lemÌc. Lemizh grammar and dictionary

What’s new

Not a single page is lost, not one line faded or illegible. I have faithfully kept everything.

(Michael Ende. Die Spielverderber)

19 to 21 March 2023

Instead of doing something useful like thinking about comparing clauses, worked out the Ghean script. A day later, published an Android app that I’ve been writing on and off, which does not much more than displaying the Lemizh time and date.

Late 2022

Finished the chapter on the Ethiynic language and added vowel harmony to Beskidic. The constellation descriptions are complete now.

June 2022

Filled in some gaps on the loanwords pages. The Old Elbic and Ethiynic languages remain unfinished for now.

1 May to 3 June 2022

Wrote an article, intended as a broad overview of the language in a more traditional format, on Linguifex.

August 2021 to January 2022

Returning to pragmatics, mainly to improve the chapters on presuppositions, conventional ‘implicatures’, and non-restrictive constructions, as well as to write chapters on utterance modifiers and conversation structure.

July 2021

Finished re-evaluation of the grammar (for now) and archived the current version.

5 February 2021

The Legend of the Seventh Planet, a native Lemizh story, is finally finished.

April 2020

Started going over the grammar: adding proper Lemizh word stems, checking translations, proofreading, and re-evaluating everything in the light of pragmatics. My favourite discovery from this process is partitive widening, which made agentive causative objects and tool nouns a lot simpler.

2020 screenshot of Lemizh Stars

Also reactivated and improved some old software for creating Lemizh constellations. (See May 2017.) It is a wonderful procrastination tool. The source code is on GitHub.

19 November 2018 to 16 February 2020

Wrote a sketch of pragmatics. The most important topics – explicatures and implicatures, scalar inferences, presuppositions, and conventional ‘implicatures’ – are covered now. Meanwhile expanding the vocabulary.

May 2017

An appendix on the constellations is online, although not yet complete.

February 2017

Archived the current version.

December 2016

Started reading up on pragmatics and writing some drafts – nothing published yet. There are repercussions on grammar and dictionary, however …

June 2016

Included sound recordings of Lemizh words as pronunciation examples.

From April 2015

Started adding connotations to Lemizh dictionary entries. (See e.g. àv..) Continue adding new Lemizh words.

January 2015

The exclusive ‘or’ is finally solved. Easy, after all.

From December 2014

2017 screenshot of Neogrammarian

Started on the pages on loanwords. It is currently in an early stage of development. The software that will aid me in creating vocab and etymologies (called ‘Neogrammarian’; see the source code on GitHub) looks promising now; I’m adding words to the dictionary now and then for testing purposes.

Added new functionality to the calendar: by hovering over the month or year, you can quickly switch to remote dates.

September to November 2014

Made the tutorial in nutshells to provide an introduction to the Lemizh grammar more accessible than the full tutorial.

March to August 2014

Added a glossary to the tutorial, named the tentive (ten, o, intention), intentive (int, ol, intended point in causal chain), motivational (mot, ul, motivational context), episodic (eps, oR, episode, ‘act’), and scenic (sce, or, scene, ‘stage’) cases, and added a rather technical background chapter to the page about units of measurement. Continue adding grammatical words to the English / Lemizh dictionary and fiddling with minor issues.

March to May 2013

Added interlinear glosses, the chapter In lieu of a reference grammar, a page on the language’s history, one on time, the Babel Text and a short chapter on phonotactics, as well as a lot of more or less minor changes and fixes. (See the archived version from March 2014.)

10 December 2012

Went online. (See the archived version.)


21 March 2007 (website)

2017 screenshot of the Lemizh Table Maker

Started designing this website. Later that year seriously started translating the grammar from German into English. In the following year, started writing a software for creating HTML code for the example and exercise tables in the tutorial. (Its source code is on GitHub.)

2003 (lexicon)

Started to learn Proto-Indo-European. Like it or not, a language needs a lexicon.

*2002/03 (Modern Lemizh)

Introduced the poststem. Puzzling about Identity of action, space and time, tool nouns, numerals, and dozens of other issues.

*2001 (Early New Lemizh)

Introduced the factive case to solve adverbial clauses: ‘You can only go there on foot, which isn’t very practical’ looked like a relative clause to me, so it should translate as a bracket. However, it modifies a verb instead of a noun, and verbs haven’t got an inner case … so I pretended they implicitly have an inner case of a new type, the factive, and constructed a factive bracket. But then a noun with an actual inner factive has the same meaning as a verb, save that it isn’t inflected for person. By then, inflecting a verb for the person of its nominative object (as opposed to any other objects) seemed rather un-Lemizh, so I eliminated verbs altogether. Then I eliminated pronouns as a separate part of speech while I was at it, and also managed to get rid of most particles.

*1995 (Late Middle Lemizh)

Started to use pronouns and tenses relatively to the respective predicate instead of the main predicate.

May 1992 (Middle Lemizh)

Invented inner case to derive the nouns ‘gift’ and ‘giver’ from the same verb ‘to give’. Invented level to avoid the Indo-European infinite/finite clause redundancies (‘I want you to eat.’ / ‘I want that you eat.’) As a consequence, lost the ability to express about everything except simple sentences and ‘that’-clauses, as long as they didn’t contain adjectives, participles or genitive attributes. All within six days (in Faak am See). What the hell.

During the following months, the implications of the new grammar started to unfold. The accusative object of the verb ‘give’ is the given thing, so it seemed obvious that the noun ‘giver’ could have an accusative object of the same meaning, resulting in phrases of the type ‘the giver of sweets’. But what does the giver’s nominative object mean? — The giver himself, of course; and suddenly there were brackets. Actually, they had been there all the time, I just hadn’t seen them. Now I could express adjectives and participles again, and also relative clauses.

Genitive attributes were harder, but I gradually realised that this was the fault of Indo-European, which uses the genitive for any number of different purposes.

*1987/88 (Old Lemizh)

Serious attempt at an auxilliary language, more or less a euroclone, collected in a grey plastic folder. Found I could simplify grammar by replacing adjectives with participles (‘white’ > ‘being white’), and from that point on my simplifications got more and more reckless, and the grammar less and less Indo-European.

Autumn 1985 (Proto-Lemizh)

Learned Latin basics and was fascinated with the idea of grammatical endings. Thought it would be simpler to compose endings of one letter for each grammatical category. Used vowels as case markers in a set of tables on a single sheet of paper. Was convinced I had invented a new language.