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How to Write Non-Standard Latin


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Ever since I learned that Zoe Melis is a student whose native language is an Eluminian dialect whose real-life equivalent is a form of Latin, I have been fascinated about how to incorporate such an idea into content that I write about her without descending into pig-Latin.

So, for the benefits of people writing about Zoe Melis and other people from Cimone, I provide the following suggestions, which guide me.

Nouns are conjugated according to Old Latin. This allows the nouns to look and sound more Greek, incidentally. Thus, servos would be the nominative singular of the noun that in standard Latin is servus.

Be guided by the following Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Latin, but choose forms that are distinguishable. This means that, for example, puellāī would be reserved for the dative singular, while puellais would be the genitive singular and puellās would be for the accusative plural.

Of particular note to me, this would mean that a vocative singular would be preserved if writing in a font capable of using non-English characters. Zoe would be addressed by her parents as "puella" but would refer to herself as "puellā".

This form of Latin has many consonant clusters where standard Latin has only consonants: e.g. iouxmentom (iūmentum, "beast of burden"); losna (lūna, "moon"), cosmis (later cōmis, "courteous"); stlocum, acc. (locum, "place"). Most notably, du /dw/ becomes b: duenos > duonos > bonus "good"; duis > bis "twice"; duellom > bellum "war".

In order to further diversify the language, I decided to incorporate aspects from Faliscan, a real language very closely related to Latin.

In practise, this involved the following things.

1. h becomes f and f becomes h: fe instead of he (here), and hil- instead of fil- as the stem for the noun son/daughter.

2. certain nouns whose nominative singular forms in Old Latin are -os instead have -o endings (in addition to Faliscan-inspired features). Thus

                       Singular     Plural

Nominative    HILEO        HILEI

Vocative        HILE           HILOI

Accusative    HILOM       HILōS

Genitive        HILī            HILōM

Dative           HILō           HILEIS

Ablative        HILōD         HILOIS

Locative       HILEī           HILEīS

3. The noun senatus (senate) is zenatuo, and conjugates as follows.

                       Singular     Plural

Nominative    ZENATUO        ZENATUEI

Vocative        ZENATUE           ZENATUOI

Accusative    ZENATUOM       ZENATUōS

Genitive        ZENATUī            ZENATUōM

Dative           ZENATUō           ZENATUEIS

Ablative        ZENATUōD         ZENATUOIS

Locative       ZENATUEī           ZENATUEīS

I am no Tolkien in many things, including skill in languages, but I hope that these words from me may guide other people.

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