Altllamiac: A Beginner's Guide

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"Altllamiac" isn't this language's real name. It's really called

 

The name "Altllamiac" comes from "A line that looks like a mouth, in a circle". It's a shortened form of "Altllamiacwahlitic"; "A line that looks like a mouth, in a circle, with a horizontal line in the circle".

Yes, that last "i" shouldn't be there, but it's near impossible to pronounce "Altllamiacwahlitc" without putting a vowel in. Try it.

(Although if you use sounds instead of letters, it becomes "Althllamiasswahlithss", which is arguably easier to pronounce, although it's still hard to pronounce "wahl" without it becoming "warl" (with "ar" as in "army"), or "wahil", or "wall-l" (with ll as in the Welsh pronunciation; tongue in "l" position, and breathe out).)

But I digress.

One of the stranger things about Altllamiac (easier to type than the other names) is that, in theory, it doesn't bother with verbs.

Basically, a need in Altllamiac syntax, concerning remembrance of imagianary "there is" at start of every sentence. If remembrance of this, then little difficulty of reading. Also, relative ease of translation into English.

See?

In practice, however, there are still a few verby sort of words in Altllamiac. For example:


Concerning insect, movement, into tree.

...but there's no real reason not to translate it as...


Insect moves into tree.

Similarly, there aren't words for "say", "be", "think", or "write", but there are words for "speech", "existence", "thought" and "writing" that would be used in more or less the same ways. However, these verby words are treated in exactly the same way as nouns.


The Glyphs

Unlike most of my languages, Altllamiac uses pictograms. (I had originally planned to use a system similar to Chinese hanzi, with phonetics, radicals and so on, but quickly realised that this would be really complicated, and that I'd have to think of actual pronunciations for each pictogram, which would be much too difficult to keep track of.

From now on, I'm going to call them glyphs. This is so I don't have to keep switching between calling them pictograms (meaning pictures that look like the thing they represent) and ideograms (meaning pictures that don't).

Basically, each glyph represents one word, plus sometimes a bit of grammary stuff. Most glyphs are made up of a main bit and a suffixy bit.

For example:

    is made up of         and    
On the moon     moon     Superessive case 

(The cases in these examples are explained later.)

Notice how the circle on the right of the "moon" glyph has been moved upwards by the case marker. It's fine to shunt bits around so they fit in a square box, as long as all the bits are there.

    is made up of         and    
Language     Language     Accusative case 

(The language glyph is from the speech glyph , tweaked a bit.)

    is made up of         and         and    
Concerning a carving     Writing     Mountain     Oblique case

 


Nouns

...there's not much else in Altllamiac, so there are a lot more noun variations than in my other languages (except maybe Ioslaonė Elvish).

Cases are different ways of marking nouns by what bit of a sentence they are. It's the difference between (for example) "I", "me" and "my" - one's the subject of a sentence (I ate a sandwich), one's the object (a sandwich ate me), and one shows who owns something (my sandwich).

Altllamiac is similar, except all nouns have cases. (The suffixy bits of "a dog ate a sandwich" would be different is it was "a sandwich ate a dog"; in English, the words themselves wouldn't be any different.) Also, Altllamiac has seventeen different cases, instead of the (arguably) three in English, although most of them aren't used that often.

The main three are:

accusative  eg. a tree
oblique  eg. concerning a tree
genitive  eg. of a tree

Most of the time, these three are the only ones you need. However, the rest are still needed in some situations.

         
elative eg. from (inside) a tree
deletive eg. from (the surface of) a tree
ablative eg. from (next to) a tree
         
inessive eg. in a tree
superlative eg. on a tree
ablessive eg. next to a tree
         
illative eg. into a tree
sublative eg. onto a tree
allative eg. to (next to) a tree
         
instrumental eg. using a tree
vocative eg. hey, tree!
sociative eg. with a tree
comparitive eg. like a tree

 


Pronouns

Three basic pronouns:

I
You
He/she

...and four plural pronouns:

We (not including you)
We (including you)
You (more than one of you)
They

With suffixes:

of me (my)
like them
next to you

etc.


Adjectives

There are two ways of writing adjectives in Altllamiac. The first is just to write the adjective glyph, with no suffix, before the thing it describes.

    +         ==>    
Coldness     Cheese
(accusative case)
    Cold cheese
(accusative case)

 

    +         ==>    
Positivity     Concerning a ruler
(oblique case)
    Concerning a good ruler
(oblique case)

 

    +         ==>    
That     With a thing
(sociative case)
    With that thing
(sociative case)

Another way is to write the adjective glyph with the genitive case suffix, after the thing it describes.

Cheese of coldness (cold cheese)
concerning a ruler of positivity (concerning a good ruler)
With a thing of that (with that thing)

Basically, if the adjective could be used as a noun by itself, like "cold" or "strangeness", use the second method. If it couldn't, like "some" or "every", use the first method. In practice, however, you can use either for any adjective and it would still be grammatically correct.


Plurals

In Altllamiac, plurals are optional. If you need a plural, put (some) before it.

animal ==> animals
(some animal)

 

concerning thought ==> concerning thoughts
(concerning some thought)

 


Tenses

Without verbs, it's hard to tell when something was when you're told about it. This can be solved by putting one of the following at the start of a sentence:

In the past
In the present (optional)
In the future

 


Conjunctions

In Altllamiac, words like "and" and "or" are sort of like brackets.

human cheem
(tree person)
falcilom
(mysterious cloaked person)

 

a human, a cheem and a falcilom
a human, a cheem or a falcilom
a human, a cheem and/or a falcilom

CST/S v1.1 1x- cNRSH a y n! B+++ A-- E- L N1 Is/m/p k-- ia:+++ !p s m++ o P* S* Cthiotε

NaCl is a Strange Things Happen production.