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The Alphistian language is the official language of Alphistia and Project Alphistia. This website provides a basic introduction to the language, including grammar, useful phrases, and a short glossary. Further information is available from Project Alphistia. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org,Click here to go to the Alphistian-English Dictionary Click here to go to the English-Alphistian Dictionary Click here for Useful Phrases
There is a learner's textbook now also...
Click here to go to Lesson One of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Two of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Three of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Four of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Five of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Six of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Seven of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Eight of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Nine of "Nas Lantase"
Click here to go to Lesson Ten of "Nas Lantase"
Alphistian has a very simple grammar, which is almost completely regular. It uses the Latin alphabet, and its pronunciation is very phonetic.
Alphabet The Alphistian alphabet has 22 letters. They are: a b d e f g h i k l m n o p r s t u v x y z The letters g and x are infrequently used. Other letters in the Latin alphabet: c,j,q,w appear only in foreign names.
Pronunciation Alphistian is basically very phonetic. It has long and short vowels which are represented by the same letters, but consonants are generally pronounced as written. Stress is not regular, although for the vast majority of words, it is on the next to last syllable.
Long vowels: a as in father, e as in they, i as in machine, o as in go, u like oo in book. Short vowels: a as in what, e as in get, i as in sit, o as in got. There is no short u vowel.There are several diphthongs in Alphistian: ai is pronounced like the long i in English, as in the word: line, oi is pronounced like the letters -oy in boy, and au is pronounced like the letters -ow in cow.
Consonants are generally pronounced like their English equivalents, but note that: g is always like the g in go, r is trilled, and that z is always pronounced like the z in zoo.
Articles The indefinite article in Alphistian is 'an', which means 'a, an'. The definite article is: 'de'.
Nouns Nouns in Alphistian do not take case endings. They change only to form the plural. The plural is formed by adding '-en' to all nouns that end in a consonant. If a noun ends with the letter 'e', then only the letter '-n' is needed to form the plural. For nouns that end in the other vowels: the final vowel is dropped and the ending '-en' is added. There are a few exceptions to this: some nouns ending in '-o' keep the '-o' and add '-en'. Examples: man-manen, hos-hosen, nomikle-nomiklen, vara-varen, avto-avtoen (note also a similar plural: taksi-taksien)
Adjectives Most adjectives in Alphistian end in a vowel, primarily the letter '-e'.They do not change form to agree with the noun. For comparison, the letter '-r' is added to the many adjectives ending in '-e' to form the comparative degree. For the few adjectives ending in a consonant, the letters '-er' are added. For the few adjectives ending in a vowel other than '-e', that vowel is dropped and '-er' is added. For the superlative degree, the letters '-s' or '-es' are added in the same way. In Alphistian, the formation of the comparative and superlative degrees are entirely regularized. (In English, many adjectives use the words 'more or most' for comparison instead of '-er' or '-est'.) Examples: tave, taver, taves (good, better, best), eke, eker, ekes(bad, worse, worst), enved, enveder, envedes (easy, easier, easiest), ulanta, ulanter, ulantes(beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful).
Pronouns Alphistian pronouns have three forms: subject, object, and posessive. The subject and object forms differ only slightly. The subject pronouns are: ya(I), du(you), han(he), er(she), et(it), ve(we), den(they). The object pronouns are: me(me), du(you), han(him), er(her), et(it), os(us), den(them). The possessive pronouns are: min(my), des(your), hanse(his), erse(her), nas(our), dense(their).
VerbsInfinitives are the same as the present tense of the verb, preceded by the word 'te'. Examples: te es(to be-am, is, are), te knose(to know-know, knows), te praske(to ask-ask, asks). The present tense of the verb does not change endings to indicate gender or number. The past tense is formed by adding '-t' or '-et' to the present tense form. There are no irregular verbs for the past tense. Examples: es-eset(was, were), knose-knoset(knew), praske-prasket(asked). The future tense is formed by combining the helping verb 'skala'(shall, will) with the infinitive. Examples: skala es(will be), skala skanse(will say), skala dun(will do). Conditional helping verbs can be used with the infinitive in a similar way: vilse(would), skalse(should), kanse(could). Examples: vilse dun(would do), skalse skanse(should say), kanse knose(could know). The past participle in Alphistian is the same as the past tense form, and can be combined with the helping verb 'hend' (to have) to form the present perfect tense. Examples: hend eset(have been), hend dunet(have done), hend skanset(have said), hend prasket(have asked).The imperative is the same as the present tense of the verb, often marked in writing with an exclamation point. The following modal verbs can be combined with the infinitive: kan(can), enske(must), mae(may), vilye(will). The passive is formed by using the various tenses of the verb 'es' with the past participle. Examples: es dunet(is done), eset dunet(was done), eset eskrevet(was written). The preposition 'met'(by) is often used with the passive.
Prepositions Alphistian does not have case endings. Nouns and adjectives do not change when used with prepositions. Following is a list of common prepositions: se(of, from), unser(under), met(by, with), in(within), over(over, above), ot(out of, away from) otse(from), dort(through), na(in, at, on), hind(behind), duran(during), lans(along), te(to), pa(for), rond(around, about), upas(up), sens(since), nevas(against), ten(against), til(up to, until), medan(among, between), av(off), pres(before), nad(after), ras(at, by), ken(without).
Conjunctions These connecting words are similar to English words: tat(that,), sem(which, whose) ulane(because), van(if), medens(while), sa(as), dan(than), dardan(then), en(and), nem(but), olen(or).
Other important words These words are also basic: das-dasen(this, these), det-deten(that, those), ra(who), vat(what), ven(when), hen(how), pavat(why), var(where), ere(ever), ner(never), nu(now), ovat(many, very), altede(always), mas(more), vened(less, few, several), tak(too), avens(also), vanved(although).
Numbers 0-nul, 1-an, 2-tav, 3-tre, 4-vor, 5-vet, 6-ses, 7-sevte, 8-okte, 9-nen, 10-dek, 11-dek en an, 12-dek en tav, 13-dek en tre, 20-tavdek, 50-vetdek 75 sevtedek en vet, 99-nendek en nen, 100-hondert or sente, 1000-tosant or mil, 1,000,000-mileon. To form ordinal numbers, add -se to the cardinal number: an-anse(first), tav-tavse(second), tre-trese(third), vet-vetse(fifth). Note that since ses-6 ends in '-s', the cardinal form simply adds an '-e'. All others cardinal forms are regular.
Word Order Sentence structure in Alphistian is very similar to English: subject-verb-object. Adjectives precede the noun, helping verbs precede the main verb. Object pronouns have a little flexibility. They can follow the verb, or be placed between the subject and verb, especially if it is an indirect object: Han me deraset an nomikle(He gave me a book) or Han deraset me an nomikle. When a sentence begins with a word that isn't the subject of the sentence, it is possible to place the verb before the subject. Example: Sedae vaset ve te de nenan(Today we went to the store). It is correct also to say: Sedae ve vaset te de nenan. Sentences with subordinate clause generally follow the format of the main clause-subject, verb, object. Example: Ya skanset tat ve skala kom semorne(I said that we will come tomorrow.)
Reflexive The reflexive form is: "de selve". Examples: Ya vaske de selve(I wash myself). Han dunet de selve(He did it himself.) The form does not change with the gender or number of the subject it refers to.
Useful Phrases in the Alphistian Language
Velenrete Frasen na de Alvesteane Lantase
Hen vase et met du?-How are you?
Tave dae.-Good day.
Tave morne.-Good morning.
Tave even.-Good evening.
Tave nauste.-Good night.
Skanse du alvesteane?-Do you speak Alphistian?
Yae, an lite.-Yes, a little.
Ne, ya ne skanse alvesteane.-No, I don't speak Alphistian.
Danke (du).-Thanks(thank you).
Ulantas-You're welcome(also means "please").
Se var kom du?-Where do you come from?
Ya kom se Kanada.-I come from Canada.
Vat es des nomine?-What is your name?
Min nomine es Anton.-My name is Tony.
Henmas yeren hend du?-How old are you?
Ya hend 25 (tavdek en vet) yeren.-I'm 25.
Es das des anse vasate te nas lesenum?-Is this your first visit to our country?
Ne, ya eset herna na tav otre vakansen.-No, I was here on two other vacations.
Trist, yem nu enske ya vehatvase. Da!-I'm sorry, but I must leave now. Goodbye.
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