Islet


Islet is intended to be a minimal language, containing few elements, compoments, and rules of grammar.

Phonology

The language makes use of 17 letters – five vowels (a,e,i,o,u) and twelve consonants (h,k,l,m,n,p,s,t,g,x,c,’). These letters are pronounced approximately as follows:

a - a in tall
e - somewhere between e in bet and ay in day
i - ee in see
o - o in no
u - oo in too
h - h in house
k - k in kit
l - l in aloud
m - m in mud
n - n in nest
p - p in pig
s - s in see
t - t in too
g - g in goat
x - sh in ship
c - ch in chop
- (glottal stop)

Two adjacent vowels in a word are pronounced separately. If there are two adjacent occurances of a vowel in a word, the vowel is pronounced twice, and is sometimes written as a single vowel with an accent above it – “oo” becomes “ō” and is pronounced something like “ohoh”.

Consonants in a word are always separated by one or more vowels. The glottal stop has semantic meaning and does not appear in root (unmodified) words.

A description of the set of glyphs used for writing Islet can be found here

Nouns

Nouns end in “a”, “e”, or “u”, and are made plural by replacing the final vowel with an “i”. Nouns also always have at least one consonant.

hoka -> hoki
nomu -> nomi
kone -> koni

The case of a noun is marked by a suffix consisting of a glottal stop followed by one or more vowels, ending with an “e”.

‘e - the marked noun is associated with the subject (genitive)
‘ue - the subject/object is transfered to, is the beneficiary of, is destroyed by, or is absorbed by the marked noun (dative/allative)
‘ae - subject/object is in the location of the marked noun (locative)
‘ie - subject/object uses the marked noun (instrumental)
‘oe - the marked noun is both subject and object (reflexive)

Cases with an implied directionality can be “reversed” with the INVERT marker, “na”, which precedes the marked noun.

na … ‘ue - the subject/object was transfered from, originates or eminates from the marked noun (ablative)
Example: nahelu’ue (to the store) -> na nahelu’ue (from the store)

In the absence of case markers, the first noun in a sentence is the subect (agent) and any subsequent nouns are direct objects (patient). All sentences will have a subject noun.

Pronouns

There are three pronouns, each of which can be made plural by replacing the final vowel with an “i”.

ka - I/me
naka - you/he/him/she/her/it
maka - “one” (a hypothetical being or object, also used to indicate the subject of the previous sentence)
ki - we/us
naki - you (group)/they/them
maki - “they/them” (a hypothetical group, also used to indicate the subject of the previous sentence)

Verbs

Verbs start with a vowel and have at least one consonant. Tense is indicated by a prefix as follows:

o’ - past
e’ - present
i’ - future

Further modification of the tense is provided by use of the INVERT marker, “na”, or the CONDITIONAL marker, “ma” which precede the verb.

o’okan maka (one ate) -> na o’okan maka (one didn’t eat)
o’okan maka (one ate) -> ma o’okan maka (one may have eaten)
i’okan maka (one will eat) -> na i’okan maka (one won’t eat)
i’okan maka (one will eat) -> ma i’okan maka (one may eat)

If both the INVERT and CONDITIONAL markers are used, they are contracted into a single marker, “nama”

o’okan maka (one ate) -> nama o’okan maka (one may not have eaten)
i’okan maka (one will eat) -> nama i’okan maka (one may not eat)

Sentence Structure

Sentences must have a subject (agent) and a verb, and may have one or more objects (patients). The verb may appear anyplace within the sentence, but the subject (agent) must always be the first noun in the sentence.


Particles

ihu - all
- one

Nouns

elalu - language
elule - land

Verbs

peko - find
ilalo - speak

Babel Text

1A. – o’ilalo ihu elule’e kā elalu’ie -

1A. Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

2A. o’go naki’e rightside elule’ue – o’peko maki’e Shinar flat elule’ae – o’stay maki’e maki’ae.

2A. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3A. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

4A. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5A. But the Lord camedown to see the city and the tower that the men were building.

6A. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

7A. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8A. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

9A. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.