Zekian Language (Varseios ust Zekia)

Subtitle

Honorifics

Some dialects of Zekaiseivarsi use an extensive system of honorifics, also called eklivai, grammatical features that show a level of respect for or intimacy with or scorn of the listener or exaltation or humiliation (making humble) of the speaker, or respect or scorn toward the topic.

Speech levels 

Speech levels are the manners of speech from speaker to listener. Certain words and forms are used at each speech level. Pronouns are used according to the position of the listener, verbs are conjugated or replaced, and the complexity of grammar depends on level. Certain attitudes are expressed at each level.

Ajavaq

(self-humbling; very other-exalting per duty) the listener is of a higher status than the speaker, either in authority, social class, or esteem; more specific and refined words are used than in other speech levels – use of slang is considered highly insolent at this level; used by children to parents, students to teachers, servants to masters, congregants to pastors

Jai: addressing a superior 

In ajavaq, the word jai is used with a person’s name or title as a polite form of address. Some dialects subject it to genderization by using specific tones or inflections.

Iyar ai jai jaraifieu uyeir ijire. Mom, please teach me. (Mom-VOCATIVE [classifier for esteemed people] [polite 2nd person singular vocative pronoun] if it please you (please you-CONDITIONAL) to me-BENEFACTIVE teach.)

How verbs conjugate 

In ajavaq, verbs conjugate in a special form called distal addressive. This means that all verbs used to express actions performed by the listener are conjugated as if the actions are performed by someone other than the listener.

The verb form ijire actually means “s/he teaches [me]” which is third-person present active indicative form of ijirih

Iharvaq 

(very self-humbling; very other-exalting per relationship) used only when respect is freely given, usually implies a degree of high social or close romantic intimacy, often used for ironic effect, highly offensive when used between strangers; words are lengthened and beautified – use of slang is accepted and colloquialisms are adapted at this level, results in argots and clofts[i]

Word beautification

Vaukliri or “word beautification” is a morphological process that alters the length or sound of a word to make it more intimate and polite.

Amichiayie amijuechem hazai. I love to you. (love-I you-DATIVE to-BENEFACTIVE)

Meivaq 

(equalizing) used between persons of the same social status or who consider themselves equals; standard form, vulgar vocabulary, colloquialisms form at this level and words start to “drop”, that is, lose refinement and corrupt meaning easily; not recommended unless you get permission from your listener, even if you are of the same social standing, ajavaq is preferred

^uai pija. (I eat pizza.) There’s nothing to really explain here. ^uai means “I eat” and pija means “pizza".

Word dropping 

Word dropping is the gradual degradation and corruption of a word through its descent into lower speech levels.

Ajeajivaq 

(equalizing, both self-exalting and other-exalting) used in close, codependent relationships; used between family members and close friends, often used between parents and children; complex inflections, grammar varies by relationship, slang is accepted and argots, clofts, and genolects are formed at this level

Honorifics for speaker and listener 

In ajeajivaq, the speaker uses honorifics for herself and her listener. 

Wivaq 

(self-exalting; other-humbling) used in relationships characterized by an imbalance or inequity of power, used by authorities to their subjects; masters to servants, (archaic or traditionalistic) parents to children, teachers to students, rulers to subjects

Ai zu wuis. Go! (I tell you go.)

Zwijpivaq 

(self-exalting; very other-humbling) used in relationships characterized by absolute imbalance of power or disparity in social rank; now highly offensive to the degree of vulgarity; spoken when someone is extremely irate, rare in writing except for emotional or comedic effect, may have begun as a sublanguage for speaking with the kratin (the shunned, the denounced, the condemned, the outcasts); vaqadu (evil speech, broadly defined to include profanities, vulgarities, and obscenities) exists at this level, simpler grammatical forms are used, conjugation is nearly absent, honorifics cannot exist at this level, nearly every word is a curse word

Cursing 

In the Zekaisivarsei languages, the primary purpose for this level is cursing, that is, uttering obscenities and vulgarities. All curse words are monosyllabic and most sentences consist of only curse words.

u’ zji. f*** you. This sentence uses forms of words that do, in fact, exist in higher levels, but it alters them to such forms that they can be used as insults.

u’ is a derivative of ^uai which literally means “I eat”. When it is used at this level, it changes its meaning to “rape, copulate; die”.

zji is a form of the word zaji “beast; slave” and is used as an insulting 2nd person singular pronoun.

Topic-centric honorifics 

The topic of a sentence or discourse is the person, thing, or idea that is being discussed. It is distinct from the grammatical subject. The topic is usually the first word in a sentence or discourse, and it is marked with auf.

Topic-centric honorifics are therefore inflections or lexemes that show respect and admiration for, or scorn and hatred of (honorifics) the person, thing, or idea in discussion (topic).

ein ai aur kara yraiuel dosdui ak. (The king has made a law against murder. Literally: king | [honorific for leaders] | [topic marker] | [honorific for monarchs, nobles, and high priests] | call-decree-he (3rd person singular present active relevant suffix) | death-evil | against.) In this sentence, ein is the topic, or theme of the sentence and is marked by aur. ai is an inseparable honorific for any superior or honored being and must directly follow its honoree. kara is an honorific for monarchs and must come after the topic marker. The –ue- in yraiuel is a verbial honorific.

zui aur jur nri amichize ye. (I love you. Literally: I love for you. ; you-DATIVE | [topic marker] | [honorific for close friends or lovers] | for benefit of, to benefit | love-HONORIFIC | I-SUBJECT) Notice in this sentence that the topic is not the subject. The subject, or ergator, of the sentence is ye whereas the topic is zui. zui is marked by aur

Pronouns 

An inherent characteristic of personal pronouns (arisai), an honorific pronoun is a pronoun that in itself conveys respect and admiration, intimacy and unity, or disrespect and contempt toward the person denoted by the pronoun. Such pronouns are used for each person, each gender, and each number.

First person 

Honorific forms exist for the first-person in both singular and plural number, but use of high honorific forms by common or inferior persons is considered arrogant and rude. Only emperors, priests, and parents are supposed to use high forms.

Singular 

There are five distinct morphemes for first-person singular, each indicating a particular social status: ayisai,avsai, meisai, pusai, and kraisai.

ayisai

ayisai is the class of first-person pronouns used by high leaders such as priests and emperors. It is very self-exalting and extremely offensive when used by people who are not high leaders.

ayijei zwi ai jaruis. (I command you to pay taxes.) Here, ayijei is the honorific first-person pronoun.

avsai

avsai is the class of first-person pronouns used by superiors of authority or rank such as parents, teachers, and mentors.

Aier zu umveu. You obey me.

[i] Languages or dialects thereof shared between two or more, but usually less than six, close friends or romantic partners, a variant of cleft as in the phrase cleft language