative influence, once again brought forward many of the old words they already used.

Palace language was updated only once more, in 22931 ksepo, marking the break between early and late true Oksirapho. The standard used by the Slokdtabasa is generally called Sotaní Oksirapho (final Oksirapho) by the Lilitai, who continued to use it well into the first century of their new calendar as an auxiliary language, and as a language of trade until settlement on Thet, due to its recognition (albeit poor reputation) in the former Ksreskézaian Empire.

Continued in Dialectology of Lilitic.