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Old Dialectology of Lilitika
Continued from Dialectology of Ksreskézaian.
This reconstruction is out of date. It is presented for academic value only. See New Dialectology of Lilitika for more information.

The Lilitasa

As early as 1 lilpo, with the founding of the Lilitina as a cultural identity, the freed slaves were intimately aware that they spoke a language which had been prescribed to them for thousands of years, and that this was a major part of the weight that tied them to their old identity as servants. The following year, work on a prototype vocabulary and grammar began, with the express intent that it be a language uniquely suited to the needs of a Lilita. Honourifics, which had been a major component of the Ksreskézaian landscape for all of recorded history, were avoided.

This first prototype language, only used for two years, required the use of helper verbs (íré and ílé) to express past and future tenses, lacked a flexible system for indicating structural relationships (the FPIC particles), and used the full "-is ím kai" expansion in place of a subjunctive of purpose, yielding a very clumsy method of communication. Hybrid argots appeared, using the new vocabulary with the old grammar. All verbs ended in "-is" in this form, unless they were supported by a helper verb, in which case they were the bare infinitive -é. In addition, many uses of verbs also defined the object as their location, due to their etymology, e.g. the (now) seldom-used dheñgizhé.

In 5 lilpo this was replaced with the first standard form, Oksí Lilitika (constructed Lilitika.) The subjunctive of purpose was condensed to -inkai, and ím was otherwise removed (replaced with the address case, -íf-). Helper verbs were abolished, resulting in the uneven -iris, -ilis, and -iril suffixes used for past, present, and future. The FPIC was added, initially without kwí.

By 9 lilpo idiolects had deconvoluted the tenses down to -ir, -is, and -il, and ím was re-introduced as only a particle. These idiolects were standardized as Íomanazinení Lilitika (traditional/customary Lilitika), which remained standard until 81 lilpo and continued to be used (complete with its vocabulary intact) until after the settling of Doisseia on Thet for prestige reasons and as an honourific mode.

81 lilpo brought about Zeyetaní Lilitika (Stabilized Lilitika), which is also a very well-known archaic mode and is widely accepted as the casual counterpart to Íomanazinení. It standardized a set of morphological and phonological shifts and a completely new set of noun declensions that were less cumbersome. -iris was understood as the normal past tense, and -im was added, making the ím particle all but obsolete. The Zeyetaní standard persisted in common use until about 300 lilpo, after which it only appears alongside Íomanazinení in artificially conservative works, usually without its subtly distinct vocabulary. "kwí" was added to the FPIC at this point, although it also is used semi-anachronistically in later Íomanazinení works.

Zeyetaní was not as stable as its name implied. As early as 200 lilpo, Venrafivíai (slang) isoglosses began appearing on different ships in the Lilitic fleet, experimenting with a dozen or so simple innovations in different proportion: some introduced pronoun-prefix articles, others deregulated root clause word order, the subject complement was replaced by the accusative case in many, and the Oksí tenses reappeared in their new definitions (deep past, liquid present, and prophetic.) The adverb ending -az, introduced in Zeyetaní, was disparaged as ugly and replaced with various alternatives, including -ad, -id, -ya, and -adí. Some of these dialects persisted well into the Dhens era of Thet's settlement. Venrafivía users were also the first to experiment with ellipsis (leaving out words and clauses) in everyday speech, breaking away from the trudging formal patterns set in them by Oksírapho. (See alúé (ighikhete).)

After 90 years of no deference given to any standard, (300-390 lilpo) efforts were renewed to capture the features of the various Venrafivíai and bring them together into a cohesive, pleasing form, appropriately named Sarasí Lilitika (smooth/refined Lilitic.) This had some innovations over the actual Venrafivíai: the aorist was added and prefix articles were reduced to only gender/plural markers. The subject complement was preserved, even though it had largely disappeared by 390 lilpo in everyday speech when Sarasí was finished. The actual verb and noun endings came out of the Venrafívia phase deeply changed, and postmodifier adjectives with -is and -adis endings became popular. Sarasí Lilitika remained popular in this form until c. 700 lilpo.

Sarasí also introduced some forms of case reduction, replacing the temporal and location cases with helper particles that carried the same information. For most of the dialect's history, the donor case was the simple locative (as/es/os). Toward the end of the Sarasí period, the peculiar convention of pairing inflected prepositions with locative-case nominals was changed so that the nominals now used the null inflection (a/e/o), much like the free arguments of FPIC particles.

The settlement of Illera in the late 7th century caused re-evaluation of how language was used. Illeran settlers had more time to speak, and so manifested their own style Lilitika Illeran, with a distinct tonal system and more mellifluous inflections. Sarasí continued to be used aboard the fleet in orbit, and the subject complement was restored to it there, although Illeran totally lacks any trace of it. Word order settled somewhat, adopting a VSO form for questions and a OSV form for statements. Despite the conservativeness of the ship crews, Illeran was considered the standard dialect until the 830s.

In 830, after the evacuation of Illera, the Lilitai were back in space and no longer felt that the Illeran tongue was well-suited to them. Lilitika Ketalán (Nomadic) appeared, drawing a compromise between Sarasí and Illeran founded upon renewing the Illeran design. Ketalán introduced gender agreement for adjectives and adverbs, and eliminated plurality the distinction in articles, as well as introducing irregular inflections for certain subclasses of roots (a feature previously only found scarcely in some Venrafivíai.)

It is important to know that during the Years of the Fringe (1–1044 lilpo) very little changed in how the Lilitic vocabulary was pronounced, with most linguistic innovation occurring in the coinage of new words and new word usages. A significant portion of settlers who reached Thet were old enough to be from the original crew that had disembarked from Ksreskézo over a millennium earlier; combined with recording technology, this had a powerful stabilizing effect on the language's phonology, although common usage was now heavily laden with medial contractions and elisions of various kinds.

Dhens-era Thet

Nomadic persisted until 1050 lilpo, when the last mandated form of the language was issued, Doisseia lí Lilitika. Doisseian was almost purely regressive to Sarasí Lilitika: the subject complement disappeared again, the aorist re-appeared through poetry, and the practice of inflecting prepositions was marginalized in favour of the traditional forms for the ablative and dative cases, causing the adapters les and wes to largely disappear (although mes remained important.)

The 1070s saw influence from Lyrisclensian, the first civilization with which the Lilitai had been in prolonged contact. Dísséan Lilitika saw word order restored to subject-first, verb-final in emulation of Glissia, and a great deal of Latin and Greek vocabulary influences appeared due to aureation, such as thanatelía and libru. Lilitika also gained a true genitive case through this exchange, displacing the earlier -ní + -is = -nis postmodifier convention.

Lilitika remained mutually intelligible with varying degrees of re-injected human vocabulary for the next 1300 Lyrisclensian years or so, by which point many speakers had switched to Glissia or Telaian out of convenience, and the language was largely restricted to academic communities and literary criticism.

Development of Academic Lilitic

In the late 2910s (iky), Lilitic terminology gained traction for discussing artistic and rhetorical concepts in a number of Glissia-speaking institutions across Thet. Users found that a vocabulary constructed by a space-faring society, even one so primitive, was much more familiar and digestible in its thinking than the ancient Terran vocabulary, and it held particular appeal to non-human species from the Expanse around Thet who felt they had some hand in shaping the journey of the Lilitai. As a result, set phrases of Sarasí, Zeyetaní, and other dialects began appearing in transcription in university texts even outside of Lilitai-centric ethnographic departments.