Lexember 13: Kyiv is for…

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kyezhip [ceˈʒip], the word for “to write”, an important verb for a culture that values literacy.

Kharulian verbs whose written form starts with two consonant letters alter the arrangement of those consonants in fairly predictable ways when the verb is conjugated. The two main stem changes are the “short” stem, which drops the vowel between the first two consonants and voices both of them (e.g. magzhip [maɟˈʒip] “I write”), and the “crossed” stem, which drops the vowel, switches the consonants, and unvoices them (e.g. ishkyip [iʃˈcip] “he writes”).

Kyezhip also participates in another non-concatenative process, where the second- and third-person plural forms inject an l into the stem: “you all write” is cheklyezhip [tʃɛc.lʲeˈʒip], while “they write” is iklyezhip [ic.lʲeˈʒip].

Morphological oddities like these give Kharulian an arcane feel to language learners, who inevitably stumble over them. Once Kharulian had become firmly entrenched in academia, learning it was seen as an important introduction to the scholarly world; only those who could wrap their heads around Kharulian grammar were seen as worthy of studying further.

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