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Lilitika - Article One
By Samantha-Wright   |   Watch
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Published: July 23, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 Samantha-Wright
Note: this inscription is somewhat ahistorical because of the use of "-ish".

It seems to be a tradition to introduce a language and its writing system with a translation of the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is a sample of Lilitika, a semi-agglutinating inflectional language we've been working on at Memory of the City. It is the tongue of a group of human slaves who outlived their alien masters and struggled to regain their own identity. Consequently the language's vocabulary is mostly derived from their masters' language (even though it was completely unpronounceable by them) with a tiny number of surviving loanwords from Terran languages.

In Thet, saying this would get you a few awkward looks—primarily because the language is very outmoded and stilted, but also because it sounds extremely obvious—but it still translates without too many problems.

Two versions are included: an extremely formal 'first flight' sample, and a more typical example of Lilitika from about a hundred years later. Lilitika's early history is marked by periods of deliberate re-invention and re-coinage as its speakers tried to distance themselves from the past (and then were forced to re-work their words as they discovered they were too cumbersome to use), but it retains a very static early form much like Katharevousa Greek which is used in formal settings. At its core Lilitika is agglutinating (e.g. "to the stars" = atshu + umekh + a + sa = atshumekhasa), but affixes have gradually melted (or been synthetically replaced) to generate a more terse (if bulky) inflectional inventory.

Dictionary · Grammar · Phonology + Orthography

Edit: there's a slight mistake here; the last word is missing from the last line. It's identical to the last word from the first sample, though.



Original: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Top: Yeñgí stifete lí tetúebeshekhtípefete [theluví rizaitikhete hé aleponikhete iris] vis. Lifete sageví ighinikhe hé rezanektikha stillokheshis, khé mentí novumekhe karsufilete rizsaris.

IPA: ˈyɛŋgiː stɪˈfɛtɛɪː liː tɛtˈuːɛbɛʃɛxˈtiːpɛˈfɛtɛɪː θɛˈluviː ɹɪˈzaɪtɪˈxɛtɛɪː hɛɪ ælɛˈponɪˈxɛtɛɪː iˈɾɪs vɪs. Lɪˈfɛtɛɪː ˈsaːgɛˈviː ˈɪɣɪnˈɪxɛɪː ˈhɛɪː ɹɛˈzanɛkˈtɪxa stɪlˈloːˈxɛʃɪs, ˈxɛɪː mɛnˈtiː ˈnoːˈvʌmɛˈxɛɪː ˈkarsʌˈfɪlɛtɛɪː ɹɪzˈsarɪs.

Bottom: Yeñgí stai lí tetúshepai [theluví rizaitet hé aleponet iris] vis. Lai sageví ighiné hé rezanektau stillokhish, khé mentí novumé karsaiz rizsaris.

IPA: yɛŋˈgiː ˈstaɪː ˈliː tɛˈtuːshɛˈpaiː θɛluːˈviː ɹɪˈzaɪːˈtɛt ˈhɛɪ æˈlɛɪːpoːˈnɛt ɪˈɹɪs vɪs. ˈLaɪː ˈsaːgɛˈviː ɪˈgiːnɛɪː ˈhɛɪː ɹɛzanɛkˈtaʊː stɪˈloːˈkiʃ, ˈkɛɪː mɛnˈtiː ˈnovʌˈmɛɪː ˈkarsaɪz ˈɹɪzˈzarɪs.

Structure: all people (ownership) from-the-time-of-being-born [same rights and freedoms have] are. They patient thought and responsibility are-possessed, and each to-other as-friends should-act.

Retranslated: All people, from the time of their births, have the same rights and freedoms. They are possessed by Reason and Responsibility, and should act as friends to each other.
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Comments19
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ZachValkyrie's avatar
ZachValkyrieProfessional Writer
I also did this passage with my conlangs!
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
It's a pretty traditional quote. I picked up the idea from Omniglot, personally.
radothbox's avatar
Hola te felicito mucho, me agrada mucho la escritura que tienes en la imagen, un favor me podrías enviar esta escritura en verdad te lo agradecería mucho.
muchas gracias por tus aportes sigue así.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
ClockwerkMao's avatar
I'm going to have to be the jerk who insists that the use of "inflectional" in the classic "flexion/fusion" sense is confusing, since there's the broader (and at least as widely used) sense of "inflectional" that includes agglutination.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
That's what I thought! I've tweaked it to clarify.
narghargs's avatar
narghargsHobbyist General Artist
i really like the script! i would love to see more :3
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
That I can do!
narghargs's avatar
narghargsHobbyist General Artist
yay~
Irolan's avatar
IrolanHobbyist General Artist
A very interesting and esthetic looking script. It looks kind of like a descendant of ancient egyptian hiroglyphs. Like someone took them as basis and rendered them into a modern handwriting.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
Thanks! The original idea was to make a horziontal-bar-based alphabet, like your Telmai'numba script and the Lyrisclensian script I showed you, but with two parallel trunks instead of just one.

You can technically write Lilitika one letter at a time, but the large number of characters that provide a partial or complete vertical break end up transforming the unbroken shapes into something that can be written out fairly quickly, with practice—although it's a heinously complex ductus.
Irolan's avatar
IrolanHobbyist General Artist
Heh, ya, I know what you mean. I tried that too, once. I do have a bit of experience, considering I have a collection of about 100 scripts I designed over time. The ones in my gallery are only a very small selection. XD
Also, thanks for the badge ^^
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
That's quite a roster—I'm up to a couple dozen now, with 1-4 revisions each on average. It's surprisingly hard to remember how to write the older ones without getting them mixed up! I can't imagine what you must go through when you try to write, say, a sample from your fifteenth.
Irolan's avatar
IrolanHobbyist General Artist
Lol, actually, when I want to do that, I take the alphabet from said script and use it. I can only write Asebai by rote.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
Yyyeah... I meant that, too. A lot of my writing systems have just been alternative Latin scripts optimized for English. The rationale is that they're for practice, and that once I have a conlang down so well that I can predict its morphological habits, I'll be better prepared to invent a script that fits. For one or two such substitution ciphers I've gotten up to almost my natural handwriting speed.
Irolan's avatar
IrolanHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, same here. Though a few of them have alternative systems, such as syllables or words. The latest one I did, for example, is an alternative writing system based on hiragana glyphs.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
Neat. I've experimented with syllabaries before—in fact, my first writing system had arbitrary-length characters that could go anywhere from one consonant or vowel up to three whole syllables—but I never had the patience to go through with constructing one for English, since the syllabaries I did construct were so laborious to memorize. I assume this is somewhat reduced with a heavily regular construction, but that always seemed like bordering on an abugida when I tried it.
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Siochanna's avatar
Siochanna Photographer
This is beautiful.
Samantha-Wright's avatar
Samantha-WrightHobbyist Interface Designer
Thanks. :]
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