Sunday, April 2, 2023

Conlang Sketchbook 2: Paracelsan Noun Endings

 Previous Notebooks: 1

Introductory Paracelsan Noun Endings

This was originally inspired by a bad conlang prompt (a riff on the AtLA opening), but I am one of those people who work best with shitposts played sincerely and it has since turned into something well beyond the original prompt.

It's intended for some sort of Greco-Latin-ish one. Fitting for something made by wizards.

Prior posts (well, post) in this series can be found here.

Anyway, noun classes! There are quite a few of them in Paracelsan.

Elemental Classes

  • Water - Liquids, aquatic animals, concepts that are malleable and adaptable
  • Earth - Inanimate objects, plants, land animals, rocks, metals, concepts slow to change
  • Fire - Fire, lightning, humans, concepts that are dangerous or high-energy
  • Air - Flying animals, weather, concepts that are free and open ended

Planetary Classes

  • Mercurial - Swift things, small things, transportation, communication, commerce, trickery
  • Venusian - Beauty, love (romantic), lust, passions; art (high)
  • Terran (1) - Systems consisting of many Elemental-Class components; Love (nonromantic); art (common)
  • Martian - Conflict, violence, anger; body parts
  • Jovian - Worldly powers; law, authority, religion, politics
  • Saturnian - Terrors and horrors; monsters, omens; mysteries and the unknown

Divine Classes

  • Solar - The divine of the absolute, unchanging, overwhelming.
  • Lunar - The divine of transformation, change, and subtlety.
  • Terran (2) - The human component of the divine.
  • Stellar - The numinous, transcendent divine.

Appropriate for an alchemist's language, nouns can change their class from their usual default to reflect a certain context, the intention or belief of the speaker, or for greater specificity. (I seem to really like this idea, huh. Used it in the last post too). Some examples:

  • "Animal" might be air, earth, or water depending on habitat, or fire if you're talking about lunch.
  • Humans tend to default to earth, but could be any of the other three depending on what the speaker is trying to say about them.
  • Actions would vary depending on how they are carried out - to act carefully would be an earth ending, to act rashly a fire one.
  • "Stone" could be given air endings, if you wanted to emphasize that it was flying through the air at high velocity.
  • Gasoline, battery acid, and alcohol, while liquids, would more likely than not be fire class.
  • Jovian nouns can often be turned into Saturnian
  • Artworks can switch between Venusian or Terran depending on where and when they are popular, and with whom

As for the classes themselves, here's the handy tables. I don't like most of the results of the planetary and divine classes, as I had run out of good examples from real-world languages to use and the draft was taking up space. For reasons of not getting stuck forever on the thing, only elemental classes have inflected plurals.

|-----|------Water------|---Earth----|----Fire-----|----- Air---- |


| NOM |-qua / -quas     |-os / -oi   |-e / -es     |-ia / -i      |

| GEN |-quae / -quaes   |-ou / -ous  |-is / -ies   |-ai / -ais    |

| DAT |-quia / -quias   |-or / -oros |-ire / -iren |-iri / -irais |

| ACC |-quiam / -quamas |-on / -onoi |-en / -emas  |-ian / -iani  |

| LOC |-quava / -quavas |-o / -ous   |-eva / -eras |-avi / -avais |

|-----|  MRC  |  VEN |  TRN   |  MRS |  JVE  | STR    |


| NOM | -ek   | -nna | -dun   | -rum | -aal  | -khat  |

| GEN | -en   | -mmu | -thana | -im  | -vuun | -qal   |

| DAT | -ei   | -lle | -eth   | -gho | -sh   | -mugan |

| ACC | -ak   | -nta | -ahla  | -sir | -maa  | -vokh  |

| LOC | -etan | -ssa | -du    | -zor | -doo  | -ze    |

|-----| SLR  | LNR   | STL  |


| NOM | -rya | -sej  | -ain |

| GEN | -n   | -ele  | -la  |

| DAT | -paq | -yen  | -e   |

| ACC | -kta | -iala | -am  |

| LOC | -pi  | -mine | -i   |


Part of me wants to do something with verbs and the steps of generating the philosopher's stone, but that is perhaps for another day.

Goes without saying that if this spurs any other absolute madren out there to write something, I would love to see it.


  1. This is a fun one - reminded me of some of the stuff that's slowly accreted on a setting I've been running a game in for a while. I'd decided to make a comological framework that kind of aped or mimiced the general consensus in alchemy / astrology from early modern Europe. I expanded it, though, to have a celestial wanderer for each of the metals (and metalloids) which were accessible with the technology of the period, but wasn't lumped in with the rest of the big seven metals. (So I added an extra little moon for platinum, dropped in an extra inferior planet for zinc, and added in two superior planets for bismuth and antimony)

    So this made me think back to that, and I went and stuck a grammatical mood on all of the wanderers. Maybe they'll turn up if I put some bones on the more esoteric languages I've got out there:

    Here's what I did, in case you found it interesting:
    Wanderer -------------- Metal --------- Mood

    Sun ------------------- Gold ---------- realis - fully indicative mood
    Moon ------------------ Silver -------- in a state of recurrance, happening with regularity
    Moon's Daughter ------- Platinum ------ a "while" conditional- while the main action of the sentence is going on
    ---- inferior planets ----
    (Mercury substitute) -- Quicksilver --- true as of speaker's last contact with the thing under discussion
    (new inferior planet) - Zinc ---------- presented for the consideration of the audience, intentionally polite and deferential mood
    (Venus substitute) ---- Copper -------- desired by the speaker
    ---- superior planets ----
    (Mars substitute) ----- Iron ---------- imperative
    (Jupiter substitute) -- Tin ----------- a "could" or "would" conditional - if the main action is/was happening
    (new superior planet) - Bismuth ------- in a state of coming into being (or out in the negation)
    (Saturn substitute) --- Lead ---------- the conditional of necessity - "it is necessary that (English) / il faut que (French)"
    (new superior planet) - Antimony ------ the anti-indicative - a thing actively disbelieved by the speaker

    Anyway, thanks for putting this one out, had some fun with it!

    1. This is super cool, thanks for sharing it!