In'lazankel


Kriiv'vun ev kul'niir. Oshz'niil dosh vanii'kuv ev fiil mar'uniil'kelkulniil. Varai'vun dov'nal ev sel'pak sa na'a iiv.   Zan'nal'takriin kol'iish ul'kalamiir nol in'lazankel saa sa'a friimiir.   Kriiv'vun shul kul'niir. Zainvur fiir lu'kiinnolz. Kol'kal fiir zatan'niir. Ain'vulniir shul azliin'kol. Ju'vunmaniir vaa niil'vraikiin. Zuv'kananiir vol danon'kel. Oshz'niil gel'vakriin dosh bel'ziin iiv. Iin'vurnu dosh levii'dinvii ziiv kuvun.  
—Elder Demon Proverb

In'lazankel is and was the language used by the Elder Demons in Infernus. Derived from In'lazan'kel Sa'kul'niir, the language of the Ancient Demons, it is a complex and powerful language to comprehend, yet for those willing to learn it, are able to unlock many tales and secrets of the Realm. Speakers of In'lazankel are almost entirely Elder Demons and the rare linguist or historian knowing it as well. This is largely due to the complex writing system as well the language being outdated and superseded by its child language Yolniir Inlazankel (Modern Demon Langauge).   The language first came about following the Infernus Civil War, when the surviving demons wanted nothing to do with the Ancients nor their designs. At the same time, a general consensus was that In'lazan'kel Sa'kul'niir was far too of a coded language even for demons, more than half the population unable to read or write it. The idea to simplify the coded language was proposed by Elder Demon Iin'vrai'kulniil Lu'kiinolz; his idea was to take the old system of writing, which in his words "are no more than primal scratch marks by claws," and combine said scratch marks to create unique characters. Another revision to the old language was the addition of grammatical structure.   In'lazankel uses a combination of logographic characters (kiinvak), which are characters derived from In'lazan'kel Sa'kul'niir, and syllabic characters (volaavak). Kiinvak, meaning character words, are the primary characters found in the language. These characters are often complex, having up to three pronunciations or meanings depending on context or intent. Kiinvak generally has more than two vowels and/or are two or more words conjoined. It's estimated that there are around 1.2 million kiinvak, and during the Elder Rule, it was common for a demon to know at least half the language's available words. However, it's estimated that only 80,000 are needed to be considered fluent.   Volaavak, meaning sounding characters, are a seperate set of unique characters that act as a syllabary. The volaavak syllabary contains [insert # of characters here], each character only representing a single sound. These characters are primarily used for grammatical particles or basic words (words containing only a single vowel as well as numbers). Each volaavak character can also be attached to a kiinvak to form ganiivak, combinatory words.   Ganiivak, are separate forms of characters in the sense that they are kiinvak, but directly modified by the volaavak within it e.g the volaavak character in the ganiivak Zain'lazankel: the volaavak zain, meaning four, modifying the kiinvak lazankel (demon) to change its singular form to plural. In other words, demon literally becomes four demon. In'lazankel has no plural form in the English sense, thus nouns are made plural via volaavak or through context. Unlike kiinvak, knowledge of every volaavak is essential to understanding In'lazankel.   When written, In'lazankel makes heavy use of both its writing systems: most, if not all sentences contain both kiinvak and volaavak. Rarely found, and typically for beginners, are sentences comprised solely of volaavak for the purpose of learning the sounds and flow of the language. In'lazankel is written and read from top to bottom in a left to right fashion and is written without any spaces between characters.

Learning the Language

In'lazankel is considered the third hardest language of all languages spread across The Planes of Existence, trumped only by In'lazan'kel Sa'kul'niir and Havsh'gmayn (Primordial Angelic) in terms of difficulty.   Learning the language is only possible in Infernus, and even then, is only offered at a handful of select universities around the realm. Learning the language to fluency is mandatory for the seven High Noble Houses of Infernus, and for the Greater Noble Houses, is almost always learned to an elementary level.   For any others willing to take on the task of learning In'lazankel, they must prepare for an at the very least a five-year commitment to be at least Elementary II (a basic understanding of the language), although it's possible to achieve it within four Infernus Solar Years. The language, being incredibly complex, takes a mental toll on most trying to learn it; most people are unable to grasp the abstract nature of many of the language's words and phrases. Thus, many people give up on learning it before even achieving Elementary I level (the language has a 98% dropout rate amongst those taking it in universities.)   Those who make it to Elementary I, often considered the breakthrough, more than likely will make further progress to Elementary II and even to Intermediate I, where it becomes possible to begin reading proper Elder literature.   Although considered redundant for the majority of the Realm, there are still many benefits to learning the language. Yolniir Lazankel doesn't do much justice to the tales and the written histories that existed before the Contemporary Rule for texts that are translatable; many texts from before its creation are near impossible to translate from In'lazankel into Modern Demon and are only properly understandable in the Elder tongue. Knowing the language is also said to bring pride unto oneself that is even worthy of acknowledgment from an Elder itself.

Phonetics

Vowels

In'lazankel has 8 vowels sounds. Each vowel is given a unique volaavak. They can also be written in kiinvak in many different characters.   Vowel inventory: /a a: e e: i o ɪ ɯ/
Front Back
High i ɯ
Near-high ɪ
High-mid e, e: o
Low a, a:
F
In'lazankelCharacterVowels.png
In'lzankel Vowel Characters by bnichs
rom left to right, the characters representing the vowels are: a, a: which is a elongated, e, e but elongated, ɪ, i, ɯ, and o.   The sound for a is the same vowel sound found in the words cat and hat. For a:, it is the same vowel only elongated and said for twice the length. The for e is the same vowel sound found in the words bet and vet. Similarilry to a:, e: is elongated and pronounced for twice the length. Vowel ɪ is the sound found in double e words found in English such as bee. Vowel i is the sound found in words bit and kick. Vowel ɯ is the sound found in words do and sue. Vowel o is the vowel sound found in Spanish e.g. por, lo, and correr.   There are no diphthongs in In'lazankel. Two consecutive vowel letters are simply two separate vowels and are considered two separate syllables. Thus two vowels next to each are pronounced individually; e.g., zain is pronounced z-a-in and not z-ai-n.  

Consonants

There are 19 consonant sounds in In'lazankel. Like vowels, each consonant is given a unique volaavak and can also be written in kiinvak in many different characters.   Consonant inventory: /b d f h j k l m n p s t v w z ɡ ɾ ʃ ʒ/
↓Manner/Place→ Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop p b t d k ɡ
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h
Approximant j
Tap ɾ
Lateral approximant l
Co-articulated phonemes
↓Manner/Place→ Labial-velar
Approximant w
The Elder Demon language contains both open and closed syllables, all words able to end on either a vowel or consonant.   Words also change meaning when written with different characters. Like previously mentioned, Zain, when written as number four, can be is divided Z-a-in using the Roman alphabet. The division of the word, using the Roman alphabet, changes depending on the kiinvak or volaavak used to create the word. For example, when Zain is written as close, it's divided as Za-in, only using two characters. This case is when written using only volaavak. When written purely of kiinvak, the word is only one character, zain. In this case, the word changes meaning to an abstract word best meaning, "a feeling of closeness," which is often used to describe close friendships between demons (or devils in modern-day).

Characters (Kon'ziil)

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In'lazankel Personal Pronouns (Kiinvak) by bnichs
I
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In'lazankel Personal Prounouns Romanized by bnichs
n'lazankel has 25 basic personal pronouns. Each pronoun is context-dependent; the language uses paru'niil, a system that is similar to modern-day honorifics.   Paru'niil, in addition to addressing to another demon based on respect, also uses karu'niil, which doesn't use respect as a basis to address another. Instead, it uses power (in terms of strength) as a basis of addressing another.   Karu'niil has many more forms of pronouns than paru'niil and is often confusing to non-native speakers. In modern-days, it's taught at advanced levels of the language, and those who use it regularly are the remaining Elders, using it amongst themselves.  

Personal Pronoun Dictionary

The meaning of the words in the table are given in respect to their written kiinvak. All words are paru'niil. 
Word Meaning
Jul I, me: standard informal way of referring to oneself, most common variant of I between demons.
Jal I, me: standard formal way of referring to oneself, used to show that two demons see each other as equal.
Jii'l I, me: very formal and used when talking to a demon of higher status.
Krii'nu I, me: highest form in paru'niil, most often used when speaking to or between Noble Houses. Modern-day devils always use this when speaking to an Elder.
Bu'janul You: lowest form, used when literally cursing another. Considered a "literal fighting word." 
Bunal You: very informal, used when referring to a demon of lesser status.
Jaal You: standard informal, casual, and the most common form used between demons.
Run You: Standard formal, used to refer to another demon with respect or politeness, and that they see the other as equal.
Run'kal You: Very formal, used when wanting to show deep respect for another or towards a higher status demon. Most often used when speaking to Noble Houses.
Ku'vol You: abstract and doesn't necessarily mean you, rather, it roughly means "person whom I have deep endearment for." Only used between lovers and is still commonly used by devils in modern times. 
Shin'kaal He/She: used when referring to another individual. Formality is flexible. 
Tormaz        That/It: most often used to refer to an individual thing. Can also be used to refer to someone else indirectly but with very low respect.
Zunii We, us: standard form of referring to a group including the speaker. Most common form meaning that the individual sees all in the group as equals.
Zulv We, us: formal form of Zunii. Used when the speaker sees most in the group as above them. 
Kai'dan You all: standard informal and can be used when speaking to others that are of equal or lesser status.
Kai'mur You all: standard formal, used when speaking to others that are of higher status. 
Krii'fa   They, them: only used for when referring to non-living objects as well as locations. 
Kriin They, them: standard informal, used for referring to living beings. 
Iin'no They, them: standard formal, commonly used when referring to another group with respect.
Shiin'zul They, them: highest form of formality. Primarily used for speaking about Noble Houses.
Saar'viin Male: only used when referring to another demon
Shul'niin Female: only used when referring to another demon
Kul'niir Chaos: very abstract word. The closest interpretation is "the essence of all that is dynamic." Used when referring to the species as a whole or when speaking of Zan'nal'takriin. Can also be used as a powerful adjective. 
In'lazankel   Demon: when written with its respective kiinvak, it refers to the Elder Demons. Meaning and context varies vastly depending on its kiinvak.
Takriin Devil: Literally means "Devil," and is also the term used for the Devil race.  


Cover image: Shutterstock image 280619771 by Derek R. Audette

Comments

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3 Oct, 2020 00:34

I'm impressed with the amount of effort you put. You are amazing.

4 Oct, 2020 04:55

Wow, thanks! Really glad you liked it.