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Lilitika Grammar
Illeran Grammar
Describing the Illera lí Lilitika dialect.
Illeran (673–829 lilpo) was the official, standard dialect of Lilitika spoken on Illera and trade settlements on Makta during the first Illeran colony. It deviates in a number of notable respects from other dialects of Lilitika in the use of its detailed, nuanced inflections and its peculiar stress accent, which sometimes interact.

Phonology and Phonotactics

Word-final /ɛ/ and /ɪ/ are no longer lengthened to /eː/ and /iː/, respectively.

Orthography and Stress

To accommodate Illeran's stress system in full, five new letters must be added to the standard Latin orthography:

à'agenitive plural, accusative
ègenitive plural, accusative
ògenitive plural, accusative

Stress tends toward antepenult, but falls later in the word if strong vowels are not available. The strong vowels are ei, é, í, o, ú, ai, û, ê, oi. If no strong vowels are available at all, stress falls on the first vowel of the inflection.

Using underlines to indicate stress, kotopú, amelía, atsha, alémarobis.

For declension, the first vowel of the vocative ending always steals stress, even when strong vowels are present elsewhere in the word; this is also true of the accusative ending and plural genitive endings (due to compensatory lengthening).

In addition, <í> or <i> may sometimes appear as <ý> to indicate elision into a palatal approximant, especially in poetry.


Conventions: graphemes in () disappear when following a vowel, and graphemes in [] disappear when following a consonant. Empty cells copy from the left; all forms are possible.

See the note above for stress rules induced by declension.

Case definitions

  • "f-nominative" is the alternative nominal form used with paragrammatical (FPIC) conjunctions to show which side of the equation is part of the parent sentence.

  • ø is the form used with unmarked nouns, of which there are two kinds: (a) nouns where the case marker has been carried by a preposition, and (b) nouns with no true role because they have been included for a paragrammatical remark.

  • The egressive, temporal, and terminative cases are the same as the temporal ablative, temporal locative, and temporal dative in other forms of Lilitika.

  • The gendered forms of the egressive, temporal, terminative, ablative, locative, and dative cases are only used when no preposition is invoked; it is considered an acceptable stylistic choice to use neuter prepositions with correctly-inflected nouns.

  • Case reduction

    Illeran completely lacks the complement cases and simply equates multiple terms in the nominative (or f-nominative). The ablative, locative, egressive, temporal, and terminative cases are used sparsely in general, and remappings occurred over three stages:

    1. egressive → ablative (ablative of initiation)
      terminative → dative (terminative dative)
      temporal → locative (temporal locative)
    2. ablative → genitive (genitive of origination)
    3. locative → dative (dative locative)
      temporal locative → genitive or dative
    usage and history: The first stage corresponds to a clear analogy between time and space. This was generally uncontroversial as everyday language relied on minimal particle modifiers (i.e. les, wes, and mes), which already served as an efficient way of distinguishing temporal and physical placement from conceptual relationships, which would be unmarked. The second, formalized more or less simultaneously with the first, was more daring, and restored a genitive usage from Oksirapho that was common in some Venrafivíai but had not yet been standardized.

    The third stage, a drive toward eliminating the locative, was more progressive. It was never entirely complete, as speakers were accustomed to seeing the ablative and dative as special cases of the locative, so inverting this relationship was unusual. When it was employed, locatives typically became genitives in the past tense and datives otherwise, reflecting the fact that the concept continued to exist as an underlying form.

    Under this paradigm, Illeran's case system comes to more closely resemble the later, post-contact Lilitic, with the notable exception that the more specialized case endings could be invoked as needed to disambiguate. Despite these premonitions, this was one of the features that reached a dead end in Illeran: Ketalan would resurrect the everyday usage of all oblique forms, making them regular and simple to employ as part of set, formulaic prepositions.

    -a Declension
    ø a ai ôi
    f-nom (i)fa afí
    nom a ai oi
    voc á éa óa ái éai óôi
    acc òdta édta òne òdtí òní
    gen an ôn án òn
    ins va
    abl úas úasí
    loc as así
    dat (a)las alí
    egr ú(a)t[a] úatí
    tmp (a)t[a] atí
    trm (a)ka akí

    -e Declension

    ø e ú e ai ei oi
    f-nom (i)fé (i)fú (i)fé efí úfí efí
    nom é ú é ai ei oi
    voc é ái é éi é ói
    acc éna ènú òno éní èní òní
    gen an en ôn àn èn òn
    abl úes úesí
    loc es esí
    dat (e)l[es] elí
    egr ú(e)t[é] ú(e)t[ú] ú(e)t[é] úetí
    tmp (e)t[é] (e)t[ú] (e)t[é] etí
    trm (e)ké (e)kú (e)ké ekí

    -o Declension

    ø o ai ei oi
    f-nom (i)fo ofí
    nom o ai ei oi
    voc ó ái éi ói
    acc òno òní
    gen éan éôn éan éôn
    ins vo
    abl úos úosí
    loc os osí
    dat elo elí
    egr úto útí
    tmp (o)to otí
    trm (o)ko okí

    Adjectives and adverbs

    These are essentially unchanged from Sarasí: -í or -is for adjectives, -ya or -adis for adverbs, with the former forms indicating prefix and the latter forms indicating postfix. However, most are used in postfix form in Illeran. In addition, genitive forms behave like postfix adjectives, although they can still be used in prefix form (and to derive other words) by restoring the -í stem.


    Lilitika has two verb classes, the verbs of action and the verbs of experience. The verbs of experience behave as passive verbs and mimic ergative-absolutive alignment, with the nominative and accusative cases filling in the rules of absolutive and ergative cases, respectively. The difference between the two verb classes is easily recognized in the infinitive, as all passive verbs end in -eshé, while all active verb stems end merely in -é. Verbs can be converted between these forms by adding or removing the -esh- infix, although they are regarded as having default orientations and rarely deviate in Illeran.


    Lilitika recognizes 4 discrete temporal intervals: the deep past, the regular past, the present, and the future. These are assembled into six tenses:

    tensedefinitiontranslate as
    deep pastthe event happened long ago; something the speaker considers historicalpast or pluperfect
    pastthe event happenedpast
    presentthe event happens nowsimple present
    liquidthe event happens now, is about to happen, is happening, or soon will happensimple present, present progressive, or near future
    futurethe event will happenfuture
    propheticthe event was expected to happen in the deep past; it may or may not have occurred as predicted or have yet come to passit is said the event would happen

    In addition, Lilitika recognizes a simple aorist, which it treats as a tenseless verb form. It is used primarily in Sarasí and Illeran as a subjunctive and in combination with the hypothetical particle kai to create a tenseless gnomic mood. Certain other uses of the subjunctive are covered by the so-called subjunctive-optative-jussive mood, which is also known as the gnomic imperative.

    Besides the gnomic variant, the imperative is divided into two tenses: the liquid imperative (also known as the regular imperative), and the future imperative.

    Finally, there are four regular aspects: inchoative, terminative, perfect, and progressive.

    While complete conjugations are shown below, not all forms presented have actually been attested in surviving documents; in particular, the imperative and future imperative are rarely seen outside of, 2(d).sg, and forms. As with other dialects, the existence and identity of these extra cases is a result of the policies of Survika, the government body responsible for linguistic standardization, although they could be easily reconstructed by interpolation from attested forms.

    -é Conjugation (Verbs of Action)

    DPST elréeldréelzeréelzé elréseldréselzeréselzés
    PST íréedréezréellé írésedrésezrésellés
    PRS ítéídtéídtzéízé ítésídtésídtzésés
    LIQ ísaídtaídtzaíza íseinídteinídtzeinein
    FUT ílsaíladtaíldtazaílza ílseiníldteiníldtazeinílein
    AOR étàéédtàéédtzàéàé étàésédtàésédtzàésàés
    IMP ítéméídtéméízéméémé ítémíídtémíízéméémí
    FIMP íesaméídtaméízaméíemé íesamíídtamíízamííemí
    GIMP éntééndtééndzéízo éntéséndtéséndzésízos
    PROPH okoiaokédtaokézaoka okonokreinokseinokein

    The à in aorist forms always takes the stress.

    Initial í, é, o, and e vowels are non-mandatory and will disappear in proximity with another strong vowel (e.g. the o in natúloé.)

    The <dt> ([ɾ]) in the 2 and 2d endings becomes <d> if the last syllable of the stem begins with an r, e.g. olrídé - you eat.

    Plural forms ending in -és will replace this with -ezí if followed by an enclitic such as dí or kai, e.g. "írelzezí kai" instead of "írelzés kai". Simlarly, the plural third-person gnomic imperative, ízos, becomes ízozí before such enclitics. These final í vowels are strictly epenthic, and hence never take stress; in a totally unstressed word such as "gelzezí kai", stress must fall on one of the other vowels (in this case, yielding "gēlzezí kai".)

    -eshé, -ahé Conjugation (Verbs of Experience)

    DPST alréaldréalzaréalzé alrésaldrésalzarésalzés
    PST airéadréazréallé airésadrésazrésallés
    PRS aitéaidtéaidzéaizé aitésaidtésaidzésais
    LIQ aisaaidtaaidzaaiza aiseinaidteinaidzeinain
    FUT alsaallaallazaalza alseinaldteinaldtazeinalein
    AOR atàéadtàéadzàé atàésadtàésadtzàésaés
    IMP aitéméaidtéméaizéméamé aitémíaidtémíaizéméamí
    FIMP aiesaméaidtaméaizaméaiemé aiesamíaidtamíaizamíaiemí
    GIMP antéandtéandzéaizo antésandtésandzésaizos
    PROPH akoiaakédtaakézhaaka akanakreinakseinakein

    Aspect Infixes

    As in previous Lilitika dialects, these are placed between the verb stem and the ending. However, in Illeran, there are more elaborate combining forms:

    én x is ~ing
    et x has ~ed
    ent x x has been ~ing
    ep x starts to ~
    ek x finishes ~ing
    ev x x starts to be ~ed
    eg x x finishes being ~ed
    esp x x has started to ~
    esk x x has finished ~ing
    eps x x x has started to be ~ed
    eks x x x has finished being ~ed

    Note that inchoative and terminative cannot co-exist in a single form (meaning "starts to finish ~" or "finishes starting to ~"); these would be formulated with an auxiliary verb and a gerund in the accusative.

    Modal Clitics and Particles

    Core verb inflection permits incorporation of indicative, imperative, and optative-jussive moods. This leaves many moods to be expressed through external markers. In prior dialects of Lilitika, these markers were termed "mood particles," and in Illeran they are (predominantly) clitics.

    sentence-final particleinterrogativemakes the sentence a question
    encliticdestinatereverses the meaning of the ablative and dative cases
    encliticreciprocal locomotiveindicates motion between two places, with the dative marking the initial destination and the ablative marking the initial source
    encliticmiddle voiceindicates mixed or ambiguous involvement between agent and patient
    kaiencliticgnomicindicates the sentence is a general statement about the way the world works
    léúsentence-final particledeductive"It would appear..."
    korrsentence-final particleinferential renarrative"I hear that..."
    kwedzinsentence-final particlecausative interrogativeasks "why" the rest of the sentence is
    natprocliticreversalundoes the ~ing
    aléprocliticnegativedoes not ~
    procliticrequirementmust ~ (for some reason)
    íféprocliticdesiderativewants to ~
    procliticsocial requirementmust ~ (by law or agreement)
    essíprocliticnatural requirementmust ~ (by nature)

    Non-realis moods (gnomic, requirement, desiderative) are used with the aorist unless tense provides additional useful information, such as ífégisa, "I want to leave [presently]."

    As in Sarasí, the proclitics can be stacked, and ordering affects meaning, e.g. alérímaratàé, "I am not required to come" vs. ríalémaratàé, "I am forbidden to come."

    Irregular Verbs

    Illeran has a handful of optional irregular forms where naked verb endings may stand in for actual verbs in the aorist tense. These were added to the language by reanalyzing their Oksí Lilitika origins, and are primarily used in poetry.

    While it is rarely done, they can be coerced out of the aorist tense by adding on a Íomanazinení/Zeyetaní verb ending, replacing any final vowel, e.g. ílsa = ílétàé, but ílsis = ílíté.

    Active forms

    arlé elréeldréelzeréelzé elréseldréselzeréselzés
    íré íréedréezréellé írésedrésezrésellés
    ¹ ítéídtéídtzéízé ítésídtésídtzésés
    ifilé ísaídtaídtzaíza² íseinídteinídtzeinein
    ílé ílsaíladtaíldtazaílza ílseiníldteiníldtazeinílein
    ahé étàéédtàéédtzàéàé étàésédtàésédtzàésàés
    saréítéméídtéméízéméémé ítémíídtémíízéméémí
    ísé íesaméídtaméízaméíemé íesamíídtamíízamííemí
    anééntééndtééndzéízo² éntéséndtéséndzésízos
    okhé okoiaokédtaokézaoka okonokreinokseinokein

    ¹Not to be confused with the uvé suffix for nouns or the related -ivé form for adjectives.
    ²This form gains a final n before being conjugated, to prevent confusion with the present-tense equivalent.

    Passive forms

    arleshéalréaldréalzaréalzé alrésaldrésalzarésalzés
    íreshé airéadréazréallé airésadrésazrésallés
    veshé aitéaidtéaidzéaizé aitésaidtésaidzésais
    ifileshé aisaaidtaaidzaaiza² aiseinaidteinaidzeinain
    íleshé alsaallaallazaalza alseinaldteinaldtazeinalein
    thahé atàéadtàéadzàé atàésadtàésadtzàésaés
    sareshé aitéméaidtéméaizéméamé aitémíaidtémíaizéméamí
    íseshé aiesaméaidtaméaizaméaiemé aiesamíaidtamíaizamíaiemí
    aneshé antéandtéandzéaizo² antésandtésandzésaizos
    okheshé akoiaakédtaakézhaaka akanakreinakseinakein

    ²This form gains a final n before being conjugated, to prevent confusion with the present-tense equivalent.