Parseltogue, how to speak it

written by Raul Plaza

Have you ever wanted to speak parseltongue? Now you can! There is a reconstruction of the language, called "Stilio", which is actually a spoken laguage. With this book, you can learn to speak parseltongue! (The book is not finished, I will be adding more chapters or I will modify some of them, adding extra information or fixing some grammar mistakes)

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Introduction of Stilio, the reconstruction form of Parseltongue.

Chapter 1
The reconstruction form of Parseltongue, called Stilio, is a language that is spoken by some people. It was created by Francis Nolan between the years 2002/2012 A.D. Between 1993 and 1995 he was Secretary of the International Phonetic Association, and from 1999 to 2003 its Vice-President. He specialises in phonetics and phonology as well as in forensic linguistics. He is currently President of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians. He was one of the co-editors of the 1999 Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, the other being John Esling. He designed the language of Parseltongue featured in the Harry Potter films.

Inside the history of this language, we have some importants parseltongues, like Paracelsus (1493—1541), who was an Austrian physician, born Phillip Von Hohenheim. On accident, he discovered he could speak to snakes. He had no explanation for the phenomenon and made no attempt to document its simple existence. In the 1990's, the now-famous Harry Potter discovered that he was a Parselmouth (a wizard with the unconscious, magical ability to speak to snakes). He never learned any vocabulary or grammar, but was able to produce novel utterance, even with derived morphologies. He subsequently lost this magical ability. Nowadays, there have been found Parselmouths in Bukina-Fasa, and Sri Lanka.

On the one hand, Parseltongue is like any other language that human beings may study and learn. On the other hand, it is a magical ability possessed by only a minuscule fraction of the wizarding community. This ability requires no conscious attention by the wizard or witch, but seemingly adds a layer of "pseudo-consciousnes" to the snake with whom they are speaking. This snake is then able to articulate speech and hear the Parselmouth, both of which are otherwise physically impossible.

Parseltongue itself seems to be a magically generated amalgam created by magic from the minds of speakers. It bears many strong resemblances to languages from Africa and India, both areas with long histories of human-snake interaction. All over the world, Parselmouths, Snake-animagi, and sentient snake-like creatures all speak the same version of the language, without being in physical contact. The language is magically maintained among all speakers and updates itself, however slowly. In Sapir's terminology, there is only short-term unidirectional drift, not long-term cyclic drift. Given the small number of speakers, this drift is assumed to be very small and gradual. Dialects do not exist.

And now, let´s talk about Stilio. . This language has a unique morphosyntactic alignment (which is largely Ergative-absolutive, while incorporating elements of Fluid-S), and defaults to VSO word order. (verb-subject-object). English has for example a SVO word order: "I eat bread", while this in Stilio should be "Eat I bread". It tends to be either double-marking or dependent marking. It is generally head-initial (right-branching).

The total amount of speakers of Parseltongue is not more than 10.000, it has a fusional morphological type, distinguished from agglutinative languages by their tendency to use a single inflectional morpheme to denote multiple grammatical, syntactic, or semantic features. For example, the Spanish verb comer ("to eat") has the first-person singular preterite tense form comí ('I ate'); the single suffix -í represents both the features of first-person singular agreement and preterite tense, instead of having a separate affix for each feature.

Stilio has also an active-stative morphosyntactic alignment. An active–stative language (active language for short), also commonly called a split intransitive language, is a language in which the sole argument ("subject") of an intransitive clause (often symbolized as S) is sometimes marked in the same way as an agent of a transitive verb (that is, like a subject such as "I" or "she" in English) but other times in the same way as a direct object (such as "me" or "her" in English).
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