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Lilitic Grammar
Modern Lilitic traces its roots to pre-Thessian Lilitika and standard Glissía, and is the single largest contribution of the Lilitai to modern Thessian civilisation. Prior to the Shattering, dialects of Lilitic were commonly used as languages of discourse among certain universities in Lilikoisa and Collegium, particularly in literature departments, as the language's rich vocabulary for textual criticism and orthogonal grammar allowed communication to be concise, crisp, and culturally endoscopic of the works being studied.

The details of Lilitic's assent to a working language of the early Reed Administration, and ultimately to the de facto common tongue of the entire archipelago, are somewhat less apparent. Circumstantial evidence suggests a conscious effort was made by the Lyrisclensian Continuing Council, the single most important body behind the success of the early Regenelía government, to seek a familiar language that was not regarded as overtly Lyrisclensian, and would be neutral enough to be accepted by a wide range of human and non-human cultures. Certain provinces of the Iron Kingdoms would adopt post-industrial English as their official languages eventually, but at the time it was seen as an exclusively Lyranid language used only by the Hatelese and Lyrisclensiae. Most likely, the tragic history of the Lilitai, their declining population, their relative nativeness to the Expanse and first-settlers' claim to Thessia Major, provided a less polarising middle ground that was generally seen as inoffensive, and so an obscure scholarly creole of a nearly-dead language was soon in the mouths and ears of millions of returning and surviving archipelagics.

Overview of syntax and morphology

Lilitic retains the key features of late-era Lilitika's general sentence structure:

  • The overall word order follows the Subject–Object–Oblique–Verb scheme. Under certain circumstances the subject may be moved to the end of the sentence, namely when the subject is implicit due to the verb ending but is ambiguous due to context. Tā cāze , "he has her," is a clear example of when the information provided by the verb (third person, singular) is inadequate.

  • A preference for postpositioned, noun-like adjectives. This is absolute in Lilitic, and traditional prepositional -í adjectives are completely absent. Adjectives have their own set of endings that must agree with the noun they modify in number and gender, but do not change case. Genitives continue to have a unique form.

  • Inflected prepositions. Modified nouns may be presented with an agreeing inflection or with a bare stem that has been elided. There is no null case in Lilitic.

  • Split ergativity. By the time of first contact with the Lyrans, Lilitika had three verb classes: active, existential, and experiential (passive), which were regularly inflected following two schemes, the active and passive schemes. Modern Lilitic has an irregular copula, and while it can mark passivity with a proclitic, the focal case always marks the subject of the sentence (which may be agent or patient depending on the definition of the verb). The agent and patient cases are equivalent to ergative and accusative cases, respectively. Lilitic does not have a vocative or nominative; these evolved into the focal and ergative forms.

  • Gender-restricted declensions. Nouns are inflected according to number, case, and one of six noun classes. Two classes belong to each gender: feminine, masculine, and neuter, each with a strong and a weak class. These follow the familiar -a feminine/-o masculine alignment of Indo-European languages, which is found in both Lilitika and Glissía.

  • Features clearly acquired from Glissía include:

  • Pronoun-like articles. Although Lilitika had superficially Grecian articles, in that they appeared before all proper names, Lilitic additionally uses them as third-person pronouns. Uniquely, however, there is also a set of sacred articles which are fossilized from Oksirapho honourifics, similar to the prophetic verb endings of Classical Lilitika.

  • Dual number. Lilitika had a paucal form using in + the singular, but this was derived from a gnomic operator indicating a complete set, e.g. olrine, "foods" < "all food". Lilitic's dual number is degenerate in many forms, and almost all speakers regard a normal plural to be an acceptable replacement for the dual in the vast majority of cases.

  • Degenerate locative case. This is -il or -ī for most nouns, regardless of number.

  • Other key differences:

  • The paragrammatical Formal Possession-Indicating Construct is no longer in use, having been gradually replaced throughout prelapsarian Thet's history with more conventional linear structures.

  • Reduction in verb forms. Lilitika had anywhere between 8 and 11 tenses and up to a dozen aspects depending on dialect. The modern language has just six tense-aspect forms, and eliminates the fourth (distant second) person. No Lilitic dialect includes perspective/timeline forms.

  • The noun clause



    Numbers and counting

    The verb complex

    Enclitics and proclitics





    Dependent clauses