A fan-conlang (fanlang?) of questionable quality, based on whatever the standard(?) language of Alternia from Andrew Hussie's Homestuck may or may not be. Features plenty of semi-original non-Hussie-approved headcanons and worldbuilding, and currently needing a great deal more polish.
Obligatory Disclaimer and Credits
Obviously, I do not own Homestuck or Hiveswap. This is a transformative work, done purely for fun.
The Alternian script used here is from Hiveswap, made by Hussie and What Pumpkin, and the font itself was compiled by OrangeyPeels on DeviantArt. The alphabet belongs to Hiveswap/What Pumpkin and Hussie, not me. Further information can be found on the "Credits" page via the sidebar.
Table of Contents
|Close-Mid||e||o o̰** o̰ː**|
|Open||a a̰** a̰ː**||ɑ* ɑ̰** ɑ̰ː**|
|Bilabial||Labio-Dental||Dental + Alveolar||Post-Alveolar||Velar||Uvular||Glottal|
|Plosive||p~pʼ pʰ b~bʼ||t~tʼ tʰ d~dʼ||k~kʼ kʰ g~gʼ|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ʃ* ʒ||x||χ* ʁ*||h|
|Trill||ʙ̥* ʙ*||ʀ̥* ʀ|
|f͡ʀ̥ v͡ʀ s͡ʀ̥ z͡ʀ|
*Only present as allophones of other sounds, or in unusual cases.
**These are actually trilled vowels, not creaky voice (I just needed a reasonable looking diacritic). See "trills" section below for more details!
Syllable structure: (S)(C)(R)V(N)(D), where:
S = s
C = any consonant or [kw], or if no S onset, [ks]
R = ʀ/l/j
V = any vowel
N = n/m/s/t/k/ʀ/z/h/b/d
D = Alveolar or Velar stops /kʼ/, /g/, /tʼ/, /d/
S is only available before unvoiced consonants, and D is only after /n..
Syllabic l̩ and ʁ are acceptable in word codas, usually from erosion of a final or penultimate vowel.
Syllable stress is a little unpredictable. It shifts preferentially to /ta/ and /ka/ syllables, dipthongs, or to syllables with geminated vowels or codas, or to other syllables with /kV/ and /tV/ or /ʀV/ patterns. Otherwise, it typically defaults to the second syllable for two syllable words, or the penultimate syllable in longer words.
/x/, /ɑ/, /tʰ/ and /pʰ/ are marginal phonemes, found primarily in names, loanwords, highblood vernacular, and other particularly archaic terms.
You've heard of nasal spreading, now get ready for: trill spreading. And trill theft sometimes. (Here's hoping I'm transcribing any of this correctly!)
Basically, the trill /ʀ/ often spreads to and modifies neighboring sounds, adding a trilling influence to open and back vowels, some fricatives, and even a few bilabials.
(If this isn't showing up for you as Hiveswap troll script, there's a problem, and this page won't be nearly as fun.)
|IPA||u||v||z, ks||j, aɪ||z||kw~qʷ|
Doubled letters generally represent long vowels and geminated consonants, with two notable exceptions. One, "hh" (/x/), is indicated above. The other, "ee", is pronounced as /iː/ rather than /ɛː/.
Some historical spellings use kh (kh) or ch (ch) for /kʰ/.
In some highblood dialects aspiration becomes exaggerated and overcorrected as C/h/ or C/x/, while some lowblood dialects tend treat it as more equivalent to a generic non-ejective.
Descriptors and adjectives both precede their nouns. Word order is typically SOV, but flips to VOS for binary (yes/no) questions.
It has four noun classes: low (or "warm"), high (or "cool"), neutral (or "green"), and wild. It also has four-ish cases (nominative, accusative, dative/lative, genitive/ablative, sometimes a locative and even additional cases depending on dialect). Definite articles mark both class and case, and some nouns inflect for nominative/accusative. Pronouns mark case by inflection and are given noun classes by implicit status -- blood caste, the speaker's opinion, etc.
Verbs conjugate by three tenses (past, present, future), subject noun class groupings (low/mid versus high/wild), and five different registers of formality: honorific, humble, formal, informal, and intimate.
Conjugation of verbs is fairly complex, involving tense, subject and object noun class, and several registers of formality/respect.
In most compounds, conjugation prefixes are applied directly to the root verb, after other prefixes.
|Verb Conjugation (Prefixes)|
In informal form, the final vowel of a verb becomes /a/. In intimate forms, the final vowel is discarded and the stem form is used instead.
Alternian has five commonly used registers of formality/intimacy:
Verbs beginning with a vowel /a/, /e/ or /i/ and non-geminated /t/, /r/, /l/, /s/ lose their initial vowel when conjugated with prefixes.
I'll (go) search.
Kra dokotavan aleda.
Kra dokotavan aledi.
I build bicycles.
Ka sum dokotavan vekleda.
Ka sum dokotavan vekledi
She did not build the bicycle.
Verbs beginning with /h/ also lose their initial consonant to prefixes ending in consonants.
I was afraid.
Since a duplicate /k/ generally becomes /g/, and /kg/ is not allowed, verbs beginning in /k/ and /g/ will conjugate slightly irregularly for some negatives.
Gama kul ka
Gama kul ka
1ST-SG-INF-NOM 3RD-SG-M-INF-ACC INF-PRES.hate
I hate him.
Gama kul vekka
Gama kul vega
1ST-SG-INF-NOM 3RD-SG-M-INF-ACC NEG.hate.INF
I don't hate him.
Gama tu vigapyna
Gama tu kagapyna
1ST-SG-INF-NOM 3RD-SG-INAN-ACC PAST-INF-HIGH/WILD.touch
I touched it.
Gama tu vekgapyna
Vakan tu vegapyna
1ST-SG-INF-NOM 3RD-SG-INAN-ACC NEG-INF.touch.INF
I (did) not touch it.
Imperatives can be formed a view different ways.
An demand or request is usually something like kam[VERB]dovrri, with the politeness of dovrri conjugating to reflect the politeness of the request. An honorific form like frodovrri comes off as an imperious demand, appropriate for a high superior to subordinate, while a humble tadovrri or fodovrri would be more analogous to "please could you...?" or "I'd just like you to...".
An instruction might be given in second person, but otherwise unmodified from normal forms. Ex: naxa tu xi tara taraa... (2ND.NOM 3RD-INAN.ACC DEF.(I).DAT container INF.insert.PRES), "you put it into the container...", can also just be understood as "put it into the container...". Using future tense can imply an instruction intended for a later date/less immediately - for example, naxa tu xi tara notaraa, "you will put it into the container", implies the instruction isn't for right now, but for another time further in the future.
There's also the construction ar[2nd-SG.ACC] [verb] rei, which literally means something like "go [verb] yourself" - the word order keeps the accusative "you" as subject, but indicates something like "causing yourself to X" or "going and doing X".
The verb ni means both "to be" and "to exist".
To say someone has something, you say their thing is/exists... unless the thing is an inherent part of the owner, in which case it is described with the verb di (animate) or ti (inanimate), which is to possess something as a quality or trait.
When listing multiple possessions of the same entity, possessions after the first are marked not with a full possessive, but with a genitive particle of the owner's noun class.
Kro dokotavan so xa arikotavan na.
1ST-SG.GEN two.wheel.possess-inan.ADJ-INAN.device and GEN-L one.wheel.possess-inan.ADJ-INAN.device COP
I (l) have a bicycle and a unicycle.
*Not always used.
Alternian has a large collection of personal pronouns with varying implications, not entirely unlike, say, Japanese or Thai. Most or all can be conjugated for the four cases by their vowel ending, and are given in default nominative form here.
For conjugation: the final or penultimate vowel typically becomes /a/ for nominative, /u/ for accusative, /i/ for dative, and /o/ or rarely /i:/ for genitive.
*Does not inherently conjugate.
**Conjugates with /i:/ for genitive.
Pronouns that do not conjugate are given class particles as prefixes in dative and genitive cases. In formal speech, the accusative case gets a prefix as well.
Na ma meer gakan?
Na ma meer gakan?
INF-PRES.be ACC-WILD what NOM-this?
What is this?
Kan aenoky akafi kirygi.
Kan aenoky akafi kirygi.
3RD-SG-INF 2ND-SG-HON-GEN HON.coffee PAST-FML-LOW.drink
They (sg.) drank your [troll equivalent of] coffee.
The word for "what", amir, conjugates irregularly, inflecting with the first vowel instead of the last.
Naxa tu kirmari imir?
Naxa tu kirmari imir?
2ND-SG-INF-NOM 3RD-SG-INAN-ACC FML-PAST-LOW.sell DAT-who?
Who did you sell it to?
Nouns pluralize with the prefix
/uspe/ (shirt) --> /
/taʀkos/ (tube) --> /
/kaʀo/ (beast) --> /
/miakaʀo/ (meowbeast) --> /mia
*/tt/ --> /d/, though the word would still be written as vattarkos
A noun for a general concept needs neither a plural nor an article.
Kra sum miakaro favri.
Kra sum miakaro favri.
I like the meowbeast.
Kra miakaro favri.
Kra miakaro favri.
I like meowbeasts (in general).
Kra sum miavakaro favri.
Kra sum miavakaro favri.
I like the meowbeasts.
Nouns with numbers don't need to pluralize.
Kra do miakaro kasava.
Kra do miakaro kasava.
I saw two meowbeasts.
Historically, classic Alternian nouns inflected with a case system like pronouns and articles, but in modern Standard Alternian this is limited to two cases: nominative (default) and genitive. Due to large influxes of loanwords and slow erosion of the case system, only nouns ending in /a/ or /a/C inflect in this way.
HV: Highblood Vernacular - this word is typically only used by cooler castes, due to linguistic drift/dialect differences.
* The words for things like "enemy" or "friend" in Alternian are... complex. Any troll who isn't a quadrant or extremely close (and indeed, even those who are) can be classified as "enemy" due to Alternia's constantly hostile social scene. The terms often translated as "friend" and/or "enemy" identify connections to other trolls not by positive or negative relationship, but by familiarity and attachment. In a society rife with hate-romance and rule by intimidation, the strength of connection is considered more important than positive or negative relation -- assumption is that any relationship could easily flip to hostile, under the right circumstances.
Additionally, and tying slightly into the psychology behind kismessitude: a personally known enemy is considered a different kind of dangerous than an unknown one. While not necessarily safer, it is often seen more favorably, so "known enemy" terms often translate as more positive than unknown ones. Thus "akyon ho muxa" (my enemy) becomes a descriptor for someone probably (but not guaranteed!) semi-friendly -- this is your enemy in particular, one you know and can deal with -- but "sotan akyo" (that enemy over there) suggest a more potentially threatening individual -- a distant enemy, unpredictable and unknown.
Of words given: pemmun and derivatives suggest familiarity, but not necessarily pity or hate. Truvul, translated as "hatefriend", is literally someone who is tolerated, and implies a lack of threat, with feelings of affection, annoyance, or both. Kampavrot can mean friend, but is something more like "ally" or "compatriot" - a person you share a situation or goal with. (It can also colloquially mean "roommate", especially offworld.)
TL;DR: troll relationship terms prioritize familiarity over positive or negative relationship, so there are lots of troll words for various degrees of familiarity, tolerance, wariness, and percieved threat, most of which translate as "friend" as easily as they do "enemy".
/end worldbuilding ramble
** This word (jegok) is actually an old loanword, now used primarily for obscenities, metaphor, and general reference to higher powers. Alternian culture is largely secular in the current era -- religion tends to be restricted to small movements and cults, most notable the indigo-caste clown cults. Most trolls consider the two concepts synonymous.
Basic noun form of a verb can be made by using the verb stem (i.e. without the final /i/.)
Generally gerunds are used for a general reference to an action, while stem form is used more for a single instance of a verb, or to a more general noun derived from the verb. (E.g. "the VERBing" = kam[VERB-STEM]i, "your verbing"/"a verbing" = [VERB-STEM])
The historical suffixes -ol and ul can sometimes be used to form "person who..." or "person (who is) ...", respectively.
Some meanings require specific case or object/subject prepositions, marked accordingly.
Adjectives are negated with prefix /vek/.
Verbs can become adjectives/modifiers by conjugating the final /i/ as /ot/, for animate nouns, or /av/ for inanimate, or by simply using the verb's stem (i.e. removing the final /i/.) The latter is more common in older, calcified terms; the former is more modern and sometimes has a different meaning to the verb-stem version of a compound.
Nouns can be adjective-ified by the verb /di/ or /ti/ (to possess a trait or quality, for animate and inanimate actors respectively) or /yi/ (relating to, being associated with.)
Highblood terms sometimes make use of more archaic numbers forms, which also inflect like pronouns for case. All are given in nominative form.
The Alternian given here is "Standard Alternian", as taught by official resources to juvenile trolls on the homeworld. However, Alternia actually has many localized dialects which range from regional or cultural accents to borderline distinct languages, spoken informally and unofficially in pretty much any area with high enough population density for consistent peer-to-peer cultural transmission.
Most of these dialects are regarded as "horotrihem", "child(ish) speech", and are heavily frowned upon offworld - speaking horotrihem in adult spaces could be anything from merely childish and inappropriate to a culling offense if spoken openly by low-caste trolls in front of superiors.
(To be fair, many things are culling offences when a low-caste troll is doing them. You get the idea, though.)
Most nonstandard dialects are spoken in urban centers of population by low- and mid-caste trolls, often segregated by caste grouping (i.e. rust, yellow-to-green, jade, teals, blue, indigo, seadwellers.) The most common and varied are the often overlapping rust and yellowgreen dialects, but jades also have a pidgin associated with the brooding caverns, and blues and teals are seen as having an "accent" and have shifted vocabulary toward Highblood Vernacular. Indigos are expected to speak the subjuggulator dialect, and speaking Standard Alternian is usually either an intentional gesture of clarity or deference, or a social signal of non-affiliation with the clown church.
Seadweller dialect is less peer-to-peer transmitted, but instead a mixture of environmnentally induced idiolects (speaking underwater changes what sounds are distinct or audible) and cultural affectation (imitating adult seadwellers in media, whose dialect is in turn just older Standard Alternian from however many hundreds of sweeps ago.)
Any dialect notes here should be assumed to be generalizations and common features, not necessarily described specific regional forms of Alternian.
The /a/ sound is often raised slightly, closer to /æ/. Dropping of initial /ʀ/ in /ʀa̰/ and /ʀo̰/ after consonants, or reduction to /ha̰/ and /ho̰/, is not uncommon.
/ɑ/, being a fairly rare and archaic sound in modern Alternian, is also sometimes pronounced /aː/.
SAVFRODOVRRI IKRAVEKDOT HUMAN
sæv'f͡ʀo.dov͡ʀ.ʀi ik.hæ̰'vɛk.dot h(j)u.man
pay-attention.N.PRES-HON-HIGH.demand worth.NEG.have.ADJ human
GREETINGS, WORTHLESS HUMAN.
Some regional dialects, spoken primarily by lowbloods, also have variant articles for locative case, using su and vu for warm and cool class nouns, while the neutral and wild classes both use the wild accusative form o.
The first person pronoun /maz/ and second person pronoun /aka/ are used more frequently, especially when speaking with other trolls within the church.
Some particles are doubled up for extra cases - ablative is constructed with genitive followed by nominative, lative is formed with dative and accusative, and instrumental is formed with dative and genitive.
Ejectives are less common and reserved more for emphasis.
Aka o ankir xadtaza?
a.kʼa o aŋ.kiʁ za.da.za
1ST-SG-INT ACC where-DAT go.think.PRES-INF
Where d'you think you're going to?
Seadwellers typically turn initial /h/ into a glottal stop, pronounce midword /h/ as [j], and drop the final h (h) sound. They also often slur the midword x (x, /ks/) as a /kʃ/ or /kt͡ʃ/ sound, which is sometimes formalized in name pronunciations (ex. Peixes gets pronounced as /pekʃis/.)
/ʀ/ is commonly realized as [ʁ] or even [ɾ] in some cases, and trilled vowels often go untrilled, through still appropriately lengthened. Occasionally long /a:/ gets converted back into /ɑ/ or /ɑ:/. Eridan probably sounds insufferably Troll British.
Vrota ka 'arumvrit kamnataza.
v͡ʀo.ta ka ʔaʁ.um.vʁit kʼam.na.tʼa.za
1ST-HON-SG-NOM 3RD-F-NOM pirate GERUND.PRES-INF.be.PRES-INF.think
Vrota ka 'arumvrit kamna taza.
I think she's a pirate.
Also known as Jadeblood Creole, as the name would suggest, this is not actually a dialect of Alternian, but a separate, related language.
Jadeblood Pidgin/Creole is an artifact of the early days of the Empire's global unification, in which many Jadebloods from previously separate brooding caverns and regions were placed together and expected to learn then-Standard Alternian. The resulting pidgin was passed along to new-hatched Jades and became a functioning full creole language for a few hundred sweeps before the Empress forced adults off-planet, then returned to pidgin status as most Jadebloods were taught Standard Alternian first by official feeds and learned Jadeblood Creole as slightly older juveniles assigned to their creches in the caverns, resulting in a mixed-language speech that makes use of both shared Standard Alternian substrate and syntax, and specific constructs and vocabulary from Jadeblood speech.
It's still considered horotrihem, but since Jadebloods are more consistently raised together in the caverns, their dialect is more consistent and caste-universal, and often used privately even between adult Jadebloods offworld.
More on this will be added when I actually, uh... get around to making it. XD
(to be) dressed for the ninth hatchday
Sometimes also phrased variously as xitamitorotan otri ("dressed for the ninth wriggling day") or naxotamitin otri ("dressed for your ninth"), or even xitamitin otri ("dressed for the ninth").
To put on airs of maturity and importance. To be literally "dressed for [one's] ninth hatchday" is to be dressed for one's conscription day, when a young troll leaves the Alternian homeworld for enlistment into Imperial forces. Conscription is usually a young troll's first big interaction with the larger empire. Offworld, it suggests immaturity, in the sense of being young and inexperienced; on Alternia, it implies attempting to look older and more important than one actually is.
Subject to repeated changes and alterations. Might need to take with a grain of salt, depending on how recently I've made any drastic changes to the language and/or updated this.
sav.f͡ʀo.dov͡ʀʀi ikʀa̰ː.vɛk.dot hjuman
attention.PRES-HON-HIGH.demand worth.NEG.have.ADJ human
gakʼan sit ʒɛgokʼ kʼam.f͡ʀo.najaɪ na
this-NOM you-GEN deity GERUND.PRES-HON-HIGH.speak INF.be
kʼaltʼa kʷot sat kʼam.uska itʼa.kʼaʀa.nati zakʷa sutʼ.kisam.otʼ f͡ʀo.stos.otʼ dʒɛgok f͡ʀo.ni.
he-HON-NOM than you-NOM GERUND.PRES-INF-fear attempt.PAST-HUMBLE-LOW.be-able-to be-greater you-ACC romantically-hate.ADJ PRES-HON-HIGH.be-wrathful.ADJ deity PRES-HON-HIGH.be
Another sample, with some different politeness and pronoun choices.
kʀa ulto kʼam.tukʀi.tʼa.dov͡ʀʁi
I-FML-NO only GERUND.know.HMBL-PRES-LOW.demand*
tom.vi.nafi nov͡ʀos lusus
yet.FML-PRES-H.die you-FML-GEN lusus
*Using the humble register changes the verb dovrri ('to demand') to something like 'to want' or 'to request'.
And, for even more fun:
enoky ankayon oja, vrix fitamitin otra
ɛnokʼaɪ aŋkʼajon oʒa, v͡ʀiks fitʼamitʼin otʀa
2ND-SG-HON bright.ADV PRES-INF.pose ten DEF-DAT-HIGH.nine.ORD.ADV PRES-INF.be-dressed
You pose brightly / A ten dressed for the ninth
vatku vatgamo mik so gotrakya vekbita
vatkʼu vatgamo mik so gotʀa̰'kja vɛkbitʼa
PL.clot (ear) PL.2ND-INF-GEN scream and PRES-INF.change.ADJ.time NEG-INF.hear
(Sponge) (c)lots deaf to our screaming / And to the changing times
frivatny by'umiba rumter vikunavpyni'xaqa
f͡ʀivatnaɪ baɪumiba ʀumtɛʀ vikʼənavk'ampaɪnzakʷa
in mention.PL CONT.swim.continue cold DAT-W.come.DOER-INAN.GERUND.sense.PRES-INF.outweigh
Keep swimming in mentions / too cold to feel the thing that's coming
mirok vakra vakamza fa - dan dan ulto frobita*
miʀokʼ vakʀa vakʼamza fa dan dan ultʼo f͡ʀobitʼa
why PL.1ST-INF PL.intention PRES-INF.disguise drum drum only HON-H.hear.INF*
Why do we hide intentions? You only hear drumming, drumming
*Technically grammatically incorrect - should be either bita or frobiti, but the mixed register is used colloquially sometimes to indicate sarcastic honorifics, which is the case here.
Because I felt like it, I'm trying out some different homebrewed Alternian script fonts. You can see the test page here.
Credits ⬝ Top