Xixtalál is a language spoken by most of Southern Wejít. It has over twenty major dialects and hundreds of minor ones. Its literal meaning can be translated as 'all [of the] communication [purposes]', reflecting its multifaceted origins.
In Xixtalál, the written form of language is generally considered more important and dominant than the spoken form.
History[edit | edit source]
Xixtalál is a language that underwent significant events of incorporating new elements over the course of millennia of its existence. Its spoken form has underwent radical changes, while the written form has retained many of its elements in its original forms ever since introduction. That is not to say that all written elements are equally old: the High Poetic Symbols are ancient, the numeric system a bit less so, the Dictates of Discovery are largely a product of the era of early iron-age philosophers, the punctuation system rose around the era of the violin's invention, the vocabulary of Street Simplicity dates to the rise of ubiquitous literacy, the Universal Step By Step Instructions vocabulary dates to the era of industrialisation.
But apparently neither ancient tradition nor incremental improvement were a good match to minimalism, and so Xixtalál largely lost the war for the role of the regional lingua franca, only earning a second place after Maktó (which became a more readily used auxiliary language both in Wejít lands and beyond). It's still dominant in the South, though.
Structure[edit | edit source]
Writing System[edit | edit source]
Xixtalál has no alphabet, instead being fully logographic. Not only do symbols not correspond to specific sounds, they don't even correspond to specific words in the usual sense: a symbol is often serving as a [i]modifier[/i] that changes another symbol's meaning (and pronunciation) indirectly, but aren't read in their own right at all.
Writing direction is overwhelmingly left-to-right. There are slight differences between the printed and handwritten form of the language. Calligraphy is generally considered a highly respected skill to posses, but in recent decades there has been an upsurge in the perceived artistic value of printed font design.
Phonology[edit | edit source]
Most as far as Wejít languages go, Xixtalál stands out with its tendency to pair off certain consonants, primarily unvoiced ones: x, tl, kt, pt, tsk, tch etc.
Morphology/Syntax[edit | edit source]
Xixtalál is de facto polysynthetic, with division of a sentence into words being something that is only done to ease the life of foreigners. In general, it's more helpful to divide units speech into modifiable morphemes (which are constant in written form, pronounced in spoken form, and whose pronunciation changes wholesale under the influence of adjacent modifying morphemes) and modifying morphemes (which are static in writing, and never pronounced in spoken form, but which always change the pronunciation of an adjacent modifiable morpheme).
Another noteworthy peculiarity is that Xixtalál doesn't have a sharp division between adjectives and verbs nor an established sentence order. Instead, it uses silent modifying morphemes to denote relationship between parts of a sentence or serve a function similar to a copula. Structurally speaking, one would say "I-[am]-Xixtalál-speaking" or "My-and-calligraphic-academy-completely-graduated-sibling" than "I speak Xixtalál" or "My sibling graduated a calligraphic academy".