Yskarr is a language that I have constructed.
Although my knowledge of linguistics is very limited, with the resources at my disposal I truly believe Yskarr’s syntax structure will allow for it to become (once the lexicon is filled) at bare minimum a functional language that is not a relexification of English. The syntax is functional. The lexicon is incomplete because I have a bajillion other projects.
My goal was to make the language functional at communicating while being as simplistic grammar-wise as possible. Anyone should be able to pick it up in a day. It took many hours and many revisions, and will likely undergo many more revisions in days to come.
The Yskarri lexicon
To see my work-in-progress lexicon and follow along with the expansion of the language, head to this link here.
What are the pronunciation rules?
There’s not much to it.
The ‘r/R’ is pronounced like the Japanese ‘R’, like the D in ‘duh’ but a little less hard.
All vowels are as fluidic as possible. U’s are pronounced like the ‘ooh’ in ‘pool’.
All ‘i/I’ is pronounced like the ‘eeh’ sound in ‘screech’ or ‘leek’ or ‘breach’.
Also, there are no sounds that require closing the lips (m, p, f, v, b, and any other such sounds)
The apostrophe ( ‘ ) is used to denote a glottal stop, usually mild. Glottal stops are excellent separators.
If you don’t know what a glottal stop is, here is an interesting video on the topic: https://youtu.be/sHaN4jHBGVk
The BASIC format is as follows (more format structure incoming once I get a hot minute):
(1) Verb, (2) noun as suffix connected to verb, (3) direct object
Example: “Srisk’i iri” means “I ate food”, (Syntax: Ate I food).
Sri = ate, sk’i = denotes self, iri = food.
Other possible spellings are Sri il sk’i il iri, and Srisk’i il iri. (Syntax: Ate the I the food, and Ate I the food.)
‘il’ is a placeholder, similar to our word ‘the’. The only reason it is used is to separate the prefix from the suffix in order to make them easier to distinguish, or to remove ambiguity if it exists.
‘ol’ (explained in much more detail below) is a connector between related concepts; blue fence would become.
Properties of nouns are attached after the noun. If the property is three letters or less, it is tacked on with a glottal stop. If it is more, it is connected with “ol”. Example: Red fruit is “Tiniri’ari”. Loud speech is “Ur’ol yurur”
The format for prepositions
(1) Preposition, (2) noun. (may also be Preposition, “il”, noun.)
How to denote ownership
‘ski is tacked onto a noun to denote ownership. e.g. “karil’ski – my pen”
NOTE: ‘ski is grammatically different than sk’i.
Oneself is sk’i. Ownership is ‘ski.
Placeholder for removal of ambiguity
As stated previously, ‘il’ is a placeholder, similar to our word ‘the’. The only reason it is used is to separate the prefix from the suffix in order to make them easier to distinguish, or to remove ambiguity if it exists. It can come by itself, or be tacked onto the noun with a glottal stop
Connection of separate concepts to form more complex concepts and statements
‘ol is tacked onto a noun after a glottal stop, and it is used as a connector between two concepts. It’s fairly flexible, you can tack nouns together to get a rough concept across. If you have too many glottal stops, you may want to put it in as a separate word between the two; either works, but if there aren’t any glottal stops the default is to tack it on as a stop.
Example 1: “ahi’ol ari” = “(I) see all black.”, or “ahi’ol loq” = “(I) see nothing.”
(Above example (1), notice how it is tacked onto the first noun as a glottal stop. Also, notice the absence of “sk’i”; the ‘I’ in this case is assumed based on context. This spelling can be used to denote lack of vision in general. If you want to make it first-person specifically, you tack “sk’i” onto the first noun or concept).
(Literal translations of the above example (1): “Sight/Vision [‘ol connector] black.” and “Sight/Vision [‘ol connector] absence-of-thing.”
Example 2: “ahi’sk’i’ol loq” versus “ahi’sk’i ol loq”
While technically correct, the former is a jumbled mess of glottal stops (“‘sk’i being the first-person “I” word, and “‘ol” being the connector.”) You can make it easier to grapple by just separating it.
Denoting multiple of a thing
Much like ‘ol, ‘hol is (typically) tacked on as a glottal stop, and is used to denote multiple of something. Tacked on by itself, it simply means plural/more than one. When tacked on with a number, it means that number of the thing. Hol is always put on after all other separators, other than “ol” — if tacked on with a number, ‘ol is used as a glottal stop to connect it to a number, and the number is connected immediately following ‘hol’ol.
Example 1: “Uvikaril’hol’ol rys” = “Two books”
Literal translation: “Book multiple [connector concept] two.”
The above example (1) is a bit of a mess, but it gets crazier. Tack on a ‘ski to Uvikaril (it comes immediately after, before ‘hol’ol) and you get “Uvikaril’ski’hol’ol rys”. (Because it’s such a mess, you can cheat a little and write “uvikaril’ski’hol ol rys”. Slightly better.
Praise the denotation of glottal stops! Glory to the apostrophe!
The numbers are:
Rol = One (1)
Rys = Two (2)
Srol = Three (3)
Srys = Four (4)
Hys = Five (5)
Srysk = Six (6)
Srolk = Seven (7)
rysk = Eight (8)
Rolk = Nine (9)
Olkol = Ten (10)
Tenili = 100
Arutol = 1,000
After you reach ten, you count the number of tens by putting the number (of tens) before the ten, with ‘il’ between the numbers,
for example (1): “Rys il olkol” = Twenty (20), “two tens”
Example (2): “Rolk il olkol” = Ninety (90 ), “Nine tens”
To count one of the numbers between the current ten and the next ten, you just stick the number after the ten (without “il”),
for example (3): “Srysk il olkol srys” = Eighty-four (84), “Eight tens and four”, (or, more literally, “eight and ten four”, but it’s easy enough to intuit)
Example (4): “Rys il olkol srolk” = Twenty-seven (27), “Twenty tens and seven”
From 10 to 19, you do not need to do “Rol il olkol”, simply “olkol” is sufficient.
Example (5): “Olkol hys” = Five (5), “Ten and five”.