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Watch this page for the latest in furry, quasi-furry, and non-furry (but mostly furry) art from the Infinite Difursity series. August's feature is Language of the winged cats of Draconia.

winged cat

The Furry Language Project: Ipsílikhthar

Language of the winged cats of Draconia

Welcome to the first installment of the Furry Language Project. The goal of this project is to document all of the known languages of Kolagian fur people. These languages have been inadequately studied and poorly documented in the past, and many of them are hardly known at all.

Draconia, a planet revolving around a star in the constellation Draco, is the home of many unusual species. Besides the dragons for which Draconia is named, there are a number of distinctive kinds of fairies, unicorn-like animals, and many others. A few of these, such as the winged cats, are clearly derived from terrestrial animals, and may represent early attempts at genetic engineering. Many of these "enhanced" animals have their own languages, and therefore can be classified as "furry".

Ipsílikhthar, the language of the Ishling (Draconian winged cats), is primarily a written language. Although Ipsílikhthar seems to be derived from spoken languages, the winged cats themselves are incapable of pronouncing it. When spoken by elves, it sounds like this (click here).

Ípsil-in ín-ie-in káikhthis-in ist rokhát-in. Méd-ie-in yass Relní-yorva.
[ishling(NOM.)-PL. be-he/she-PL. relative(NOM.)-PL. the cat(GEN.)-PL. come-he/she-PL. from dragon(GEN.)-planet(NOM.)]
"Ishling are relatives of cats. They come from Draconia."

For a language created, I mean "documented", as early as 1982, when I was still in high school and didn't have access to many language-related books, Ipsílikhthar shows an unexpected degree of sophistication. Nouns have four cases, coincidentally the same four as German (nominative, genitive, accusative, dative), although I knew no German at the time. Although the language is mainly agglutinative, the genitive case is marked in an unusual manner: by changing the position of the stress to the final syllable (rélni "a dragon", relní "of a dragon"). The accusative suffix -mi and the dative suffix -tha are added to the end of the nominative form. Finally, plurals of all cases are created by adding the suffix -in (rélni-tha-in "to dragons").

Verbs are conjugated for person and number by simply suffixing pronouns. Verbs always agree with the subject in person and number (ist nénil íst-i rélni-mi [the elf(NOM.) see-she dragon-ACC.] "the (female) elf sees a dragon"). Accusative and dative pronouns are also attached to the verb (zídv-ie-mi-o-e-tha [give-it-ACC.-I-he-DAT.] "I give it to him"), although they are omitted when an accusative or dative noun phrase follows (zídv-o ist nénil-tha relní tísil-mi [give-I the elf-DAT. dragon-GEN. star-ACC.] "I give a dragon-star (a kind of crystal) to the elf").

Verbs also have four tenses: present (no suffix), past (-íss), future (-ídr), and conditional (-íps). The tense suffix, which is always stressed, is added before the personal pronouns (ist-íss-o ist rélni-mi "I saw the dragon"). There are also suffixes for forming passive and active participles, which follow the tense suffix if any (íst-ar "seeing", ist-ídr-ath "about to be seen", etc.) The infinitive is formed by adding -et (a borrowing from Russian?) (Ipsíl-ikhthar ín-ie nelé ésk-et [ishling(GEN.)-language(NOM.) be-it easy learn-INF.] "Ipsílikhthar is easy to learn").

Vocabulary

dílet           to explore
e               he
éo              he-and-I, we
ésket           to learn
i               she
ie              it, he/she
íeo             he/she-and-I, we
ío              she-and-I, we
íkhthar         language
íkhthet         to communicate
ínet            to be
ípsil           ishling (winged cat)
ipsílikhthar    Ipsílikhthar, the ishling language
ist             the
ístet           to see
iv              you
ívin            you (pl.)
ívo             you-and-I, we
káikhthis       relative
kalníta         unicorn
kharáyet        to move
kóilme          color
médet           to come
mlíme           metal
náilozin        often
nelé            easy
nélni           river
nénil           elf
nenílikhthar    the Elvish language
nívset          to live
o               I
-ót             not
rélne           vithrin (miniature dragon)
rélni           dragon
relníikhthar    Käläthsithäthe, the language of the dragons
relníyorva      Draconia
rókhat          cat
sith            that (conj.)
slére           crystal
sórlat          order
sórlot          chaos
sórnil          region
tísil           star
-ú              not
vrásan          universe
yass            from
yórva           planet
ze              and
zetá            more
zídvet          to give