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Yyrhxen (/əːʀk͡ɬen/) is the most common language among the Xicced.

Writing System

Yyrhxen uses a featural syllabary which constructs characters from symbols for the nucleus on the diagonal and symbols for the onset and coda in the corners. The table below shows the symbols and some examples.  

  The final character in a word additionally adds a horizontal line at the bottom of the character.   The standard writing direction is top-to-bottom, with both right-to-left and left-to-right column order allowed with appropriate marking of the beginning of the page, but left-to-right top-down horizontal writing is also used.


The tables in this section describe both the romanization and the IPA equivalent, the latter between slashes.  


Alveolar Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal n /n/ ng /ŋ/
Stop t /t/ d /d/ c /k/ g /g/ ' /ʔ/ ¹
Fricative sh /ɬ/ ch /χ/
Affricate x /k͡ʟ̥ ~ k͜ɬ ~ t͜ɬ/² k /k͡χ/
Approximant l /ɹ/
Trill r /r/ rh /ʀ/
¹ also written as doubling of consonants in some cases ² significant regional variation


Front Central
High i /i/ ii /iː/
High-Mid e /e/ ee /eː/
Mid y /ə/ yy /əː/
Low a /a/ aa /aː/


  • Syllable structure: (C) V (C)
  • Allowed nuclei: all vowels; l /ɹ/; r /r/; rh /ʀ/
  • When the nucleus is not a vowel, the onset and coda may not be any of the sounds permissible as non-vowel nuclei listed above
  • In consonant clusters, sounds articulated in the same location may not follow each other unless one of the sounds is a stop. For example, clusters such as /ɬɹ/ or /k͡χʀ/ cannot occur (If such a cluster would arise in a compound word, the first consonant is usually replaced by a glottal stop)
  • Glottal stop (' /ʔ/) may not appear word-finally
  • Vowels cannot be adjacent to each other within words
  • An implicit word-initial glottal stop is present in words beginning with a vowel unless they are immediately preceded by a final consonant of a word within the same sentence.



Familiarity Marking
  Yyrhxen uses a system of marking words for the speaker's familiarity with the things they represent. This is mandatory for addressing sentient beings, and can be used for a variety of other things, such as indicating familiarity with an area or experience in a skill or area of study. In general, it is considered polite to overestimate familiarity.   There are four basic levels of familiarity:
  • Friend [FRN] (Very Familiar) - The speaker knows the subject well and interacts with it on a regular basis
  • Acquaintance [ACQ] (Somewhat Familiar) - The speaker knows the subject somewhat and interacts with it occasionally
  • Known [KNO] - The speaker has interacted with the subject before
  • Unknown [UKN] - The speaker has never interacted with the subject before
The familiarity marking takes the form of a suffix (the only suffix commonly seen in Yyrhxen, which mostly uses prefixes) which depends on the final sound of the word being modified. The word groups are as follows:
  • Group 1: Words which end in vowels
  • Group 2: Words which end in consonants excluding c, ch, k, and rh
  • Group 3: All other words
Friend Acquaintance Known Unknown
Group 1 -kiila -'ac -nych -rheng
Group 2 -iila -aac -nych -neng
Group 3 -kiila -aac -ych -cheng
As it is polite to overestimate familiarity, it is common to refer to one's superiors using the Friend familiarity class. For example in Xicced stores customers are typically addressed as "itrhyylkiila" ("friend customer") and Xicced officers in the EDF will commonly refer to human captains as "caxtenkiila" ("friend captain"), as titles are considered part of names and therefore often matched to the person's native language.   When used with actions, familiarity is used to express the speaker's experience with the action or the frequency at which the speaker performs the action, for example:
  • 'y yyrhneng - Incapable of speaking (a language)
  • 'y yyrhaac - somewhat experienced at speaking (a language)
Note that since familiarity always is that of the speaker, this construction can not be used to express someone else's experience in something.  
Number Marking
Yyrhxen features three number forms:  
  • Singular: a single entity.
  • Collective: a coherent group of entities, such as the crew of a starship or the population of a small town. All entities must be describable with the noun which is in the communal form.
  • Plural: any group of entities. At least one entity in the group must be describable with the term which is in the plural form.
Number marking is not required if the number is clear in context, but is required if an explicit numeric count is specified or an adjective is linked to the noun, as they must agree on number. Number is marked by a prefix as follows:
Singular Collective Plural
dy- yn- ny-
If dy- or ny- are adjacent to a vowel, they become dyg- and nyn- respectively; if yn- is adjacent to a nasal sound, it becomes yy-.   When used with actions, number marking is part of grammatical aspect.
  • Unmarked actions signify either a perfective or a habitual.
  • Singular actions signify a perfective.
  • Collective actions express an imperfective.
  • Plural actions signify a habitual.


Adjectives are marked by an initial e- which is declined to agree with the word described by the adjective in number and familiarity, with the dictionary form e- being the collective with no familiarity specified.   There are two patterns depending on the beginning of the adjective stem:
erh- Friend Acquaintance Known Unknown Unmarked
Singular rach- raac- dech- deerh- derh-
Collective ach aac- ech- eerh- erh-
Plural ngach- ngaac- nech- neech- nerh

er- Friend Acquaintance Known Unknown Unmarked
Singular rac- raac- desh- deer- der-
Collective ac- aac- esh- eer- er-
Plural ngac- ngaac- nesh- neesh- ner-


Yyrhxen has no fixed sentence structure, instead using prefixed particles to separate parts of speech indicate what function a word serves. In formal speech, all particles must be used, but in casual speech some or all may be omitted if the meaning can be inferred from context.  

Basic Particles

  Target Particle shi /ɬi/   This particle indicates the target of an action, which can be thought of as a direct object in most cases.   Actor Particle a /a/   This particle indicates the entity performing an action, similar to the subject of an english sentence.   Action particle 'y /ʔə/   This particle marks the action of a sentence, which is the equivalent construct to a verb. The intentional action particle requires that the actor be capable of intentionally carrying out an action, i.e. that the actor is a living being.  
A simple example sentence using these basic three particles could be:  
a xicced 'y yyrh shi yyrhxen.
/a k͡ɬiʔked ʔə əːʀ ɬi əːʀk͡ɬen/
ACT-xicced INT-language TGT-yyrhxen
Xicced speak Yyrhxen.

Note however that the orders "a yyrh 'y xicced shi yyrhxen" or "shi yyrhxen 'y xicced a yyrh", and any other order, would be equally valid though carrying slightly different nuance.
Unintentional Action Particle gy /gə/   The unintentional action particle is the counterpart to the intentional action particle, however without the requirement of intention. It is used for sentences where the subject is not a living being, but also for expressing that an action was involuntary or accidental.   If neither an intentional nor an unintentional action is present, the sentence becomes a state-of-being expression.   Location Particle chr /χr/   This particle marks the location of an action. If the action describes some form of motion, the location particle indicates the starting point of the motion, with the direction, goal or end point of the motion being designated by the target particle.  
Using the unintentional action particle and the location particle, we can talk about the weather:  
a shesh gy rhaac chr y'e
/a ɬeɬ gə ʀaːk χr əʔe/
ACT-water UNINT-fall LOC-above
It rains. (lit. "Water falls from above")

Note that this is an archaic expression for the sake of example, and in modern Yyrhxen "rhaac chr y'e" has been contracted to "rhaake", so that a more common expression would be "a shesh gy rhaake", or even "gy rhaake" in casual contexts.
Time Particle ix /ik͡ɬ/   This particle marks the time at which an action takes time, which also serves as the primary form of marking tense. In Xicced culture, time is generally symbolized as running from above to below, so "ix y'e" refers to the past while "ix e'y" refers to the future.   The time particle is often used with composition (see below) to express more nuanced time constructs, for example "ix y'e xyl y'e" for the distant past.   Emphasis Particle de   The emphasis particle is used at the start of a clause to add emphasis. It is most often used to indicate that the speaker is surprised or happy about what is being talked about.   For example, when meeting an old friend unexpectedly, instead of the normal greeting gy laac, one might say de gy laac.  

State of Being

Two expressions exist for expressing a state of being depending on whether this state was achieved intentionally or not. The intentional state of being is expressed with 'yych /ʔəːχ/, (ISB) while the unintentional state of being is expressed by ngyych /ŋəːχ/. (USB) Familiarity markings can be applied to these to mark how certain the speaker is of the stated fact.   The state of being marker is used similarly to the action particles.  
a ashyyrkiila ngyychkiila xicced
/a aɬəːrk͡χiːɹa ŋəːχk͡χiːɹa k͡ɬiʔked/
ACT-ashyyr-FRND USB-FRND-xicced
I am certain Ashyyr is a Xicced.


Similarly to actions, adjectives can also be intentional or unintentional. Intentional adjectives stand after the noun, while unintentional ones stand before the noun. Intentional adjectives imply that some action was undertaken by a sentient being to change or preserve the state which the adjective describes.   When applied to actions, adjective function like adverbs. Again, the intentionality of the action and the adjective must match. Note that the number and familiarity of the adjective must match the action.   In simple sentences describing a state of being, the intentionality of the adjective must match the intentionality of the state-of being marker, meaning that unintentional adjectives stand before the state of being marker. Adjectives used in this way are always marked as the singular. Familiarity marking can optionally be used to express how certain the speaker is of the factuality of the statement.  
a ashyyrkiila derhy ngyych
/a aɬəːrk͡χiːɹa deʀə ŋəːχ/
ACT-ashyyr-FRND tall-USB
Ashyyr is tall.

a ashyyrkiila 'yych derhy
/a aɬəːrk͡χiːɹa ʔəːχ deʀə/
ACT-ashyyr-FRND ISB-tall
Ashyyr is strong.

Note that the only difference in these two sentences is the intentionality. "erhy" can mean both "tall" or "strong"/"powerful" but while it is not possible to intentionally change one's height, it is possible to train to become stronger. Therefore the intentional form implies that the intended meaning of "erhy" is "strong" while the unintentional form implies the meaning of "tall".
Modifying Adjectives
A number of particles to modify adjectives exist. These particles always stand between the adjective and the modified noun. The most common ones are listed below:
  • let - not at all
  • lich - slightly
  • rhn - very
There are two adjectives which are used to describe numbers:
  • erhgyyn, meaning many
  • ercyn, meaning few
Additionally, numerals can be used in combination with the appropriate number adjective. There is no fixed rule as to when to use which of the number adjectives to use for a given number. When using numerals, opposite to other adjective modifiers, the number adjective stands between the noun and the numeral, i.e. the numeral stands before the adjective if it is unintentional and after if it is intentional. As with other adjectives intentionality implies that a sentient being took or is taking some kind of action to reach or preserve the stated number.   When used with actions, these number adjectives describe the frequency of an action.



Yyrhxen uses a base-16 numbering system with a sub-base of 4.
0 + n 4 + n 8 + n 12 + n
n = 1 dyn dychang cychandy gychandyn
n = 2 cyn chancyn cychancy gychancyn
n = 3 gyyn changyyn cychangyyn gychangyyn
n = 4 chang cychang gychang xic

0 letyn
16 xic
256 tag
4096 ngeekii
65536 drhc
For constructing numbers, the power of 16 is used as a prefix before the number it is multiplied by, for example:
xic changyyn dyn 16 × 7 + 1 113
ngeekii cyn tag letyn xic letyn gychandyn 4096 × 2 + 256 × 0 + 16 × 0 + 13 8205
tag chang xic gychang gyyn 256 × 4 + 16 × 12 + 3 1219

Temperature Descriptions

Yyrhxen has three categories of words describing temperature:
  • Radiative, descibing objects that emit infrared radiation that is perceivable by the Xicced's pit organs.
  • Environmental, describing air temperature.
  • Touch, describing how warm or cold an object feels to the touch.
Radiative temperature has a somewhat special status in Xicced culture, also being used to describe life and death in Yyrhxen.


Tenses in Yyrhxen in general work fairly simply by combining the time particle ix with different number markings of the action.


57 Words.
The name of the language written in its native script.
Common Phrases
'y engkiila ergiced
pleased to meet you (lit. "pleasantly befriending")
gy laac
common greeting (lit "we met")

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Cover image: by Zhuriel


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