Background Iniuri is one of my planned constructed languages for a series of mine called the IDES. Its name comes from Toa Hagah Iruini. Back in the day, when I was really unoriginal with my stories, I came up with a fictional battle where Norik and Iruini fought alongside my Neopet, Kraggh, as his noble generals. Kraggh was a conqueror who diplomatically added the world of Bionicle to his interdimensional empire. As you might have guessed, this is where I got my old username from. Later, I retroactively changed some of the details of these characters once I realized that I wanted to create something that was (big shocker) original, so I invented a brand new species for these generals to belong to, a species that I felt reflected the nobility that I attributed to the Toa Hagah, and I called them the iniuri. Why did I name them the iniuri and not the kiron when I liked the character of Norik better? I'm not sure, but I'd imagine that I liked the almost Elvish sound of Iruini-spelled-backwards, and it was also less obviously a Bionicle-inspired name.The idea of creating a language for the iniuri didn't occur to me until several months ago. Sure, I had thought up of a sound for a language, but really I spent more time developing the Iniuri (capitalized here — I'll explain later) culture from which it came. Once I realized that I wanted to actually develop the language, I already had all of its basic sounds in my head, and a history.After some basic linguistic research, I immediately realized that I wanted the Iniuri language to follow the grammar of Esperanto, except I wanted it to sound less like a hybrid language and more like its own thing. The phonetic impression left by Esperanto is, in my opinion, inconsistent. The words viro and knabo sound like they belong to different languages. That's okay for Experanto, since it's purpose is to sound vaguely familiar to speakers of all sorts of Indo-European backgrounds, but the purpose of Iniuri is to sound beautiful and poetic, and to evoke very specifically the Iniuri culture.Out of all of the constructed languages that I plan to complete, this one will probably be the easiest one to write, and the easiest — possibly the most enjoyable — to learn. Part of it comes from the familiarity of the Indo-European grammar, but it's also the simplicity of the grammar and the sounds. It isn't my favorite of the languages I've conceived (I prefer philosophical languages that manage to compact as much information per syllable as possible), but it's the one that's most likely to catch on. You'll have to wait a while before you see it in all its glory, though, because it doesn't make an appearance until the eleventh book.
History of the LanguageIn the very, very beginning of the ancient Skull War, the Battle of the Crater at Ŋoji rendered the planet uninhabitable for millions of years. After millions of years, people began to settle again in this region, renaming the planet Siriein (commonly anglicized to “Siriane”). These people were eight-foot-tall humanoids with lion-esque heads, called the iniuri. Another humanoid species called the tandlʃ, smaller and wolf-like in appearance, settled in with them and over time became “honorary Iniuri,” so that Iniuri came to refer to both the specific species and the ethnicity that consisted of the two species. Iniuri with a capital <I> referred to the ethnicity, whereas iniuri with a lowercase <i> referred to the species. Tandlʃ are the more populous of the two types of Iniuri, taking up approximately 80% of the population.Two hundred years before current events, the Iniuri came out from a ten-thousand-year period of cultural stand-still known as the Oral Era. During the Oral Era, nobody produced books, poems, movies, or plays, due the large library of works already available. With literally trillions upon trillions of books written over the course of the universe's long, long history, the Iniuri believed that it was vanity to believe that there was anything new under the sun, and they pursued the art of uncovering older stories. More than half of the works readily available in their libraries were translated into Iniuri from other languages, although in all fairness to Iniuri culture, they often altered their translations of this borrowed literature to make it more poetic. If someone was artistically inclined, they would go on to study art rather than to produce it, or they would update an old translation of a work and improve upon its poetry. It was common in this era for Iniuri to memorize entire books. Parents would even name their children after books and raise them to memorize their namesakes, or to even name them after an ancient author and raise them to learn their namesakes’ entire bodies of work.There were some individuals who took this art to extremes. Known as a ʐiuʐi, or a bard, such an individual would go on to memorize dozens of books. In your average town, you would find a handful of bards populating the downtown forum. In a city, there would be hundreds or even thousands in the downtown, and their work was considered to be a public service. Some would gather crowds for reciting popular books, or well-known poems and songs, while others would risk fewer tips by reviving forgotten manuscripts. Bards weren't the only people to share books; most people had at least one memorized, and it was common to socialize around book recitations, especially when people were meeting each other for the first time.Siriane was from the beginning an advanced society, being founded by interplanetary colonists, and obviously had such technologies as cinema and virtual reality, but these mediums were considered vulgar compared to the majestic art form of theatre, which by far reigned as the more popular mode of entertainment. Many larger towns would have a district with ten or so opera houses. Most plays had intermissions, during which a popular pastime among the patrons was talking philosophy, local news, and politics, the last of which might normally cause fighting and animosity in daily discourse, but was a sign of high-mindedness to hold one's temper while discussing such things during an intermission. The Iniuri were never known for leaning one way or another with their political tendencies, since they had diverse and often highly contrasting political and economic outlooks. While it was easy to sterotype Iniuri artistically, it was impossible to come up with one political stereotype for them.The Oral Era never came to a definitive conclusion so much it was gradually phased out. It began with some poets taking strong liberties with translations, bard prioritizing audience participation in stories over the stories themselves, and some bards choosing to recite contemporary essays. Rare original works then began appearing in theatre, where old plots were adapted into fresh manuscripts for contemporary audiences, much like how Shakespeare took inspiration from older plays. One thing led to another, and eventually it became normal to produce original art, in any medium.Even though they had lost their prominence in Iniuri society, the ʐiuʐi remained an unshakable stereotype of Iniuri culture, and one that they nostalgically didn’t bother to shake off. The Iniuri incorporated the bard into their identity, and still did memorize hours of poetry as a popular hobby, although the amounts that they committed to memory was far less, and those who memorize entire books numbered less than 1% of the population. In any given town, there might be only one or two old-fashioned bards on the streets. The culture remained in a visible way, but people were no longer immersed in it. They were proud of their past, but increasingly proud of their growing corpus of newer works. The culture of street entertainment didn’t dwindle, though, and one could still find plenty of artists in the downtown and business districts of communities, artists who presented their own original poems, stories, songs, and even non-verbal forms of art such as painting, chalk drawing, miming, acrobatics, and magic shows.In the present of this story, the age of New Art has been going on for approximately 200 years. Recently, an iniuri named Arcein (anglicized to "Arcane") was president of the prestigious Vanaturi University. He was a relic of Siriane’s past, as he had memorized the entire Vliucart (holy book) and many other classic works, and was well-acquainted with many that he hadn’t memorized. He was a recent widower, raising his son Astarr by himself. Upon his son’s encouragement, he ran for president of Siriane, and succeeded.During this time, the an ancient interdimensional order known as the Defenders were rumored to be moving the legendary Mathazon Crystal, and their rival, the Arkvader and his followers, collected intelligence indicating that they were hiding it on Siriane. The Defenders had, in fact, moved large armies to the uninhabited Ŋoji Crater. Arcane, whose civilization was concentrated on the other side of Siriane, would have liked to be involved with this conflict, but chose to stay out.However, the Defenders gained a new and valuable ally through the rising conqueror named Emperor Kraggh. Kraggh established relations with Arcane and convinced him to become a charter member of his developing holy empire, called Alphega. This relationship would have been impossible in the past, since the Iniuri were too diverse for such radical political maneuvering to take place without running into heavy resistance, but Arcane lived in a very exceptional era of history. They came to several diplomatic agreements, the most relevant to this article being that Iniuri would enjoy a status as one of the Alphegan empire’s official languages. Arcane and his son personally fought in the Second Battle of the Crater, and Arcane then went on to serve as the first president of Allied Zones of Alphega, setting strong precedent for Iniuri’s use as an official language of government and not just a language with official acknowledgments by way of courtesy.Iniuri’s prominence in the A.Z.A. made it a major international language, since Kraggh’s interdimensional empire grew at an alarming rate, and he even managed to conquer one twelfth of the galaxy-sized ringworld of ALPHA. Kraggh himself chose to speak Lucian and Silberzonge, but showed utmost tolerance for the language of his first major ally.
(Phonology, writing, and grammar to come in a later entry)