I love languages. I’ve studied Spanish, Russian, and a little of Korean, Italian, and Japanese. During college, I took a few linguistics classes and I loved them. Now, by no means am I ready to create my own languages like Tolkien did, but for realism’s sake I’ve come up with some rules about how Ibvailyn works. (NOTE: I’m not going to use the phonetic alphabet in this my discussion of the language, partly because I haven’t studied it for a while, and partly because I don’t want to confuse anyone.)
First off, there are three letters that never appear in Ibvailyn speech. Those letters are X, G, and Z. Now in the story these letters will be used, of course, but for Ibvailyn places or names or specific words, they won’t be there. If you see any of these letter in a name, it’s not Ibvailyn. Another letter that doesn’t appear in first names (though is common in city names) is U.
The predominate sounds in Ibvailyn are “ah,” “ay” (as in “hay”), “ee” (as in bee), a hard “c” (as in cake), a soft “c” (as in race), and the letters L and N.
Ibvailyns are given three names: proper-name, family-name, and regional-name. When first meeting someone, they give all three names and from then on are addressed either by their proper-name or family-name, depending on the formality of the situation.
In Ibvailyn proper-names, the predominate letters/sounds are “S,” “N,” and “e.” While “S” is evenly distributed between genders, “N” is predominately in male names and “e” in female names. Most names are between 2 and 4 syllables, though there are exceptions to this.
The pattern of family-names can vary by region or bloodlines. In the northeast of Ibvail, family-names commonly start with “For-” an archaic way to say “far.” This distinction was made by those in the capital in relation to themselves. Therefore, people who traditionally resided close to the capital have family-names starting with “Ner-.” Other prefixes are also indicators of how near or distant families were to the capital. These additional prefixes are “Cro-,” “Drem-,” “Fil-,” and “Nor-.” The root of family-names are generally the Old Ibvailyn terms for certain professions (which that family traditionally worked but do not necessarily anymore). There are other, modern names as well that are based on profession. These names include “Baker,” “Cooper,” “Smithon,” “Heleron,” and many others.
Regional-names are the simplest construction. They are a city or area with the suffix “-eis.” These names tell others where a person is from, even if that person has changed locations. The regional name can vary from parent to child.
Examples of names: Ellison Forwith Frelacheis; Hiracin Forsblum Labreyneis; Tomis Sorsbel Talahmeis.
My protagonist, Lacey Wentwether Ohmlaureis, has a family-name that comes from the Trader name Wentwhither (as in “where did they go”), a demeaning name given to the Traders when they arrived in Ibvail with no idea where they were. Although the Traders tried to hang on to their true names, this (and other similarly demeaning names) became what they were known by.
Imperial names are different than others. Proper-names start with consonants for males, and vowels for females. All proper-names end with “ay” sound (as in “hay”). The family-name of the Imperials is Simean in honor of their (supposed) ancestor, the god Simea. Likewise, their regional-name is Ibveis, as they are supposed to be from all Ibvail.
City names are always two syllables and indicate location. All cities have the letter L, and most have an “ah” sound.
Ohmlaur – means “between the Mla and Ur” rivers. The A and the U blend into one sound.
Ruslaht – means “On Rusla bay.”
Talahm – means “On Tal” river.
Frelach – means “in the hills.”
Labreyn – means “Breyn shore.” Breyn is a lake in the northeast of Ibvail.\
On syntax I have only the briefest of notes. When there is something (a river, mountain, city, shop, etc.) it is said first, with it’s name second. Examples: Mountain Saebring, City Ruslaht, River Mla. This is a carry-over from giving people labels (as in Cartographer Forwith, Apprentice Wentwether, Walker Forsblum, etc.).
So those are the rules I have for the Ibvailyn Language.
Take care, fellow travelers.