The Milevic languages are a family of languages spoken in the subregion of Milevia, in south-eastern Parshita. A member of the Shaelic language family, Milevic is by far the largest branch with over 99% of speakers. The Milevic peoples are believed to descent from Shaelic seafarers who settled the coast of eastern Athsud and consequently spread west.
Common linguistic features
The Milevic languages are generally agglutinative and predominantly suffixing, with reduplication also being a fairly common process. There are a wide range of derivational suffixes, most forming nouns or verbs. The whole family exhibits a distinction between multiple animacy classes - animate, semi-animate, and inanimate, though some languages have lost the semi-animate class. A list of noun types that are typically included in each class is as follows:
- heart, soul, mind
- dead things
- most body parts/organs/substances (not 'corpse')
- natural elements/phenomena
- groups of animate nouns
- 'processes' (e.g. death) + verbal nouns
- everything else
There is a degree of ergativity across the Milevic family; typically animate nouns are marked as nominative-accusative, inanimate nouns are marked as ergative-absolutive, and semi-animate nouns are marked as nominative-accusative but with the nominative marked using the ergative suffix and the accusative unmarked.
Nouns are marked for case and number. While cases are consistently marked using suffixes, number marking varies between branches and individual languages, both in form and scope.
Adjectives constitute a distinct lexical class in Milevic.
There are up to four distinct copulae depending on the language, distinguished based on animacy and polarity. Although all derived from the same Proto-Milevic source words, the exact nature of these copulae vary from being independent words to being affixed onto adjectives and nouns.
The three primary branches of Milevic are North Milevic, South Milevic, and East Milevic.
Prior to the colonial era, a range of indigenous Parshitan scripts, Darimic scripts were used to write Milevic languages. Chief among these in the Milevian Empire was the Decwabmẹ script, a Darimic script used widely in Farmosh until the advent of the Letso-Terminian script, and still as a ceremonial script in the modern age. Additionally, the Mahavic script is also attested to have been used to write some East Milevic languages such as Athsudan.
The Letso-Terminian script was introduced by the Terminians as contact increased from around the 16th Century CE. During the colonial era, throughout much of which Kaisen and Otsuk were under Terminian sovereignty as the Terminian Far East, the script became more widespread and even official in the Far East. Letso-Terminian was additionally adopted to write the Athsudan language, and today most Milevic languages use a variant of this script.