|Native to||Mount September|
|Known users or learners||animeme_master Belgian Chungus|
Amilin, formally Westi Amilin (the Amilin Language), is a mysterious language that first appeared in early May 2021 in the undercity of Mount September among Squareblobist-Allenist radicals. It is widely suspected that animeme_master may have had a large role in the introduction of Amilin to this section of Septembrian society.
AllenY has announced plans to name some streets in the MtS undercity with Amilin names.
Amilin has so far only been known to be written in the Latin alphabet.
|D d||/d/ [d~dʑ]||Allphonic with [dʑ] before /i/ in some speakers.|
|F f||/f/ [f~v~ɸ]||[v] in consonant sequences containing a voiced consonant, [ɸ] in coda position if followed by an unvoiced consonant or word-final.|
|H h||/ʔ/ [ʔ~h]||Appears only in loanwords and proper names. Elided or [h] word-initially. Elided in consonant clusters.|
|L l||/l/||May sometimes appear tapped or flapped as [ɾ] or [ɺ], especially before /w/.|
|N n||/n/ [n~ŋ]||[ŋ] before a velar consonant.|
|R r||/ɣ/||Appears only in loanwords and proper names. Most speakers elide it in codas, and pronounce it as /g/ in onsets.|
|S s||/s/ [s~z]||[z] in consonant sequences containing a voiced consonant.|
|T t||/t/ [t~tɕ]||Allophonic with [tɕ] before /i/ in some speakers.|
The first letters of sentences and of proper names are capitalised; lowercase is used elsewhere.
The other letters of the Latin alphabet are used only in proper non-Amilin names.
Unvoiced stop consonants /p/, /t/, /k/ may be slightly geminated.
|Nasal||m /m/||n /n/|
|Stop||voiceless||p /p/||t /t/||k /k/||h /ʔ/|
|voiced||b /b/||d /d/||g /g/|
|Fricative||f /f/||s /s/||(r /ɣ/)||(h /h/)|
|Approximant||w /w/||l /l/||y /j/|
- Before /i/, /t/ and /d/ may have allophones of [tɕ] and [dʑ] respectively.
- /ɣ/: only in some speakers in loanwords and proper names.
- /h/: only word-initially in some speakers in loanwords and proper names.
- /ʔ/: only intervocalically in loanwords and proper names.
|Close||i /i/||u /u/|
|Open||e /ɛ/||a /a/||o /ɔ/|
|Rising||ai /aj/||au /aw/|
Phonotactics and word-accent
Amilin has a (C)V(C) syllable structure. All syllables except the initial one in a word are required to have an onset; the coda is always optional, but can only take a limited range of consonants, this being: /m/, /n/, /f/, /s/, /l/.
Additionally there are a range of forbidden coda-onset and diphthong-onset pairs across syllable boundaries:
|Coda or diphthong||ai||au||m||n||f||s||l|
|Onset deletes coda or offglide||y||w||m, n||l, m, n||w, p, b, f||s||y, l, n|
|Onset applies sandhi to coda||t, d||p, b|
Where a coda or diphthong would cause a forbidden pair to occur (for instance in loanwords or transcriptions of proper names), the coda disappears or changes via sandhi rules, or the diphthong is reduced to /a/ (respectively).
All one-syllable words in Amilin are unstressed. Most two-syllable words, except for a small set of prepositions, other grammatical words, and forms of the word yelai (which have no stress), take stress on the very last syllable. The vowel of a stressed syllable is pronounced for somewhat longer than that of an unstressed syllable if it is an open syllable (i.e. does not end in a consonant or have ai or au as its vowel).
When in an unstressed position in a closed syllable (one which ends in a consonant), the diphthongs have an alternate pronunciation: ai is pronounced as [əj] and au as [ɔw].
Amilin is a highly isolating, analytic language with few inflections. It makes heavy use of prepositions to indicate the role of words in a phrase, and most words in the vocabulary can variously be nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs depending on word order. Verb particles are used similarly to noun prepositions to indicate the mood and aspect of a verb, which can be imperfect, perfect, optative-imperative, or mark an auxiliary verb. Tense is usually implicit but can be specified or established using a set of auxiliary verbs.
Pronouns are one of the few classes in Amilin which inflect, for number. There are 3 grammatical numbers: singular, plural, and total (indicating the absence of exceptions). Nouns, including proper nouns, in Amilin have grammatical gender, being either animate (including groups) or inanimate. Animate nouns fall into one of three categories, reflected by use of one of three sets of animate third-person pronouns. These categories are not grammatical, however, being used depending on context, the speaker's opinion, and the speaker's status.
Amilin has a zero copula, with statements such as "This is a house", "This house is red", and "This red house exists" being expressed through word order and use of cases and the instransitive verb marker mo.
Typologically, word order is principally subject-verb-object, noun-adjective. However, word order is partially free, with the first noun in a phrase indicating the topic, followed immediately by the verb; this is especially common with fronted indirect objects acting as topics. Fronted objects are by comparison rare, but correspondingly place especially heavy emphasis on the object noun.
There are 12 cases in Amilin. The nominative and genitive cases may be unmarked and indicated by word order; all other cases require their preposition.
- Nominative: unmarked or siba depending on position in the phrase
- Usually pronounced as /sif/ before a word beginning with a vowel or voiced consonant
- Vocative: unmarked subject of a verb in the optative-imperative mood
- Accusative: lef
- Pronounced as /lɛf/ before a word starting with a vowel, /lɛ/ otherwise
- Genitive: unmarked, lin, or lef lin depending on position in the phrase
- As lin begins with a consonant, lef lin is pronounced as /lɛ lin/, not /lɛf lin/
- Dative: de, also used for expressing inalienable or abstract possession or ownership
- Locative: pon
- Ablative: kai
- Instrumental: waiki
- Comitative: elpa, also used for expressing alienable, immediate possession
- Superlative: istuwi
- Adverbial-Comparative: folgu
- May be pronounced as /foju/ ("foyu") in fast speech
- Evidential: kosalo
- May be pronounced as /koslo/ ("kozlo") in fast speech
Verbs are required to be preceeded by an aspectual particle, which conveys information about the aspect (e.g. perfect, imperfect, habitual) and/or mood (e.g. realis, irrealis, imperative) of the verb. Tense is not marked by verb particles, being usually implicit, although there is a set of modifiers (past: titau, present: oba, future: uswi) used to specify tense more precisely.
- Imperfect: ni
- Perfect: da
- Habitual: nol
- Imperative, optative, or jussive (any aspect): sen
- Auxiliary: ko; note that a verb phrase cannot end in an auxiliary verb, and so the final verb must use an aspectual particle other than ko; this then acts as the aspectual particle for the entire verb phrase
- mo is not an aspectual particle but is used alongside aspectual particles to indicate intransitivity
All verbs are transitive in their base form. Typically the subject of a transitive verb will not undergo a change of state via the action indicated by the verb, while the object of the verb will. This semantic distinction has some effects on the grammar:
- There is no verb for possession - instead, the copula is used, with the possessor in the dative case (and usually clause-initially) and the possessee in the nominative case.
- To say one holds an opinion on something (e.g. "like" or "hate"), as this does not change the state of the thing in question, the copula is used with the opinion holder in the evidential case, marked by kosalo.
To mark a verb as intransitive, the particle mo is used in the place of an object, immediately before the aspectual particle of the verb. Intransitive verbs typically indicate a durative state of being rather than a imperfective/perfective action. Therefore the aspectual particle da, when used with an intransitive verb, is taken to mean that the state of being no longer applies. For example:
- Gau ni gala: I entertain/cheer up [someone].
- Gau da gala: I entertained/cheered up [someone - I may or may not still be entertaining someone else].
- Gau mo ni gala: I am happy.
- Gau mo da gala: I was happy [and am no longer].
Example sentences with gloss
In the below sentences, to aid learners with pronunciation, stress has been indicated with an accent mark, and where pronuncation variant rules apply they have been placed in square brackets. A stress mark at the very end of a word indicates that vowel should be lengthened.
- Gaimá da buyú titáu kai uwelí tá gáu de sinyá Móunt Augustá.
- [NOM] 1EX-DISTR PFV walk past ABL homestead PL 1EX DAT city "Mount Augusta"
- We had all walked from our homesteads to the [then-active] city of Mount Augusta.
- Pon sinyá yelai si[ba->f] matikabí mo ni tá istuwi estú.
- LOC city DEM NOM large.building NTR NPFV be.many SUPESS stack.amount
- In this city there were very many large buildings (lit. "more than a stack").
- Os ni uswí, si[ba->f] nufuyemá ko lón ni buyú de, ni westí galá elpa g[au->ou]stá.
- When NPFV arrive, NOM 3FAM-DISTR AUX begin NPFV walk DAT, NPFV speak happily COM 1EX-PL
- On approaching, all its newfriends ran out and happily talked with us.
- Le[f->'] lusitá ailéf tá da dóf de gaimá.
- ACC brew bright PL PFV give DAT 1EX-DISTR.
- Many delicious brews were given to us all.