Classical Elvish Language in Yeia | World Anvil

Classical Elvish

Classical Elvish is the middle stage of the Elvish Language and has been adopted as the standard variety of their language. It is the official language of all the elvish realms, and the language of culture in many human realms. It is also the language used in diplomacy and trade between different nations around the world.
Classical Elvish originated from Old or Archaic Elvish around 1900 BP and was the dialect of elvish spoken by the Elven Confederation ( the antecesor of the Kingdom of the Green Elves). At that time the most powerful elven realm in Yeia. Due to trade and migrations, this dialect spread among the elven comunities across the world. Subsequently all the modern dialects of the elvish language (Delta Dialect, High Elvish, Sun elvish etc...) descend from Classical Elvish.
Most books about science, magic, history, philosophy and alchemy are written in Classical Elvish and because of that Classical Elvish is a language that every sorcerer must learn and master.


Elvish (Aneriowynn as it called by the elves, meaning "language of our people") has perhaps the oldest alphabet known in Yeia. Dating back as far in time as the 25th century BP, at the middle period of the Bronze Age. There are two variations of the elven alphabet.
  • Codex or "formal" script: It is written from right to left and its the most ancient of the varieties of the elven alphabet. It is used in inscriptions on public monuments (and on the gates of Dungeons) and in books, thats why its called Codex script.
  • Stylized or callygraphic script: It was invented in the Kingdom of the Sun Elves around the 7th century BP, when the Kingdom rose to prominence again and became the center of Elven culture. It was used to write poetry or as a way of "meditation through writing". Nowadays its used for writting informal letters or as a form of art. It is still written from right to left but the letters are more rounded and elegant.
      ...and he stood holding his hat and turned his wet face to the wind...
gwey ces oi eirw gwre nty gwey rhef gwre thew yrth dy wyrfyb
Pronunciation: /gweɨ̯ kɛs ɔi̯ ˈei̯rʊ gwrɛ ntə gweɨ̯ r̥ɛv gwrɛ θɛu̯ ɨːrθ də ˈʊɨ̯rvɨb/
Classical Elvish word order: and he stood holding hat his and turned his face wet to the wind  

Spelling & Phonology

  Consonant inventory: b d g h j k l m n n̥ p r r̥ s t v w ð ŋ ɬ ʃ θ χ
↓Manner/Place→ Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n n̥ ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Fricative v θ ð s ʃ χ h
Approximant j
Trill r r̥
Lateral fricative ɬ
Lateral approximant l
Co-articulated phonemes
↓Manner/Place→ Labial-velar
Approximant w
Vowel inventory: a ai̯ au̯ aɨ̯ aː ei̯ eɨ̯ eː i iː oː u uː ɔ ɔi̯ ɔɨ̯ ə əu̯ ɛ ɛu̯ ɨ ɨu̯ ɨː ɪ ɪu̯ ʊ ʊɨ̯   Diphthongs: ai̯ au̯ aɨ̯ ei̯ eɨ̯ ɔi̯ ɔɨ̯ əu̯ ɛu̯ ɨu̯ ɪu̯ ʊɨ̯
Front Central Back
High i iː ɨ ɨː u uː
Near-high ɪ ʊ
Mid ə
Low-mid ɛ ɔ
Low a aː
Syllable structure: Custom defined
Stress pattern: Penultimate — stress is on the second last syllable   Spelling rules:
Pronunciation Spelling
f ph
v f
k c
ŋ ng
χ ch
θ th
ɬ ll
ð dd
ɪu iw
ɨu uw
ʊɨ wy
ɛu ew
ɔi oi
əu yw
ɔ o
ɪ i
ɛ e
ʊ w
j i
ɨː y
ɨ y
ə y
ʃ si


  Main word order: Subject Verb Object (Prepositional phrase). “Mary opened the door with a key” turns into Mary opened the door with a key.
Adjective order: Adjectives are positioned after the noun.
Adposition: prepositions  


Singular Plural
Masculine No affix
gwnwdlw /ˈgwnʊdlʊ/ man
Prefix ɔi̯-
oigwnwdlw /ɔi̯ˈgwnʊdlʊ/ men
Feminine No affix
gwa /gwa/ woman
If starts with vowel: Prefix v-
Else: Prefix vau̯-
faugwa /ˈvau̯gwa/ women
Neuter No affix If starts with vowel: Prefix s-
Else: Prefix sɛ-


Definite Indefinite
Singular loi /lɔi̯/ the snyl /snəl/ a
Plural e /ɛ/ the lloy /ɬɔɨ̯/ some
Uses of definite article that differ from English:  
  • Definite article can be omitted: ‘I am going to supermarket’
  • Used for personal names in third person: ‘The Maria has left for school’
  • Used with place names: ‘The London’
  Uses of indefinite article that differ from English:  
  • Not used for non-specific mass (uncountable) nouns: non-specific means ‘Would you like some (any) tea?’ whereas specific means ‘Some tea (a specific amount) fell off the truck’


1st singular giw /gɪu̯/ I, me, mine
2nd singular gill /giːɬ/ you, yours
3rd singular masc ces /kɛs/ he, him, his
3rd singular fem uw /ɨu̯/ she, her, hers
3rd singular neuter taill /tai̯ɬ/ it, its
1st plural inclusive pi /piː/ we (including you), us (including you), ours (including you)
1st plural exclusive ddywsg /ðəu̯sg/ we (excluding you), us (excluding you), ours (excluding you)
2nd plural rel /reːl/ you all, yours (pl)
3rd plural masc thiwyr /θjʊɨ̯r/ they (masc), them (masc), theirs (masc)
3rd plural fem cwn /kuːn/ they (fem), them (fem), theirs (fem)
3rd plural neuter e /ɛ/ they (neut), them (neut), theirs (neut)

Possessive determiners

1st singular wuw /wɨu̯/ my
2nd singular na /na/ your
3rd singular masc gwre /gwrɛ/ his
3rd singular fem siy /ʃɨ/ her
3rd singular neuter e /eː/ its
1st plural inclusive ty /tɨ/ our (including you)
1st plural exclusive hw /huː/ our (excluding you)
2nd plural sioi /ʃɔi̯/ your (pl)
3rd plural masc bwld /buːld/ their (masc)
3rd plural fem rit /rɪt/ their (fem)
3rd plural neuter fyg /vəg/ their (neut)


Present No affix
gwlaufr /gwlau̯vr/ learn
Past Prefix aː-
agwlaufr /ˈaːgwlau̯vr/ learned
Classical Elvish uses a standalone particle word for future tense:
Future Particle before the verb: u -
u gwlaufr /u gwlau̯vr/ will learn


  Classical Elvish has a base-10 number system:   1 - drau
2 - lled
3 - cy
4 - ny
5 - sdaych
6 - y
7 - ran
8 - wr
9 - dau
10 - au
Hundred - cla
Thousand - cee  

Derivational morphology

  Adjective → adverb = Suffix -min
Adjective → noun (the quality of being [adj]) = Suffix -fayn
Adjective → verb (to make something [adj]) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -m
Else: Suffix -au̯m
Noun → adjective (having the quality of [noun]) = Prefix dweː-
Noun → adjective relating to noun (e.g. economy → economic) = Suffix -ephyn
Noun to verb = Suffix -ɨ
Verb → adjective (result of doing [verb]) = Suffix -ʊɨ̯d
Tending to = Suffix -ei̯d
Verb → noun (the act of [verb]) = Suffix -ion
Verb → noun that verb produces (e.g. know → knowledge) = Suffix -ythyn
One who [verb]s (e.g. paint → painter) = Prefix hoː-
Place of (e.g. wine → winery) = If ends with vowel: Suffix -rbə
Else: Suffix -arbə
Diminutive = Suffix -aχ
Augmentative = Prefix sni-


Author's Notes

New art for the article on the process, hope it would make it nicer (specially with the elven alphabet)

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