Aenonean is a language that looks much more complicated than it is. This is mainly because it's written in glyphs (sort of), instead of normal lettering, making it both impressive-looking and ridiculously time-consuming to type.
The key to understanding Aenonean is being able to tell the difference between different types of glyph. Here are a few.
At first glance, they all look fairly similar. However, they are all different types of glyph.
The way of differentiating different glyphs is by counting the number of lines. For example, the first glyph shown has eight lines, and is one of the 111 "normal" glyphs that make up most words. These glyphs have been arranged into a square, and designated names like D4, K7, E10 and so on, for row and column. The first glyph shown is glyph H5.
The second glyph has six lines, and is thus a punctuation glyph.
(Arcs and circles count as one line each.)
The third glyph has four lines, and is a suffix glyph.
Most words are made up of two normal glyphs, and one suffix glyph. For example, the word "Aenonean" is:
Yes, that is an x-squared as the first glyph. If you look closely, there is also a dalek, two stick people, a motor, a battery, a Hungarian Horntail, and numerous pyramids among the 111 normal glyphs.
This is also the main reason why, in Normal Aenonean, the glyphs aren't really glyphs, since each "glyph" only means part of each word, and has no real meaning by itself. If you're starting to regret bothering with Aenonean now, I suggest you take a look at Altllamiac, which is completely glyphic and uses decent pictograms instead of cheating abstract not-quite-glyphs.
But I digress.
The fourth and fifth glyphs are eight-line glyphs, but not normal ones; they're used with pronouns. They'll be mentioned later on.
In Aenonean, there are four genders for nouns, but none of them are male/female. Instead, nouns can either be designated as:
Different genders use different suffixes.
There are a few things that don't fit neatly into one category, like a story, or a sentient chameleon. With these, just pick one, and use that one. Nouns don't have fixed genders, so it's perfectly legit to choose whichever feels right.
As well as genders, nouns have cases, to describe where in a sentence the word would be in English. In Aenonean, there are five:
For each word, the suffix glyph shows what case and gender it is.
(Articles - words like "the" and "a" - aren't used in Aenonean.)
This could be rearranged into any order, such as:
...and, because of the cases, you'd still be able to understand it. This means that any sort of word order can be used, and it would still be understandable. All of the examples in this Guide use the English SVO (subject-verb-object) word order.
Having said that, most of the time I tend to use a Master Yoda style "use the force you must" sort of word order. When writing fiction with characters speaking Aenonean as a second language, I use the word order from their first language, including little quirks such as the Urdis way of phrasing things like "it was cold" as "it coldly was".
The dative case, a more recent addition to the language, is used when the other four cases wouldn't really work. It basically does the job of the locative, ablative, perlative, and the vast hordes of other cases and situations needed.
By itself, the dative case just means that something was done to the whatever-it-is.
For the other uses, add another word, with the neutral suffix.
To pluralise a noun, rotate the suffix glyph.
There are two types of pronoun. Personal pronouns are about people (or objects); impersonal pronouns aren't.
Aenonean uses Zamenhof's table of correlatives to organise impersonal pronouns. (Zamenhof was the main creator of Esperanto, an international language that never really caught on.)
(No offence, Esperanto enthusiasts.)
In English, the table looks like this.
This table forms the basis of Aenonean impersonal pronouns. Basically, there are glyphs for "Adjective", "Person", "Thing", "Place", and so on, and then for "This", "That", "Some", and so on.
To write an impersonal pronoun, write one of these.
Then add one of these:
Then add the relevant suffix glyph.
For example, "who" would be Person Query:
"somewhere" would be Place Some:
You can have pronouns that aren't really in English; for example, "for every reason" would be Reason Every:
Personal pronouns use the same glyphs as impersonal ones.
All personal pronouns begin with the personal pronoun glyph: . This is the single most common non-punctuation glyph in Aenonean, and it's also mentioned in the Beginner's Guide to Dragontongue.
These are different to the ones on the Aenonean Glyphs page. These ones are the right ones; the other ones are wrong. Having said that, the wrong ones have made their way onto a few already-typed bits of Aenonean before I noticed, so they are fairly interchangeable.
When using plural pronouns (everything from "we/us" downwards), it is fine to use the normal singular suffix for whatever case and gender, without rotating it, since plurality is already implied by the second glyph. However, it's grammatically more correct to use the plural suffix.
In Aenonean, adjectives must "agree" with the noun they're describing. This means that if a noun is in (say) the tangible gender, the adjective suffix needs to have the tangible gender as well.
The heavy rocks =
I am lost =
Most of the time, adjectives come before the noun they're describing. However, they can come after the noun if it's obvious what they're describing.
On a verb, the suffix shows the tense of the sentence, and the gender of the subject noun of the sentence.
In Aenonean, you don't say "I am going", "I have gone", "I will go", or add any other extra words for tenses. Instead, you just say "I go", with the relevant suffix.
Like adjectives, adverbs agree with the verbs they describe. Unlike adjectives, adverbs agree with the tense of the verb, not the gender.
Since each normal glyph has eight lines, it's unsurprising that Aenonean uses an octal counting system (Google it). This basically means that instead of having digits in a number for ones, tens, hundreds, and so on, it has digits for ones, eights, sixty-fours and so on.
= 01 = one
= full stop
Normally, Aenonean is written in columns, from top to bottom, then left to right. Whenever you get one of those five punctuation marks, start a new column. Also, when typing Aenonean for internet use, I normally have no more than ten glyphs per column.
So, why are these glyphic punctuation marks almost exactly the same as equivalent punctuation in English? Sheer coincidence. Honest.
...are sentences with things like "the man who..." or "the thing that...". For example:
"The dragon that attacked the village down the road has returned!"
They're sort of like sentences embedded in other sentences...
"The dragon [it attacked the village [it is down the road]] has returned!"
...and are written in this way in Aenonean, with commas between sections.
"The dragon, it attacked the village, it is down the road, it has returned!"
Because of the genders in Aenonean, you can tell that the first "it" is about the dragon, and the second "it" is the village.
Yes/no questions are just the same as normal statements with a question mark at the end.
Did you bring the book? ==> You brought the book?
Other questions use the question word where it would normally be, were it not a question word.
What are you doing? ==> You do what?
Negatives are made by putting either at the start of a clause, or before the verb.
It didn't happen:
Names in Aenonean are tricky. Since it's a telepathic language, pronunciation isn't really included with the glyphs. So, for names, you have to make you own. Be creative.
NaCl is a Strange Things Happen production.