Written by Kevin Wald
A Brief Dictionary and Grammar of Chaotic.
(Note: The following is just one way of describing the relevant facts about the language in "The Realm of Unspeakable Chaos"; there are certainly other reasonable ways of presenting the same data.)
A) Simple nouns (shapes)II) GrammarB) Numbers
X-shapeIn the following, _ replaces the inflecting vowel, which would beC) Colorsa when modifying a gender-1 noun,1 _t
o when modifying a gender-2 noun, and
u when modifying a gender-3 noun.
8 r_mIn the following, _ replaces the inflecting vowel, which would beD) Conjunctione when modifying a gender-1 noun,
i when modifying a gender-2 noun,
y when modifying a gender-3 noun, and
a when used in a compound with -re (see Grammar)
A) Nounsi) GenderB) Inflection of ModifiersThere are three grammatical genders in this language, which we shall designate arbitrarily by 1, 2, and 3. If a noun has gender n, then so must any color word or number modifying it. The gender of a word is marked on the last vowel of the word. Specifically, with each gender there are associated two vowels, one "back" (formed with the tongue towards the back of the mouth) and one "front." The assignments areThe last vowel of a word of a given gender will be one of the two vowels assigned to that gender (which one depends on various considerations discussed below).
ii) DerivationThere are numerous unanalyzable simple nouns in this language, such as fugu ("ring") and woda ("star"). All such nouns end in a back vowel in the singular. There are also two ways of deriving other nouns from these:iii) Inflection
a) DiminutivesThe diminutive of a noun is formed by adding the suffix -l to the noun, and making its last vowel a front vowel. For example, from fogu ("ring") we can derive fogyl ("small ring").b) InversivesThe inversive of a noun (that is, a noun describing a shape just like the original, except flipped vertically) is formed by making its first vowel a front vowel, and prepending a copy of the original (unmodified) first vowel to the beginning of the word. For example, from mala ("/-shape") we can derive amela ("\-shape"), and from uta ("upward-pointing triangle") we can derive uyta ("downward-pointing triangle").Nouns inflect for number. The plural form of a noun is derived from its singular form by infixing -n- after its first vowel, and making its last vowel a front vowel (if it is not already). Thus, the plural of olo ("Y-shape") is onli ("Y-shapes"), the plural of amela ("\-shape") is anmele ("\-shapes"), and the plural of malel ("small /-shape") is manlel ("small /-shapes")The vowel in a number is the back vowel assigned to its gender.The last vowel in a color word modifying a noun is the front vowel appropriate to its gender. A color word not modifying a noun, but instead used in the -re construction (see below) has a as its last vowel.C) Syntaxi) Noun phrasesIn a noun phrase, colors precede the noun, and numbers follow it. Thus, "6 white Y-shapes" is nasti onli dor.ii) -re phrasesThese are used to describe the background of a flag. There are two types:a) When a background consists of a single color, it is described with a phrase consisting of the color word, with a as its last vowel, with the clitic -re attached. Thus, "With a yellow background" is magare.b) When a background consists of multiple colors, divided by lines in a given shape, then it is described by the noun for that shape with the clitic -re attached, preceded by the words for the colors (in the same gender as the noun) separated by py ("and"). Thus, "with a background of white, yellow and blue separated by lines in an inverted T-shape" is nasty py magy py blyg durure.iii) Entire flag descriptionsThe complete description of a flag consists of a -re phrase describing its background, followed by noun phrases (separated by py) describing the shapes on it. Thus, Magare blyg danu ut py bleg uta at is "With a yellow background (magare) one blue ^-shape (blyg danu ut) and one blue upward-pointing triangle (bleg uta at)."