Sc Pct'tk Kx'ct'ti Language in Megastructure | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Sc Pct'tk Kx'ct'ti

Sc Pct'tk Kx'ct'ti᷄ (lit. "language of Pct'tk"; often abbreviated to Kx'ct'ti᷄) is the de-facto standard language of the Tttíiùu. It is distinguished by its heavy use of rapid click sounds and various other sounds that are hard or impossible to accurately pronounce for other species, with the exception of the Orr.   This article uses the Fischer-Xp'ptp transliteration, developed under the guidance of Tttíiùu linguists. Though it is generally considered somewhat unintuitive, it is the most accurate system in common usage.

Writing System

Sc Pct'tk Kx'ct'ti᷄ is written using a hybrid ideography where most words (including their initial suffixes) are represented by single characters. Additional suffixes and initial suffixes for words which do not have their own character use a separate writing system which places diacritics next to the character for the stem or base word. A third part of the writing system exists for phonetically spelling out stems and loanwords, though rarely used.   The primary writing direction is bottom-up, left-to-right.


Click Sounds

  The language features 4 different click sounds, some of which are hard to approximate by humans, particularly since they often occur in rapid succession.  
Character IPA¹ Description
t /ǀ/ Sharp non-tonal click
k /ǁ̹/ Dull non-tonal click
p /ɓ̥/ High tonal click
c /‼̹/ Low tonal click
  The intervals betweent these clicks are semantically relevant; there is a unit interval which is typically between 200ms-300ms in most cases. The symbol ' is used to mark an additional unit interval between two clicks. Up to two such so called rests can occur between two clicks, though more are sometimes used to indicate pauses similar to ellipses in english text.  

Other Consonants

Character IPA¹ Description
x n/a² Voiceless trill; Similar to a snort
h /x/ Non-sibilant voiceless fricative
s /s/ Sibilant voiceles fricative
  A rest marker following a fricative or trill indicates it being extended in length. These sounds can only have two lengths, and double rest markers do not occur in words, though they may be used for emphasis  

Tonal Sounds

  In addition to the above consonantal sounds, Kx'ct'ti᷄ also features multiple tonal sounds including vowels, which can take various tone profiles. Note that for general audiences, the tone markers are generally omitted.  
Character IPA¹ Description
i /ø~y~ʉ/ Sharp (front) vowel
u /u~ʊ~o/ Dull (back) vowel
v /ɸ͎/ Whistle-like sound
m /m̩~n̩/ Humming sound
  Tonal sounds can be lengthened, signified by a doubling of the character, and always carry a tone marker. In long sounds, the tone marker is only present only on the first character.   The following tones are used:  
Marker IPA¹ Number Description
́ /˧˦/ 1 Rising tone
/˩˨/ 2 Low rising tone
̀ /˧˨/ 3 Falling tone
/˥˦/ 4 High falling tone
̂ /˧˦˨/ 5 Peaking tone (only on lengthened sounds)
̌ /˧˨˦/ 6 Dipping tone (only on lengthened sounds)
  An alternate orthograpy used for typing convenience numbers the tones, as shown in the table above. The number is then prefixed to the character.  


The above sounds are combined almost completely freely, with the only strict rule being that no rests are allowed at the end of a word. Additionally, as a general rule it is observed that the same tonal sound, fricative or trill does not occur twice in a row and the same click does not occur more than four times in a row.


Words in Sc Pct'tk Kx'ct'ti᷄ are constructed from a stem, consisting of at least 3 characters which are all consonants, and tonal sound suffixes. Initial suffixes based on -i and -u are used for modifying nouns, while -v is used for initial suffixes on predicates (also called the predicate's "patterns"). Suffixes based on -m only occur word-finally.   A word without an initial suffix (i.e. one consisting only of a consonant stem) are either conjunctive particles or names.   Initial suffixes don't have fixed meanings, though they follow some general patterns from which the meaning can be inferred to some degree, particularly for nouns.  


Abstract Nouns (Initial Suffix -i)
  Suffixes based on -i describe concepts which are not physical objects.  
Suffix Typical Meaning
-í, -i᷄ Narrow Concept
-ì, -i᷅ State, Property
-íi, -i᷄i General Concept
-ìi, -i᷅i Action
-îi, -ǐi Stem-specific
Concrete Nouns (Initial Suffix -u)
Suffix Description
-ú, -u᷄ Countable Object
-ù, -u᷅ Location
-úu, -u᷄u Uncountable Object
-ùu, -u᷅u Person
-ûu, -ǔu Stem-specific
Concretization Suffix (-u after initial -i)
  To refer to concrete instances of abstract forms, an -u suffix is added. The meaning of words formed this way is related to that created by an initial -u suffix, but highly dependent upon the meaning of the stem with the initial suffix.  
Number Specification Suffix (-i after -u)
  For number specification of concrete objects, only a subset of the allowed tones is used, however alternate tones are sometimes used for emphasis (i.e. -i᷄ may be used to mean a very small amount). Note that this number marking is not required and typically omitted.  
Suffix Meaning
-í Small amount (uncountable)
-ì Large amount (uncountable)
-íi Singular (countable)
-ìi Plural (countable)
-îi Unknown amount
Determinatives (final suffix -m)
  The final -m suffix can be used to specify a noun further. Note that some of these depend also on previous suffixes and may not be applicable in all constructions.  
Suffix Description
-ḿ Indefinite ("a"/"an")
-m᷄ Definite ("the")
-m̀ Proximal Demonstrative ("this")
-m᷅ Distal Demonstrative ("that")
-ḿm Possessive first person ("my")
-m᷄m Possessive other ("your"/"their")
-m̀m Existential quantitative ("some")
-m᷅m Universal quantitative ("all")
-m̂m Interrogative ("which")
-m̌m Quantitative Interrogative ("how many")
  To use a determinative with the minimal amount of elaboration on what kind of object it refers to, the stem hkt (object) is used. For example:  
  • hktúm᷅ - that
  • hktúíiḿm - mine (referring to multiple objects)
  • hktúm̀m - something/anything

Predicate Patterns (initial suffix -v)

  Predicate patterns are less regular than noun patterns, however in general the number of arguments increases both with the tone number and with lengthened sounds.  
Tense and Aspect Marking (-u after -v)
  This suffix is optional, when omitted the present continuous is assumed.  
Suffix Meaning
-í Present Continuous
-i᷄ Present Perfective
-ì Past Perfective
-i᷅ Past Continuous
-íi Present Habitual
-i᷄i Present Gnomic
-ìi Past Habitual
-îi Future Perfective
-ǐi Present Prospective
Mood and Negation Marking (final suffix -m)
  Lengthening of this suffix (this does not apply to tones 5 and 6) negates the predicate. Negation can also take the form of a the negation particle h't, which of the two forms is used depends on dialect and context.   The nominalization suffix can be applied to some predicate patterns to turn the resulting construction into a relative clause. For example, kx'ct'tv́ tttú - the person is speaking would become kx'ct'tv́m̌m tttú - the person who is speaking.   If the suffix is omitted, the indicative is assumed.  
Suffix Description
-ḿ Indicative
-m᷄ Inferential
-m̀ Conditional
-m᷅ Subjunctive
-m̌m Nominalization


Sentences are constructed with an initial predicate pattern and arguments, which are either nouns or subordinate predicate clauses, completing the pattern. The number of arguments is fixed for each pattern, and since omitting arguments would lead to unclear or potentially even completely changed meaning of the sentence, the particle kk must be inserted for any arguments that may be clear from context.  


  Particles work similarly to predicates, with the difference that they to not take any suffixes and therefore only have one fixed pattern. Particles have at most 3 characters.  
Common Particles
  Subordination Particle (sc)   The particle sc indicates that its second argument is part of or otherwise subordinated under the first argument.   Combination Particle (kt)   This particle combines its two arguments. This is typically equivalent to "and" in english.   Disjunction Particle (cp)   The disjunction particle selects exactly one of its arguments, equivalent to an "either ... or ..." statement in english or an exlusive or in logic.

¹IPA transcriptions are rough approximations.
²Some sources suggest /m̥͡ʀ̟̊/ as the IPA transcription for this sound (Aoishi et al, USD41853)


10 Words.

Cover image: by Zhuriel


Please Login in order to comment!