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Senu Yivokuchi

(the language of the Bokuchi)

Table of contents

Grammar: nouns, pronouns, verbs, copulas.

Phonology: phonemic inventory, pronunciation guide, mutations, historical changes, dialectal variations.

Dictionary: a basic SYV->English dictionary, with roots and affixes, and a fair amount of examples and notes. Compressed:, dictionary.rar. Choose WinRAR!

Glossary: technical terms explained.

Corpus: annotated texts written and translated with grammar details.

How to create a language: a tutorial on language construction (for hobbyists). This one's a big page (over 100 KB) explaining how to plan and develop a fictional language, intended for non-linguists. Copies of this tutorial are scattered around the Web as a set of pages (search for "how to create a language" in Google), so this consolidated version could be useful. It has no links at all, so you'll have to figure some things out and look for yourself, but it's ready to be printed out. Compressed: (42.2 KB) and how_all.rar (31.4 KB).


The language spoken by the Bokuchi doesn't have a name of its own; it's just called senu yivokuchi, "language of the Bokuchi" (the change from b to v in the name is an example of fricative mutation), or, among the speakers, senu khai "our language". Some of the major dialects have names, but we will deal with the standard form of the language in these pages. I'll abbreviate the name to SYV from now on, whenever it may suit me.

Senu Yivokuchi is spoken by around 300,000 people (the Bokuchi), most of which are bilingual. SYV is the official language used for public announcements, written laws and textbooks.

Although SYV is ultimately related to at least one of the languages we (people of the 21st century) know and speak, it's impossible to say which one, or even to classify it into a linguistic family of those we have so far recorded. The pass of time has erased all the old tracks of linguistic evolution. The Bokuchi experts have found or reconstructed the latest stages of change of their language, though, going around 3,000 years into their past.

The dictionary provided in this site is representative of the standard dialect, only sometimes recording nonstandard uses. It contains few words as of yet, but it will grow. The format has been standardized for ease of use, too. The entries are ordered according to the English alphabet, not the vernacular. If you really need to know the details, I use a Python program to generate it from a special tagged text file (using a somewhat modified version of the MDF tag system used by the Shoebox program). If you want the text file, email me, letting me know if you accept .zip files or prefer .rar (choose WinRAR!). The dictionary makes heavy use of style sheet markup, though it's still quite readable if your browser doesn't support the CSS specification (dump Microsoft Internet Explorer, choose Opera!)

This grammar of Senu Yivokuchi is intended, in principle, for people with an active interest in languages. I haven't avoided technical terms when needed, though I've tried to leave the jargon at a minimum and offered short explanations. I'm not responsible for these pages to be universally understandable. There is a pronunciation guide with sound samples and all, and the grammar is relatively simple, but I expect the reader to know some things like e. g. what a direct object is. I have a glossary for the rest.