“Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations.”

Meliae Dryadian

Introduction
Meliae Dryadian (Zedris Zedriady Meliadcy [zɛdɾis zɛdɾʲad̺ɨ mɛlʲaðɨ]) is my most developed conlang. It is the most widespread and standard dialect of the Modern Dryadian Language spoken throughout the Forest Realm. Its standard form is based on the variant spoken in the Asnypusct Forest, the original home of the Meliae Dryads. It is a member of the Dryadic Languages, which is a part of the Dendronic Languages, a branch of the greater Botanic Language Family.
Meliae Dryadian, like the many of the other Dryadian Languages, is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages. It modifies and inflects nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals, and verbs depending on its role in the sentence. It has over 40 noun cases divided into 4 groups: morphosyntactic, location, motion to, and motion from. This is because all adpositions are expressed as suffixes on the noun. There is also a clear distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs in this language, which also affects the basic word order of a sentence.

Phonology
  • /t/ and /d/ (the alveolar equivalents of the dental /t̪/ and /d̪/) are present in certain consonant clusters, such as /dɾ/, /tɾ/, /st/, /zd/, /ʃt/, /ʒd/, etc.
  • /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ also become /ʂ/ and /ʐ/ at the end of a word and in certain consonant clusters, such as /bʐ/, /pʂ/, /Vʂt/, /Vʐd/, /Vʐn/, etc.
  • In the western variation of Meliae Dryadian, many speakers may pronounce the /ɾ/ as /ʐ/ or /ʂ/ when preceded by a non-nasal bilabial consonant, or followed by /t̪/ or /d̪/, which in this case, would become /t/ and /d/.
  • Often in colloquial language, especially in the western dialect, /t̪ʲ/ and /d̪ʲ/ from tiV and diV are pronounced as /t͡ʃj/ and /d͡ʒj/.


  • The vowel /ə/ is a variation of /ɨ/ and may occasionally be used by some speakers, usually in an informal setting. It is especially common in the western dialect, but not so much in the eastern variation.
  • The vowel /ɑ/ is a variation of /a/ and, much like /ə/ and /ɨ/, it is most commonly used by speakers of the western dialect.
  • The diphthong ae is pronounced as /aɪː/.
  • When /i/ follows a consonant and is in a diphthong such as ie, ia, io, or iu, the preceding consonant becomes palatalized and takes the place of the /i/ as /Cʲ/.

Writing System and Orthography
The Dryads use a featural alphabet. It is written horizontally from bottom to top in lines going left to right to mimic the growth of plants or vines. Each letter connects to one another on a stem, each word forming a single tree. (The word "tree" in Dryadian, dris, is also the word for "word"). Each letter mimics a certain plant part, and the letters are named as such. The alphabet is further broken down into letters that determine if others letters are voiced or fricative in pronunciation.
The following are the basic consonantal letters (standard print and cursive); k (kest pod), p (pesc pollen), t (tos spore), n (nelyf unfurling leaf), m (nelyk unfurled leaf), ń (ńeltosyk left sporangium), r (rintosyk right sporangium), e (erys blossom), l (lot flower), w (wetcyh sepal), and s (sun bud).
The following characters can then be placed in front of (underneath) certain consonants (k, p, t, and s) to make then either lev (voiced lit. deep) or tcruh (fricative lit. light) or both. The first character is the lev marker for k, p, and s, the second is the lev marker for t, and the third is for tcruh. k becomes g, h, or gh; p becomes b, f, or v; t becomes d, tc, or dc; s becomes z, sc, zc. The lev marker does not, however, simply determine if a single consonant is voiced, it can also make a whole consonant cluster voiced.
The following is an example using pesc: (p, f, b, v)
The vowels are called zdwezc, or tendrils/leaves. They consist from left to right; a, e, y, i, o, u.
The last letter is a semi-vowel, sometimes acting as the vowel "i" and palatalizing the preceding consonant when in a diphthong, and other times it acts as the consonant "ll" when between two vowels. It is called dwezc tosky or "tendril/leaf of sporangium".
Lastly is the punctuation. The first symbol marks the end of a sentence, functioning as a period, question mark, or exclamation point. The second symbol is a pause between clauses, similar to a comma. And the third symbol functions as a colon or semi-colon.

Romanization
p (p), b (b), f (f), v(v), t (t), d (d), tc (θ), dc (ð), k (k), g (g), h (x), gh (ɣ), s (s), z (z), sc (ʃ), zc (ʒ), n (n), m (m), ń (ŋ), l (l), r (r), w (w), ll (ʎ), a (a), e (ɛ), i (i/j), y (ɨ), o (ɔ), u (u)

  • The reason "c" is used instead of "h" to make certain consonants fricative is because consonant clusters such as "θx" exist.
  • "ńi" is pronounced as "ɲ"

Grammar
Nouns in Modern Dryadian language lack any kind of classification such as gender, and therefore, the inflections of nouns are fairly straight forward. The Dryadian Language is unique in that all adpositions are expressed as suffixes or cases of nouns. This leaves over 40 noun cases, excluding the noun's formal form and also the many forms it can take when it is the subject of a transitive sentence. The cases are divided into 4 groups of morphosyntactic, location, motion to, and motion from. Because of this, the Dryadian Language is generally very specific in specifying where something is in relation to something else. The following demonstrates a few of the basic noun cases using the word durym meaning "house". Because the last vowel in the word is "y" and it is surrounded by two single consonants, the "y" is removed when the noun is inflected.
Ex) durmin (inside the house), durme (to the house), durmis (away from the house), durmise (from the house), durmeh (beside the house), durmehe (to beside the house), etc.
Some of these basic cases can then be added together to create even more cases to completely specify where an object is (i.e. durmusoh "outside the house in the back", durmatcoh "outside the house in the front", durmusin "inside the house in the back", durmatcin "inside the house in the front", durmineh "inside the house on the side", durminol "top of the inside of the house, upstairs", etc). When a noun is possessive of another noun which is inflected, then the genitive form of the noun must be inflected as well to agree with the inflection of the noun it is possessing. This is done simply by changing the genitive "y ending to "i" and then adding the case ending that the noun it is possessing has taken (i.e. wylfol durmiol "on top of the roof of the house"). However, for the ending -in, the case ending replaces the "y" and the "y" is added to the end, and hence, -ine becomes -inie (i.e. draemin drisiny "inside the wood of a tree"). The same rule applies to anything ending in -is or -ise as well (i.e. nrutcmise pusctisie "from the beauty of the forest", nwetcis milisy "away from the sea breeze"). However, with the vocative cases, the genitive remains uninflected. When a noun is possessing another noun in the genitive case, the noun takes on the ending -i, despite whatever extra case that the noun it is possessing may have taken (i.e. durminise ksalinisie puscti "from within the house of the mother of the forest"). Sometimes, the double genitive case maybe be written with -ii as well, although it is not necessarily correct.
Adjectives are inflected the same way nouns are inflected, and they are inflected to agree with the noun they modify. To become an adverb they take on the ending -ise or, in a more archaic sense, the ending -ev.
The plural forms of nouns is formed by adding a prefix to the noun, depending on the first sound in the noun. If the noun begins with a single voiced or nasal consonant or a vowel, the z- is added to the front of the noun (i.e.durym "house" > zdurym "houses", aryzc "heart" > zaryzc "hearts"). If the noun begins with a single unvoiced consonant, then s- is used (i.e. puscot "mushroom" > spuscot "mushrooms"). If the noun begins with a consonant cluster, or the first consonant in the noun is alveolar (szsc, or zc), then ze- is used (i.e. dris "tree" > zedris "trees", siur "storm" > zesiur "storms"). An adjective modifying a plural noun, or a genitive noun possessing a plural noun, is unaffected and unchanged by the noun's plurality.
Pronouns are inflected the exact same way nouns are inflected. The only difference is seen in the genitive and double genitive case; pronouns take on the ending -i for genitive and -ii for double genitive. And when a pronoun possesses a noun, it is placed in front of a noun (i.e. diav durmav "at my house"). The following are the pronouns in their absolutive form; da (me), ga (you), ba (him/her/it), zda (us), zga (you all), zba (them).
In Dryadian language, there are three types of compound nouns. The first kind of compound noun is when two nouns are placed directly together and, as mentioned earlier, are attributed with the vocalization of certain consonants when the two words come together. The other type of compound noun uses the genitive case on one of the nouns, and then places that noun in front of the other noun, signifying that the genitive form of that noun does not inflect with the noun it is possessing (i.e. helys "sky" > helsy "of the sky" + snwor "song" = helsysnwor "thunder, lit. song of the sky"). Some other examples of this second type of compound noun include helsyscaer(lightning, lit. fire of the sky), scaerytyńk (candle, torch, lit. stick of fire), scaerywadc (star, lit. seed of fire), arzcysnwor (laughter, lit. song of the heart), etc. Some more examples of the first kind of compound noun includemilaer (water, lit. ocean air), hasmojur (honey, lit. bee milk), etc. A third type of compound noun exists in Dryadian language as well, and this is also how the Dryadian name is created. This third compound combines an adjective to the front of a noun, and the same vocalization that takes place in the first type of compound noun applies here too. Since the adjective is a part of the noun, it no longer inflects with the noun when the noun is inflected. (i.e. nrutc "beautiful" + mil "sea, ocean" = Nrutcmil "a Dryadian name", vzeń "guided" + aerytc "earth, soil" = vzeńaerytc "street, road").
Verbs in the Dryadian language are inflected in a very interesting way, with regards as to whether the verb is transitive or intransitive. The transitivity affects the overall word order of the sentence, as well as whether the tense is expressed on the verb or the subject of the sentence. When the verb is transitive, the overall word order of the sentence becomes OVS, and the tense is expressed on the subject of the sentence while the end of the verb is nasalized to assimilate with the first phoneme of the subject. This holds true only for the present and imperfect tense. The verb witc or "to be" is always treated as a transitive verb in this manor, however, while other transitive verbs require the direct object of the sentence to be in their absolutive form, the nouns used with witc in the predicate are used in their normal forms. All verbs, in their uninflected form, end with -tc. The following shows the mutation rules using the verb bzcatc "to do":

  • bzcam + m, b, p, v, f
  • bzcan + n, d, t, dc, tc
  • bzcań + all other consonants (and vowels)

When the verb is transitive like this, the subject takes on endings expressing tense and other things. The most simple suffixes include -al, for the present tense, and -as, for the imperfect tense. The suffix -en can then be added to this to negate the sentence. Here are some example sentences demonstrating this:

  • Ba bzcan dal (I do it), Ba bzcań gal (you do it), Ba bzcam bal (he does it)
  • Ga hronzen dal, ńier da ńwelodc hronzeń galarae ńrun dalen. (I love you, however, I do not know if you will feel the same way.)
  • Nrutc wim milalis ghaeris, du ers'sen nrazalen. (Even though the ocean is beautiful, I don't really like the sand.) (Lit: Away from the fact that the ocean is beautiful, the sand does not blossom with me.)
When the verb is intransitive, the basic word order of the sentence usually becomes SOV, although OSV is possible as well. When this happens, the subject is in its absolutive form, while the verb ending -tc is replaced with -l for present or -s for imperfect. The sentence can then be negated by adding the suffix -en to the end of the verb. The following example is given using the verb kretc "to go/come":
  • da/ga/ba/zda/zga/zba krel(en)
  • da/ga/ba/zda/zga/zba kres(en)
The following are example sentences demonstrating the use of intransitive verbs in the imperfect and present tenses:
  • Dia ksala pusctohise durme kres. (My mother came home from the outside of the forest.)
  • Ba biu fiadcelu milaerus nalmius win durmalin svurel. (He lives with his friend inside a house behind a waterfall.)
  • Drisa gruzim bavias, ńier drisa gruzisen. (He wanted to burn the tree, but the tree would not burn.)
The progressive aspect is formed by adding the present suffix -l to the end of the verb root and pairing it with witc. Hence the word order would be OVS for both transitive and intransitive verbs. Here are some examples of the progressive aspect:
  • Ga gzal win dal. (I am looking at you. lit. I am seeing you.)
  • Snworin swaera syl win das. (I was listening to a song.)
  • Puscte krel wiń galno? (Are you going to the forest?)
The perfect and pluperfect are also formed in a similar way. The suffix -s is added to the end of the verb root and paired with witc. The following are some examples of the perfect and pluperfect:
  • Ga gzas win das. (I have seen you.)
  • Snuscomu nwetciu swaera sys wim bas. (He had heard the whispers of the wind.)
  • Be zedrisa stos win dalae. (I have spoken to him.)

The passive voice is formed by adding the suffix  to the end of the verb root and pairing it with witc. The passive voice is always used with the instrumental case.
  • Du bzcań wim bas. (It was done by me.)
  • Du hronzeń wiń gal. (You are loved by me.)
  • Vzulu novu hlefyń wiń aeras. (The air was cooled by a light snow.)
There are several infixes such as -lla- (to have to) and -via- (to want to) that are integrated in the verb (if intransitive) or subject (if transitive). And a few suffixes such as -ae (emphasis), -arae (connection between certain verbs, most commonly "to know", with another clause), -ium (just/just now/simply), -iuh (about to), and -no (interrogative suffix, also interrogative form of -arae).
  • Da durme krellal. (I need to/should go home.)
  • Da durme krevialen. (I don't want to go home.)
  • Da krelae! (I will go! I'm going!)
  • Ga durme lekreliuhno? (Are you almost home? Are you about to arrive home?)
  • Da durmise scekresium. (I just now left the house.)
There are different ways in which a verb or verb phrase can modify a noun in Dryadian. If the verb modifying the noun is transitive, then the noun being modified becomes like a normal sentence with the verb, and the appropriate case endings are attached after the tense ending of that noun. However, if the verb intransitive, then it is placed in front of the noun being modified and is treated like an adjective and it must be inflected like an adjective to agree with the case of the noun. Here some examples to help demonstrate this:
  • Ga hronzen dala hronzeń galno? (Do you love me who loves you?)
  • Drisov dwesa fiadcela gzan das. (I saw my friend who stood under a tree.)
  • Kliva flol wim fiadcelasa gzan das. (I saw my friend who was eating something.)
  • Helsa soryń scieral wiń soral. (The sun is a fire that warms up the sky.)
  • Puscte krele drisele zedrisa ston davial. (I want to speak to the man who is going to the forest.)

Cultural Phrases and Modern (Human) Vocabulary
There are many words and phrases in Dryadian that have more than one meaning, or other meanings implied. An example of some words in which this happens are the seasons, flavors and cardinal directions; swar (sweet/spring/west), zcor (salty/summer/north), arym (sour/fall/east), and ńul (bitter/winter/south). Each one of those words is always treated as an adjective and not a noun. There are also many examples among plants and flowers; gzur is the word for mistletoe, a parasitic plant, so this word also is used to refer to someone who is very self-centered. The verb gruzytc (to burn) can be taken as an extreme insult in many instances as well. In Dryadian "to grow greenly with someone" (klivu svurise ardcetc) means you like them simply because they are your friend or they are a good person, "to grow dryly with someone" (klivu ghrise ardcetc) means you hate them, and "to blossom with someone" (klivu ers'setc, klivu ersa zetc) means you love them or really like them as a significant other. And the person one blossoms with is called D'ersae or "My Blossom".
There is a separate set of vocabulary that I have created for use by humans in everyday life such as; ńrumyk aertcy tcaelsmiruńy (global positioning system) or ŃATc (GPS) for short, ńrumyk (computer lit. machine/doer of knowledge), stońghas (cellphone), Elyf Zaerytc Amergy (United States of America) or EZA (USA) for short, orhester (orchestra), Ollurin Aerytc (Milky Way), etc.

Numerals
Dryadian uses two different numbering systems; the Native Dryadian system in base-7, and the Neo-Dryadian system in base-12. The Native system is used with amounts, the Dryadian calendar, deities, and they have ordinal forms. The Neo-Dryadian system is used for the human/xalian calendar, to tell time, extremely large numbers, and when doing complex maths.
The reason for base-7 in the Native Dryadian system is their belief in a concept called narot which can be translated as "negentropy", "the love and appreciation of nature and the universe", or even "life". It is the constant struggle to maintain order and to improve over time, and the point of life. The opposite of narot is called gzcurot. In the Dryadian belief system they have 7 true gods that embody the universe; 6 gods of narot and 1 god of gzcurot. Since the 7th number is seen as being associated with the god of gzcurot, a number of a narotian god must be placed in front of it to cancel out the gzcurot. Therefore, they developed a base 7 number system. To count with their hands, they use one hand and use their thumb to count each finger on that one hand and the spaces in between, and the other hand can be used to keep track of the seventh's place. Numbers are also viewed as something being taken away, as seen in their written form and the decrease of narot in numbers 1-6. The following are some examples of Native Dryadian numbers:
0 zcaet, 1 bza, 2 dcel, 3 hrow, 4 siuń, 5 dcań, 6 raw, 10 bza-vaer, 11 bza-vaebza, 12 bza-vaedcel, 20 dcel-vaer, 30 hrow-vaer, 40 sium-vaer, 50 dcam-vaer, 60 raw-vaer, 100 bzavel, 1.000 bzańiur, 10.000 bzalon, bzavaelon 100.000, bzavelon 1.000.000, bzańiulon 10.000.000
The Neo-Dryadian number system is a Dryadian adaption of the Xalian number system. It is in base 12, or duodecimal, which is further divided into base 4. Five is a combination of 4 and 1, six is 4 and 2, seven is 4 and 3, and then eight gets a new digit and continues to nine as 8 and 1, ten as 8 and 2, and eleven as 8 and 3. Then the zero digit is used for the twelfth's place, 144th's place and so on. The pronunciation of 0-12 is as follows; zcaet(0), ka(1), ta(2), ha(3), tca(4), tcaka(5), tcata(6), tcaha(7), sa(8), saka(9), sata(10;A), saha(11;B), kom(12;10). The "m" in kom is nasalized to assimilate with the first consonant attached digits, so 13-23 are as follows; końka(11), konta(12), końha(13), kontca(14), kontcaka(15), kontcata(16), kontcaha(17), końsa(18), końsaka(19), końsata(1A), końsaha(1B). The twelves place then continues to follow the patter of kom; kom(10), tom(20), hom(30), tcom(40), tcokom(50), tcotom(60), tcohom(70), som(80), sokom(90), sotom(A0), sohom(B0). Both the one's and the ten's are then paired with higher place value words from Native Dryadian to achieve higher numbers; kavel (100), komvel (1.000), kańiur (10.000), końiur (100.000), kalon (1.000.000), kolon (10.000.000), kavelon (100.000.000), komvelon (1.000.000.000), kańiulon (10.000.000.000), końiulon (100.000.000.000)
(I will explain the Xalian number system and mathematics more in detail in a later post.)

Learn Dryadian
There are many things on this page that I have neglected to mention about the Dryadian language, so feel free to learn and discover it for yourself!
http://www.memrise.com/course/255627/meliae-dryadian/

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