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Laní Ethika
Derivations I
In its early stages, Lilitika was a planned language, designed by a team of poets and grammarians known as the Survika. Among their ambitions for the new tongue were that it should be oligosynthetic, i.e. deriving as much vocabulary as possible from as small a nucleus of morphemes as possible. This goal was not thoroughly realised, although traces of it are visible in even the vocabulary we have studied so far—stilla is a combination of stu (person) with illu (idea).

Lilitika remained a language with many highly productive affixes, however, and a fluent speaker would regularly pluck two or three new words out of the air each day to suit her needs. These coinages would be comprehensible to her audience because of the rich variety of morphemes available to use as building blocks, even if the words themselves had never been uttered or written before.

Nouns from nouns

Most nouns are derived through the addition of suffixes. You can think of these as 'shims' that convert one ending into another while also performing useful functions. Remove the noun's ending (-u, -a, -e, or -o) and add the appropriate affix from below to get the desired effect:
  • -esso: impact/side-effect/consequences of ~
  • -éyeru: abundance of ~
  • -idhu: account or story about ~
  • -idtu: point or element of ~
  • +níu: belonging to ~
  • -iptu: diminutive
  • -iku: way, style, manner following ~
  • -ildu: bearer of ~, supporter of ~
  • -oppa: material of ~
  • -thíu, -thebovíu: maker of ~
  • -úkwíu: professional giver of ~
  • -úzríu: circumstantial giver of ~

The suffix +níu is special as it derives from an archaic genitive form. Unlike the other suffixes here, do not remove the original ending before appending the letters.

Consider the noun sinoa (musical instrument) from the chapter Nouns II:
  • sinoesso: the effect of a music instrument on a crowd, echoes of music, memories of music, etc.
  • sinoéyera: an abundance of musical instruments (perhaps a factory made too many)
  • sinoidho: the history of a particular musical instrument
  • sinoidte: a small fragment of a musical instrument
  • sinoanía: something belonging to a musical instrument (its case, strings, reeds, etc.)
  • sinoipto: little musical instrument
  • sinoiko: methodology inspired by musical instruments
  • sinoilda: proponent of musical instruments
  • sinoppa: material of the musical instrument, material used for making musical instruments
  • sinothía, sinothebovía: maker of musical instruments
  • sinoúkwía: professional giver of musical instruments; likely a vendor or the property manager for an ensemble
  • sinoúzría: someone who is giving a musical instrument

Note the irregularity in sinoppa: a collision between two identical strong vowels (o and o) has resulted in them merging without any compensatory lengthening. This is explained in more detail in the next chapter, Basics II.

Nouns from verbs

A verb in Lilitika is similar to a verb in English. Each sentence must have precisely one primary verb describing an action or a state of being; there is no implicit copular form where "to be" is omitted. The dictionary form of a verb can always be identified by its ending, –é. This ending is also used by some feminine nouns in Sarasí, but the two never co-occur (the dictionary form is defunct in Sarasí and has no grammatical use.)
  • -arekhtu: ~-ability.
  • -ekhtíu: act of doing ~.
  • -ekíu: product of ~.
  • -elíu: place of doing ~.
  • -ezu or -ezríu: someone who ~
  • -ekwíu or -ekíurivíu: someone who ~ professionally
  • -olekhtu: ability to ~

For the examples below, we will use one verb—thúmé, "to cook":
  • thúmarekhte: cookability; whether a dish or ingredients can be cooked
  • thúmekhtío: the act of cooking
  • thúmekío: the result of cooking (cooked food)
  • thúmelío: a place in which cooking occurs (kitchen, stove, etc.)
  • thúmeza or thúmezría: a woman who cooks
  • thúmekwía or (rarely) thúmekíurivía: a professional chef
  • thúmolekhto: cooking ability, cooking skill

We will talk more about verbs in Unit II.

Nouns from adjectives

Adjectives in Lilitika are very similar to English adjectives. Almost without exception, they come in two forms: ending in -í and placed before the noun they affect, or ending in -is and placed after the noun they affect. The difference between -í and -is adjectives is purely pragmatic and they can be interconverted simply by changing the ending. The dictionary lists all adjectives in the -í form.
  • -ivíu: thing which is ~
  • -ekhtu: ~ness

For the purposes of exploring these suffixes, we will use the adjective sokhí, meaning "compassionate" or "generous":
  • sokhivía: a kind or generous woman
  • sokhekhta: kindness, compassion, generosity

We will talk more about adjectives in Unit II.

Other derivations

There are many affixes that are used to generate verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech. We will explore these topics in Derivations II and Derivations III.


  1. Translate into English:
    • altukwío
    • adíesso
    • atshoppa
    • hairipta
    • hairipto
    • terbelíelíkal
    • dazothías
    • geglokessôn
    • stipta

  2. Translate into Lilitika:
    • complexity (from foí, "intricate")
    • where fertilization (terbé) occurs
    • a story of bone
    • the tool-makers
    • to the kitchenette
    • echo of voice
    • from consequences of disagreement
    • biological father (someone who fertilizes)
    • professional engraver
    • hairiness (abundance of hair)