Sleepless Scribe
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Users / Rhetorica

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Black Maldisian Maldisian as spoken in Umami and outlying regions.
Proto-Testian This is an example Test Language.


Tenuresse oblige

University politics. Woo.
read more · 6 months ago

The Tumbling Dice Toy Factory

I recently got into a debate with someone over the legitimacy of the word 'gynoid.' Although the debate ended swiftly when the other party asserted that the mere action of being listed in a dictionary does not make a word a 'real' part of language, I did, in the course of things, find myself irked that I was not personally familiar with the original book that introduced the word 'gynoid' in the first place. I spend a lot of time ruminating on how human gender translates into the artificial realm, so this was surely a rather grave oversight.

Well, no longer. Allow me to relate my impressions of Divine Endurance, its philosophy, and how its values have weathered in the 33 years since its publication.  […]
read more · 8 months ago

The Interrogation of the Fisherman

He had always been fond of flying animals. They made the long, hot days out on the raft more interesting, especially around noon when the glade was mostly quiet. Once he had befriended a raven—loosely speaking—by feeding it some of the undergrown crayfish he caught that he knew wouldn’t sell well at market. Its personality was much different from the usual bat-winged tigvi kept by rich women in the cities; less capricious, more patient. Admirable, in its own way. It had vanished a few days later, but not before returning the favour by depositing a clutch of worms directly into his tackle box as it flew off. How he envied its freedom. […]
read more · a year ago

Ex foris

? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1246
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
quoting twabs, Conversational Speaker:
ͱ in the middle of Greek

? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1246
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
I've been reading the very excellent Kill Six Billion Demons comic recently, which has an exhaustingly nuanced hagiography based on a fundamental divine order. Consequently, when I went back to look at 2L, its purpose and design was readily apparent even in the absence of a monograph describing its purpose. So, here is my attempt at deciphering the notes Anguipes has left us.

The monumental-style script of the Second Language is an elaborate logographic system built on the names of the sixteen aspects of the Supreme Being, or nvv̀n. Derived from a matrix of each of the divine names of the aspects, or gods, each of the 450 component glyphs is a crossing of two gods, and represents a plant or animal. The second language, 2L, is a philosophical language, where each piece of its vocabulary can constitute the basis for a further refined concept. By understanding the relationships between these concepts—such as how the verblike adjective ʔjj́x, "to be yellow," is understood to relate to ʔjj̄x, "flying snake"—a great deal of cultural nuance and perspective can be extracted from the composition of the language itself. That all being said, despite the abundance of absolutes in which Vana Gloria deals, it is also rife with mystery: dozens of glyphs, containing the words of the god Hypostasis (whose words are used only in Name syllables) and the goddess Hubris (whose words are entirely lost to us, and have possibly been stricken from history), remain mysteries.
? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1246
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
Fair question. The motivation behind <dt> was partly one of visual aesthetics; the prototypical word (and most frequent cause of use) is the highly productive suffix -idt- (/ɪɾ/), "point," which is responsible for the /ɾ/ in vêdt-. I wanted to do something that wasn't painfully unoriginal with the standard transliteration, which has a pretty obvious bias toward English. The particular form has two bases: <dt> represents an easy English mnemonic for how to pronounce the letter, since the vast majority of native speakers will only use an alveolar tap in the place of a "t", and it's often transcribed as "dd" in such cases, e.g. "wadder" for "water." <dd> and <tt> are both legal in Lilitika, but adjacent consonants with different voicing must be separated by a vowel.

Secondly, perhaps more importantly, /ɾ/ generally behaves like a partly lenited third alveolar plosive in Lilitika, and has few if any situations where it shows a clear relationship with the liquids, /w j l ɹ/ <w y l r>. So, having any hint of <r> in the orthography would confuse this. For similar reasons, when I decided <gh> /ɣ/ would evolve into /ʁ/ in later chronolects (admittedly not much of a difference) I gave it a new grapheme, <q>. (The same era also saw a number of alveolar consonants shift toward palatal forms, which had the unfortunate effect of making the Lilitai sound like they were hearing impaired.)

I've thought a fair bit about input devices, and my conclusion is mixed. On their own, the Lilitai would probably develop pen-based input for written language, but thousands of years of Ksreskézaian innovation and ergonomics is more conducive to a gripped interface, where the letters are typed in tachygraphic/stenotype chords, like a keyer wrapped around a joystick or handlebar.

However, as one of the key themes in the setting is that, despite being set half a million years in the future, human civilization has never experienced a dark age so severe that it lost all access to its history, some relics of the ancient past were never, ever replaced. The scientific language is still formal Modern English, much like Latin was the scientific language of the 19th Century. This is largely a matter of practicality, but it is also a part of a larger trend toward reverence for the dawn of civilization, one practically unique in the cosmos because it was never followed by a sunset. Terraphiles—not all of them descendants of Terrans—partake of media from that era, much as Classics departments today still put on ancient Greek and Roman plays. Most of them are just casually interested in the subject—but some go through a "phase" of terramania, some are just interested because it's the latest craze, and a very small number of individuals turn into TV-obsessed hermits, watching recordings of 24-hour news channels for years at a time, with commercial breaks intact. (At that point, friends usually stage an intervention.)

With this in mind, while the Lilitai may not have traditional keyboards themselves, it is almost certain that after they rejoined humanity, there was someone nearby with a QWERTY keyboard not much different from yours, and someone else who has just realized the first person has a QWERTY keyboard and is now looking extremely smug, because theirs is a Dvorak.

Sleepless Scribe
last seen: 11 hours ago
posts: 1246

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Creator of Lilitika and co-creator of Thet.

I started this site in late 2013 to give the conlanging and conworlding community a specially-tailored way to showcase projects. I don't do quite as much administrating any more, and sometimes I can be scarce because I have so many other big responsibilities, but I try to maintain and improve things whenever I can.

See my profile page elsewhere for more information about me.