Iuxat (literally "language" or "to speak"), also known as Old Rostran, is the traditional language of the High Rostran and Low Rostran peoples. With numerous mutually intelligible island dialects, the core cultural understanding of Iuxat is maintained by strong nautical trade ties between the localities of the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy and the Hermitage Island Fellowship. Iuxat is known for it's frequent use of the 'ks' consonant string (romanized as 'x"), tight grouping of vowel sounds (especially with the close back unrounded 'u'), and diverse vowel sounds in general.
Iuxataba, the written form of Iuxat, is an alphabet, though a few characters code for dipthongs, tripthongs, or consonant clusters. It is read left-to-right, then top-to-bottom. Word breaks are indicated by spaces. While sentence breaks are often indicated with a space, vertical bar, and another space in machine-generated text, written, artistic, and official writing often encloses sentences in rectangular boxes. The original glyphs of Iuxataba script were ideograms for common sights in the Rostran home islands (i.e. spears) and took on phonic meaning based on the first sound in the words they represented. Occasionally, neologisms will enter the Iuxat lexicon entirely as a result of the imagery associated with Iuxataba script rather than any obious cognate. For example, the verb "nedaum," meaning "to marry," came about because, when the word "nedaum" is written in Iuxataba, the characters resemble elements of a traditional High Rostran wedding ceremony. Iuxataba was traditionally incised into hardwood with chisels. Later versions of the alphabet are written with flat-nibbed squid ink pens on thin wood scrolls, introducing curves, serifs, and thickened strokes on the leftmost vertical lines. Modern Iuxataba script is written with clockwise strokes on consonants and counterclockwise on vowels.
Iuxataba script is generally written with the bottoms of all characters aligned with one another, though sometimes the tops will be aligned instead for stylistic effect. The difference in height between consonant and vowel characters helps the reader distinguish between the two.
Syllables in Iuxat are generally take the form of (C)(C)V(C)(C). Particles always end with a consonant. The sounds ŋ (ng) and ks (x) generally cannot occur at the beginning of a word, and kw (q) cannot occur at the end of a word. When spoken, emphasis is usually applied to the first syllable in the first particle affixed to a root and on the first syllable in the root word itself. For example, the spirit Ixaumosana's, the emphasis is put on the 'Ix' and 'os' syllables. This helps speakers differentiate between a string of particles and the root to which they are affixed. Gemination does not occur within root words, but it rarely occurs when a particle is applied to such a word; in Iuxat's orthography, this is denoted by the repetion of the sound in question. As a special case, fishermen using the "Noniuxat Assoxa" (lit. "speaking like fish") professional dialect can apply gemination to the vowels of direction words and associated particles to imply heading and distance.
Iuxat is polysynthetic and features numerous particles which may be applied as prefixes to inflect words. Particles may be omitted if the information they encode is redundant (i.e. Vex is the speaker's brother and the speaker knows Vex is a man, so (second person familiar) can be used to address him without the (masc.) particle). Particles always take the form of a vowel-consonant pair. For nouns, the following noun particles exist and generally occur in the order presented:
- Negatory: ux- (negates following particle or word). For example, "uxeriot," being "(negatory)(single)(discrete object)," means "Not a single thing."
- Gender: eun- (masculine), aum- (feminine), ul- (inanimate/non-humanoid). If a living non-humanoid creature has a known gender, the masculine or feminine gender is applied as appropriate after the particle for non-humanoids (uleun for male and ulaum for female).
- Plurality: er- (single), eret- (plural), eretas (many)
- Type: ov- (person), utab- (plant), aqit- (animal), iot- (discrete object), eiq- (substance), osan- (water/liquid), eus- (place), ix- (spirit). The (spirit) particle, added before any other particles, implies that the thing in question exists only as a spiritual entity; whether such an entity is mythological or simply deceased is inferred through context. Type particles can also function as nouns in constructions like "(inanimate)(plant) (present) (present) to grow" for "The plant is growing") or "store the (masc.)(person) (past)(future)(to walk)." for "The man walked to the store but isn't there yet." Particles are often terminated with an "a" sound if used as a noun in this fashion, though not always (as in the case of the Eiquereus Craglands, with the name "Eiquereus" meaning "place of only one substance"). The "a" suffix may also be appended to particles to prevent two consonants from blending together (i.e. "aumamiun," meaning "wife (lit. (feminine)(spouse)")
Verb TensesFor verbs, up to two inflection particles are applied as prefixes to indicate tense. The first particle indicates when the action began, and the second indicates when the action ends; single particles indicate an instantaneous action or, conversely, that the action begins and ends in the same tense. Statements which are implied to end before they begin don't make logical sense but are nevertheless valid constructions, implying irony, nostalgia, or an implication of somehow communing with something which has been lost to time (i.e. funeral rites). Sometimes, affixing a tense particle to a noun turns the noun into a verb relating to what the noun does; for example, applying a tense particle to the word "soxa" changes the meaning of the word from the noun "fish" to the verb "to swim." The particles for verbs are:
- Past: Ag
- Present: Non
- Future: Ran
PronounsPronouns are constructed by adding noun particles (if necessary) to the following roots:
- First Person: Ami (I/me "we" is constructed by affixing the (plural) particle to the first person pronoun
- Second Person: Ato (you familiar), Atodai (you not familiar/formal)
- Third Person: Alu (he/she/it familiar), Alugai (he/she/it not familiar/formal)
Iuxat generally uses object-subject-verb (OSV) grammar (i.e. The store, I go to). For the sake of expedience, most speakers drop any parts of speech not required for context. For example, one might construct a simple command by dropping everything but the verb from a sentence (i.e. "Rut!," literally "Carry!," could be construed as meaning "I need you to carry this right now!").
PossessionAdjectives and adverbs follow the parts of speech they relate to. Applying an "ad-" prefix to a noun implies that it possesses whatever noun come before it (i.e. "Checkov's friend's gun" becomes "(gun) ad-(friend) adQekov").
SemblanceApplying an "as-" prefix to a word puts it in the semblative case, and it now functions as an adjective or adverb (see above). An object or subject noun with this prefix means that the object or subject has the properties of the noun in question; for example, the construction "(second person) as(fish)" implies that the speaker thinks that you are a "fish-like person," perhaps implying that you are an excellent swimmer. A semblative noun follwing a verb implies that the action is taken in the manner normally ascribed to that noun (i.e. "You throw like a girl!" becomes "(fem.)(second person not familiar) (present)(throw) as(fem.)(person) (young)!").
Number of ItemsNumber is indicated as an adjective or adverb placed after all other modifiers except the time modifier and implies a specific number of individuals (for nouns) or specific number of times something happens (for verbs). To create a time modifier, the particle "on-" is applied to the word for a unit of time, and a number is applied afterwards to indicate how many units of time have elapsed since, are elapsing, or will elapse; whether this time relates to how long ago something happened or how long it will take to happen is inferred from the tense particles of the preceding verb. For example, "We three men went to the dock twice four days ago!" becomes "Dock (masc.)(plural)(first person) (three) (past)(go to) (two) on(day) (four)!"
LocationsNouns are considered to 'own' locations around them, and this construction is also used to indicate how a verb relates to a subject. For example, "The inside of the store" would be constructed as "inside ad-store" whereas "We went into the store" would be constructed as "inside ad-store (plural)(first person) (past)(to go to)." Iuxat lacks 'to' and 'from' prepositions, instead treating "to go (to)" and "to come (from)" as different verbs. If additional information is required about from where an object originates, the sentence is constructed to imply that the noun 'belongs' to a location. For example, "It came from the beach" might be constructed "(object)(3rd person) (poss.)beach to come (from)."
InterogativesTerminating a sentence with a lone "e?" sound turns the sentence into an interogatory statement (i.e. "You will go to Eurymaxim with me." becomes "Will you go to Eurymaxim with me?"). The word "emid?" is an all-purpose question word that implies that the part of the scentence it is attached to is the part the person is inquiring about. For example, the question "Who was this/that man?" might be constructed as "emid(masc.)(third person formal) (past)to be?" Using emi- as a particle in lieu of tense particles for a verb questions when the verb takes place. For example, "When did you swim home, brother?" might be constructed as "home (masc.)(second person familiar) emid-swim to?)
Transitive VerbsIuxat is primarily an accusative language. Transitive verbs are those which accept multiple arguments. In the case of sentences like "I took the dog to the vet", the verb "to take (to)" accepts "dog" and "to the vet" as arguments. To accomplish this, the first argument (in the forgoing example, the dog) is placed after the final adverb which follows the verb. Further adjectives may be applied following this first argument as normal for nouns. An "il-" prefix is attached to the second argument, which is typically the object of the sentence. As another example, "Yesterday, my wife and I hurriedly delivered our daughter to school" could be constructed "il(place)(class), (female)(spouse) and (1st per) (past)(to deliver to) on(day) (hurriedly) (female)(young) (posessive)(plural)(first person)."
While Iuxat sometimes makes use of loan words, most words in Iuxat are created by creating portmanteaus from existing terms or phrases. For example, "Ixaba" - the name of the religious text central to Rostran Esotericism, is a fusion of the words "ix" (faith/spirit) and "aba" (written/script "Ix aba" literally means "written faith" or, "spirit-script" Similarly, the Rostran term for airships is a fusion of the nouns for "ship" and "sky," while the term for a computer derives from the phrase "it (inanimate) dreams."
MathIuxat uses a senary (base 6) positional numeral system that incorporates a zero digit ('uxer,' or 'not one'). This derives both from the fact that six is one more than the number of digits most people have on one hand and because, as unparralleled navigators on the oceans of Rostral D,, The zero digit is an upward-curved line with an accent on the right side, signifying an open hand; all other digits are groups of five tallies, with some fonts stylzing these tallies as fingers and a thumb. Numbers are spoken word-for-word from the highest radix to the lowest, with all but the last digit spoken with an -i suffix. The Iuxat numbering system also features a binary sub-base, with each alternating number featuring sounds similar to the one that came before ('er' for one, 'ret' for two; 'vex' for three, 'vexet' for four; 'tas' for five, 'taset' for six). An 'uxo' particle placed before a number 'negates' the entire number, allowing for negative numbers to be expressed; indeed, subtraction is usually performed by adding negative numbers.
DirectionsRostrans were well-acquainted with the number of faces in their home cube by the time they began to formalize their numeral system. Because of the association with the various faces of their home cube, each number in Iuxat is associated with a cardinal direction (0/no direction/stationary point, 1/north/forward, 2/south/backward, 3/west/left, 4/east/right, 5/down/radial out, 6/up/radial in). Inflecting a number with the (place) particle turns a number into its associated directional term relative to the cube. In modern times, this is set relative to a monumental compass rose in Exivaun; it was established as relative to the front door of the elders' conclave house by tradition before the time of the monument's construction. Adding the (place) particle to a number and then following this with ad-(pronoun/noun) construction indicates direction relative to where the indicated person or object is facing instead. Many Rostrans have such a keen sense of direction that they eschew this construction entirely, relying only on geological direction instead; this requires constant awareness of one's orientation relative to the cube. As their knowledge of the Manifold expands, many Rostrans are experimenting with a duodecimal (base 12) system in recognition of the additional faces found on a cube layer's adjacent layer (in other words, beyond a given cube's inflection layer).
The phonemic inventory of Iuxat (aromanization in parentheses) are as follows:
- Consonants: m, n, ŋ (ng), p, t, k, b, d, g, v, s, l, ɹ (r)
- Consonant Clusters: kw (q), ks (x)
- Vowels: a, i/ɪ (i)*, e, o, u/ʊ (u)*
- Diphthongs: ai, eu, ei, au
- Triphthongs: aio (io), aiu (iu)
- "Ami engva!" - "Hello!" (lit. "I greet (you)!")
- "Ami voden!" - "Goodbye!" (lit. "I wish (you) well!")
- "Ato soxa e?" - "How are you?" (lit. "Are you swimming?")
Common Female Names
Axara, Amber, Eirin, Euda, Inga, Ida, Meri, Meryx, Naoka, Olara, Tara, Qanta, Vana, Renko
Common Male Names
Arxid, Aurus, Ben, Eosept, Iodex, Iutav, Irido, Lengi, Mairo, Niko, Olu, Qest, Qekov, Sadao, Vex