Elder Tongue is an interesting language which modern mundane ensorceled scholars predict has had an undue influence on the Celtic languages of Europe and other Indo-European languages. The similar sounds found in it and the Celtic languages has created numerous theories as to how the Fae influenced certain peoples across the world. Even the usage of the word “ogham” to describe the written vernacular of Elder Tongue has raised many questions. One popular theory pushed by the Fae is that a European Supremacy of the language arose and erased the dictate of the eastern counterparts. What is far more likely is that Elder Tongue possessing elements not found in Indo-European (multiple levels of animacy, complex gender combinations) likely influenced early denizens who traveled between the ancient Empires of the early Fae colonists.
Like all Elder Languages, Elder Tongue features five Genders which affect how one see the world. Nouns, Pronouns and Adjectives are directly affected by this meaning that the Fae have well over fifteen total personal pronouns (give or take).
Nouns in Elder Tongue use cases to inflect different meanings upon the noun itself. A case implies the agent of an action where as one expresses the “object” or the “experiencer” of the action. Several of the cases found within Elder Tongue that are marked by a set of particles which in turn cause mutation within nouns and adjectives.
Nominative – Case of the subject (no mutation)
Accusative – Case of the object (object mutates without particles to first mutation).
Genitive – Case of possession.
- The genitive is marked by a mutation of the first noun syllable to the dipthong aí.
- If the syllable is already aí then it mutates to aoi = /ai/
- Only the diphthongs ae, ea, ao may mutate into aí; diphthongs io and ua mutate into au = /au/
- If the possessed word begins with a consonant it assumes the first mutation. If the word begins with vowel t’ is placed before the vowel to mark possession.
Dative – Case of giving.
- Dative is marked when the presence of directional prepositions:
- chuig – towards
- ais – from
- The receiver of the dative gain’s the first vowel syllable aeí = /ai i/
Ablative – Case of separation or with.
- Ablative statements are marked by the particle, rhé.
Locative – Case of location.
- Locative statements are marked by the particle, shá.
Gender and Animacy
Nouns within Elder Tongue are divided into five known genders which include levels of animacy. The five layers of animacy are in not ranked into a hierarchy, but rather cover five rough categories of meaning.
Ice: The Ice gender describes animate states of physical bodies, liquids, essence or aspects of life (not including animals). The names of nations, tribes, or peoples as a sense of unified ideal among people expressed in identity is also considered the animate of ice representing an ideal that can be solid and then fall apart.
Fire: The Fire gender describes animate and inanimate entities, and states. Mores so with inanimate actions. Substances, metal, or inanimate objects often fall under the Fire animacy. Living features such as hair, or creatures such as animals or lesser Fae entities often fall under this gender as well.
Fate: The Fate Gender describes states of being, and experience along with life status. Day, night, and references to cycle of the year are within the realm of Fate. Occupation, and requirements or prerequisites are often marked as Fate Gendered. Fate also covers directions, and weather.
Thought: Though covers abstract ideals, and methodology. Faith, belief, discussion, and debate fall under the animacy of fate as they represent the opposite of time, that being the agelessness of recorded sentience.
- The written word, and mathematical equations or counting fall under Thought Gender.
Spirit: Spirit represents the median between Fate, and Thought, and deals with elements often imposed upon by Ice. Spirit often deals with aspects of the afterlife, but also stranger physical notions that are often without physical representation such as the forces of gravity, spatial bodies, or the movements of the stars.
- Acts of art and expression fall under the definition of spirit, this includes song, painting, or even poetry, but not storytelling.
As Elder Tongue has animated gender it also attaches specific endings to the gender in question. Many Ice Gendered nouns end in -ear or -odh. Others end in -ann or -iog. These endings dictate how a plural is handled for the gender in question.
Ice Nouns Endings
Ice Gendered nouns are marked by the plural “ánnu” at the end.
Some endings in Elder Tongue however have specific meaning and application:
- -rhu / -aeru – Generally refers to a member of a group of people and translates roughly as the term “one” referring to an individual. Often used for allies or members of the overall group.
- -lóth – An ending that means group or host, often used to refer to foreign groups.
- -dínion – A suffix that translates as folk. Derived from the word Daonu meaning person.
- -aera – A word meaning place, and often used to name areas of contempt.
- -élann – A suffix that means home or homeland.
- -sír / sír – An ending that means children of.
Fire Noun Endings
- -ain / án
Fire Gendered noun plurals are marked by adding “ai” to the ending.
The act of turning verbs into a nouns that describe the usage, or act of the action. This is equivalent to the English -tion. The conversion of words into Fire Gendered Nouns replaces the original ending with that of the next suffix. Notedly -aríod and -ariad turn the verb into a noun describing the process or the action of the verb.
- -aríod – The usage of this particular suffix causes the second mutation in can be only applied to the endings of verbs ending in a nasal or approximant.
- -ariad – This suffix causes the first mutation in verbs who are then derived into nouns, this suffix is applied only to plosives, and fricatives.
- -igsu – This particular suffix turns a verb into an active, it rougly means “place of” and refers to the action in question.
Fate Nouns endings
Fate Gendered noun plurals are marked by adding “-í” to the ending. Fate nouns that are associated with Celestial bodies or with the acts of Deities are marked by the plural “eanna”.
The following endings and suffixes can be used for derivation, or are used for specific purposes:
- -ór – A person who does or commits an action, a means of converting verbs into nouns.
- -aemh – A person or being who experiences and action, or is changed status wise by an an action or event. Used to convert verbs into nouns.
Thought Noun Endings
Thought Gendered Noun plurals are marked by the “lau” ending.
Spirit Noun Endings
- -emh / amh
- -sig (Diminuative)
Spirit Gendered Noun plurals are marked by the “uir” ending.