In the spring of 2017 I had the good fortune to have an open spot in my coursework schedule to take a Conlanging class at CMU. Several small NLP projects accompanied the development of the language, including a chat bot, morphological analyzer, and speech synthesizer. These are out of date considering the state of the language now, but I'll try to keep this page up to date as the language evolves.

I wanted Marjelim to be vaguely slavic sounding, but the grammar is cobbled together by whichever grammatical constructions I was interested in exploring. In the spirit of exploration, most sentences have a Verb Subject Object structure. I don't speak any VSO languages, so what a journey it was.

I really wanted to play with ambiguity and different types of specificity. Instead of definite and indefinite articles (the/a) nouns are optionally inflected with a definite affix based on previous mention in the conversation (ves-) or an emphasis of the understanding between speakers to pick out the specific noun being referred to (víz-). Other nouns typically don't have a determiner associated with them.

Similarly, pronouns don't encode gender, just person and number. Gender neutral language is having such a moment in English, it was fun to spend time in a space where it was a non-issue from the start. When talking about several people I think it eventually gets tough to differentiate which saj is which.

I've been meaning to put more time into studying Slovene and I'm still in a honeymoon phase with case systems, but I tried to be modest with the amount of noun cases so I didn't burn out too fast. A noun is minimally constructed by a root form and zero or more affixes. Divinity, possession, and definiteness are expressed as prefixes and number and case are expressed as suffixes. The VSO word order is fairly strict, but Marjelim still marks accusative case on nouns, nominative case is unmarked.

Verbs follow a split perfective-imperfective aspect system. If the action of the verb is considered complete by the speaker it would be expressed with the perfective, if the action is ongoing, incomplete, or has not yet started it would be expressed with the imperfective. Again playing with ambiguity and specificity, there's a bit of leeway for the speaker to decide whether they percieve the action as finished or not.

Most of these decisions aren't motivated by the source material, just an interest in seeing how all of the separate pieces fit together and whether the end result was interpretable at all. I did try to incorporate some themes from Marielda into the semantics and flow of the language, drawing on the use of floral metaphors and industrial language in ways that made sense for that culture.

If you're interested in the details I wrote a mock reference grammar for my final paper in the conlangs course, but I've nailed down the finer points of the grammar in practice.

Marjelim is a fan language created for the city of Marielda in the tabletop gaming podcast Friends at the Table. I'm not affiliated with the podcast and none of this is canon, but it was a good excuse to get started with conlanging and re-listen to my favorite episodes. In early 2018 I translated several passages from the show for the fanart event #15daysoffatt which you can find below. Just a warning, a lot of them have spoilers!

It had been fifteen years since the forces of the Boy-Traitor Samot were turned away from Marielda by the violent ingenuity of the Artificer Divine Samothes. Thousands died in the final battle of the war, and so, the people of Marielda gathered to rebuild again. Except, now, with the esoteric machines of the father inventor, Marielda regained itself at speed And with speed, it has changed. The city has realigned itself, splitting into six parishes, each centered around a church of Samothes, and each corralling a disparate crowd into a compact mass. New walls and buildings have sprung into place, readymade, lifted up by the unseen pistons of the holy apparatus. The deep abyss where the Tower of Mages once stood has bloomed verdant into an architectural and natural wonder, The Hanging Gardens of Maelgwyn, a monument to the missing son of Marielda. And in the southeast, the factories have remained factories, and the only thing that's changed about the refugee camp is, there's less room and more people. After all, a war is on, and the living soldiers of Samothes himself have marched out of Marielda and into Hieron to confront Samot once again. In their absence, Marielda broils. Automatic constables, frustrated exiles, and the petty politics of the wealthy, and the struggles of those who dream they might be.
Mel mašezkalad zelígaja kers, marjelda kers epezla zelse vízthečerje asamíthiz vamče vagalísle rífese vízramfevid asamad garavedja. Avízamad ladaja ki ísim vle terdrejlasa mraeja ki ísimja ja čejthla je fe gelasa marjelítsle vísígemž. Zja, apema avízvagalid zamri vízatíleme šal, jagelaj fe faadla marjeltamir. Il jagelaj fethla vesígem. Zagela vesígemir je kamla pethímara mel gjavaledja. Zeč gjaval ved me zelítalev ki samíthiz il zeč gjaval ved vatíbem šama gatemsaž ki tegafíle mraejai. Ketíme rjekamla elzefa e ífaaja il geladja ri ja gamtathi rafajetlasa zelse avízatíleme lísel prtegja vjiedja. Tami fethla kamara vízvemsaa fasji čal mel vízísaba ki kačamítsle kígema il ewla sačaevž, mrijem amaelgwim pamafígema víztamsevja je amarjelda líčel vízfačem ris mrijem tívekeiž. Il zjabei afjas ris mrijem emetamir il ípesemla ra jemwi ki víztabar ki vjakímlaiedja, me lípeiga rífadalja il aršei mraejai. Se, vafetjaem amad ja marjelda kers il airam ris vejapíla asamíthiz tasa gepišemidja je fe atamala samadž. Ramsel saja, temsjalem marjeldaž. Paladimja, čepega zjamalaidja, airgerítsle alaperše abrelja, il amraeja šik čarkapema írgeridja de vípetaema saja elgamja.
Hitchcock's rules of dancing and dueling:
1. Never trust a priest you don't know.
2. Always carry a weapon.
3. Have a lockpick.
4. Never fail.
Ahítchcock ševidja kie masímara il tavara ri:
1. vírčaj efevejafem zelzívidž šik kathrazem sel čwe vesajž
2. efesajem thiež
3. efesajem gešaimž
4. vírčaj efejavídem

The Valentine Affair, Pt. 3 Episode Description

The citizens of Marielda close their eyes and dream of fire and water. On some nights in Canopy Row, people dream of crisp leaves, and residents of Emberboro wake suddenly with the taste of smoke in their mouths. Some years ago, a pamphlet was distributed in the city that purported to identify the difference between dreams and visions. Skeptics passed it between themselves and scoffed, others pinned it up in the windows of shops and apartment buildings. It described the difference between a lake and an ocean. The details are unclear in the memory, more than that is hard to say. There was a lake. There was a wide, black sea through which no lava flowed.
Etípema marjelidja de rafema saja je šezrjatema vesaja kie paigirž il vrídaž ri. Saldaja ki mrsi, vízgarma ved šezratema satharjezasle rjega thekaimedja je ketíme epíčema emprberaitsle je lasada ješwema vesaja graiž. Zelígaja ki mrsi kers, vísígem ved majefašlasa saja tísemaž ki fívemavara šezrad a ragraz. Ílaflasa sjavejafítjamir vestísemaž je príkavalasa vesaja, eda e aradi il ajamegelad ri tírjeja ved elkalasa mraeja ki mrsi vesajž. Vemavla vestísema mízalž a jašaiž. Mejem atívesa rímaja sjethejvil je mríjem aršei ízravara geze. Mejala mízal. Mejala salge thale jašai il sajva sílsletla sel refšekagir.

The City of Light, Pt. 2 Episode Description

For a while, everything was going just fine in Marielda. Sure, there was some dissent among the citizens —but what city is free of that? In general, people were coming together, rebuilding, taking care of each other. Canopy Row wasn't thriving, but it was definitely surviving. Knowledge was spreading throughout the city. Even them Cobbins had begun to find their place. And then, sometime in the middle of the year, everything seemed to turn. First, the marble-faced pala-din came marching from the sea, half-alive extensions of Samothes' personal brand of justice. Then... well, as we'd soon learn, the pala-din weren't even the half of it.
Aršei šae kers, marjelda ved me šaeja tabi. Fačel, mel marjelítsle kers elgam, eda, šja sígem ved melsel elgam? Eša ser čejthema mraesle je fe ser gelema saja je gervema sajamir. Ser fethem sel vízgarma, eda efíla ser vasaem saj. Vesígem ved ser thjamem kjela. Mízjemi ser ramlasa kabimja de raflasa saja. Íli, adil ki zelíga vle ípesemla ref de mrazíčla saj. Ma, jašai kers vejapílasa paladimja il asir tašem tele, me atíla-tasa plagefeja ki asamíthiz salšarsle. Íli se, melsel paladimja elgamž ki adíl de meba čarafeglasa rivja.

The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn, Pt. 4 Narration

But Tristero... well, he'd abdicated his throne by then, seeing the world at war and anticipating the terrors that the desperate and powerful would soon unleash, he'd moved to a little seaside resort town that he loved, a place called Nacre, where he used all the strength of his divinity to protect that city, and those in it, from what was to come.
Eda trístera... vji zaeg vle vrefala saj. Ser lísla saj aairam amadž je meba čarítjezem e salejid il jamaid ri šípvejegž de ser pawfadla saj je peja jašaida sígema de ramla saj kers šewala saj, mwaemla fasji mekrž. Epípalara saj e vesígemaž il mekriedja ri vle ítejla saj asaj fílaslež.

The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn, Pt. 4 Narration

If… if Maelgwyn had used that that blade to slay his father, it would have become a weapon strong enough not only to hold off the Heat and the Dark, but to defeat it utterly, to fill it with the force of will of Samothes' own life. It would've replaced the void of emptiness with the breath and love of Ingenuity Alive. But Maelgwyn did not use that sword. He used the Blade in the Dark. A tool crafted under shadow by the apocalyptic scholars of the Yellow House.
Čar...čarkamla amisda víztíwfel fíla thiež šebir sisel čaržagela vestíwfel vízpaigamisž avri mreva čarkagla je čarmekadla samíthiz ki egim víztíwfelž jeba vestíwfel šal čarkevala maelgwim asaj abemž. Čarípesemla vil ki sjamekasle dwi vízvagalísle kie amefiž il lísež ri. Eda, vestíwfel šal kevala sel maelgwim sajž. Amísda víztíwfel šal kevala saj. Amis vlave šalíčla palvarjema vízdael ki jamea sezívidja vethiež.

The City of Light, Pt. 1 Episode Description

Viscous fire erupted, rushing down the peak and into the riverways that separated the city of light from the continent. He pulled up on the blaze like a reined mare, and yanked the city and its surroundings further away from Hieron. The ground itself shook without mercy, ocean water filled the new gap in the land, and then fire fled into that self-same sea, creating an inseparable blend of liquid heat.
Ítjezla vamče paigir je jevgli kers jagela je mríkavaja pela je airam kers pethímla marjeldaž. Čweradla saj paigirž mer čweratara athrafalž plíragaž. je plíekla airam kers amíla vesígemž. Sjemwezi zajadla semwel je elzefa líkalamva mekadla vrída íli vesjašaiva mekadla paigir je kamla sílsledž ki vadli apaigasle.

The Crosstown Job, Pt. 1 Episode Description

A strongman, binding up his fists in front of a mirror. A dancing master, marking time with a dagger. A little alchemist emerging from a cloud of something purplish. And an alabaster figure, face covered by the wide brim of a hat. Step forward into the light, my friends.
Ser plagej kis athlemem fílaid asaj karaedja. Ser tíwfelma šal arjegem amasímara efílaid sedja. Ser thari ajemwi merseglímvel míwem peja lísrjemid. Čae, ser mríjem selzjid je ser aravmalja salge apledil šal avefem asaj tašemž. Rjelva efemíwem, wíšaleja.

The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn, Pt. 2 Episode Description

In one way or another, High Sun Day is celebrated all across Hieron. After all, there is a day each year on which the sun hangs in the sky, resplendent, for what feels like an impossibly long time. After all, there is a day each year on which the heat gets so strong, the weight of the summer becomes so much, that a celebration must be thrown.
Karae ger wasved, refairam ved čavebem sajsle šae ki mavelíše baež. Fačel, me zelíga ki šae vle fjemelda zelse elkalem šae vle mrazíčem zaegjai. Fačel, me zelíga ki šae vle kabem paigasle fílaslež je kabem ačavedel thefaetasle aršeislež je efejítelem sajsle čavebž.

The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn, Pt. 4 Closing Narration

And listen to me close. For a while, I hoped, I prayed that there was something above. That something would rescue us. And that day all those years ago, when the stars first showed up in the sky, I thought, maybe, just maybe, we would be saved. But now I have seen the stars, too. And they will not save us.
Se efíla efeimawbem čwesle rivž. Zaeg vle je rivja li me jemwi de zelmíbla riv je vípetala riv. čargajem jemwi rivjaž de zelmíbla riv. zelígaja ki víšae vle, mazaeg fjemel ved epíčla vízgefarjeja je čejad čargajem rivjaž de vervíla riv. Zja fje lísla riv vízgefarjeja. Gajem sel saja rivjaž.

Four Conversations Closing Narration

Well, the thing is, gods come from a sort of divine impulse. You see, from their intended character, something new springs into being, so for instance, when I saw the world that I had made, and I saw it lonely, well, things sprung into being, and my sister Severea filled the world with creatures. And when I saw them dumb and unable to care for themselves, well, there was Samothes, to build them bridges and homes.
Se, zelse egim kers thazjíbem zelzírsle. Kabem elzefa jemwi tasaslež jeba amíli egim kers Zja, Kamla jemwija tasasledja jeba airam ris mekadla severja vlelaedja jeba zaeg vle lísla riv ariv airamž je mel ísja. Zaeg vle mel saja sjefíla de lísla riv, se, mel samíthiz je gela saj e zečimja il daelja ri.

The City of Light, Pt. 1 Episode Description

In the time of fraught paladins and wavering wizards, of contemptible fighters and indignant druids, of wide eyed rangers... and of bards, the people of the continent of Hieron recover and rebuild in the aftermath of a cataclysm. But, after all, for every inside there is an outside —no disaster was the first of its kind, except, of course, for...well... And so, in the years prior to the event that would come to be called the Erasure, in a time of civil conflict, the people of Hieron faced calamity, and they sought to recover and rebuild.
čepega azelgepíšemidja il zamri akačamidja, sjefi afírjesidja il egwi ategamidja, ímčíde asaitethidja... il awífesidja vji zaeg vle fe gelem aairam mraesle je atríterva thel vle gervema saja. Avri zívem refmlae ímlazilž. Mesel mapergje, zja, se... Íli mwaebem jemwi avízakejigž zelíga vle, zaeg ki abrel vle, laševíla aairam mraesle pergjež je fe rafla saja e gelaraž il gervaraž ri.

The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn, Pt. 4 Narration

When Maelgwyn saw his error, he did have a holy desire, the sort of thing that results in the creation of a new divine power. Except, seeing his father there, bleeding, dyin' slow, well. With his confidence shattered, the only thing Maelgwyn wanted was his daddy back. And so The Six watched as my grandson's glowing hair turned ashen. Watched as his figure gained a childish approximation of the bulk of his father.
Lísla maelgwim asaj sjasraž vle zívíla saj zelse víbedž. Mel jemwi šiv kjatečem kítasara elzefa zelse jamejidž. Zja, vjída lísla saj asaj abem je apívečla vesaj je zesače trejla vesaj, se... mreva račekla asaj pjagreslež je čarčejthem asaj abem de teramla maelgwim ra jemwiž. Íli šelfaše kamla ariv aterfačem írge varídlavž de lísla vízmel. Kamla asaj merbal ímčíde tezamaslež mer asaj abem de líslasa saja.

Four Conversations Dialogue

There’s a group of people who, well, they think they’re doing me a favor, but they’re not. They think I want this forest to grow bigger, but frankly, I'm—I'm ready to see it recede.
Me gatemsa ki mrae je, se, riv kers veslatema saja de vejafema saja, avri veslatema sel. Čardredem vethílga de terabem riv de vejafema saja, avri čarítejem vethílga de pawfa čarlísem riv.

The Valentine Affair, Pt. 4 Cold Open

I gave them a gift, a little mansion in the woods. In that particular place, out in the vast between Samothes's city of light and those rolling plains of celebration where the boy king Samot made his wanderin' home, a grand house close to me. I'd hoped it could be a place where they could work out their differences, where they could consider the burden of their power, and the strength of their bond.
Saja ris ílafla riv íglavž, mel thílgada peja dael. Vjída, asamíthiz sígem ki rjel ger čaveba míthwíjamda ífese asamad písai ramje. Mel ílevi dael je riv ris čazlasa saja. Vjída čarlíkelasa saja vemavísledja je vjída čaratamalasa asaja e ajameasle selavaež il atalgíčes fílaslež ri de vípetala riv.