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Welcome to the course on learning the Ithkuil language! You may want to browse through the grammar on the official website before beginning here.

Ithkuil is a collective name for four closely related languages created by John Quijada. They are all constructed a priori philosophical languages designed to concisely convey information and express deeper levels of human cognition. The original Ithkuil language was posted in 2004, followed by a revision called Ilaksh in 2007, intended to be simpler and easier to learn, then a third version in 2011, also called Ithkuil, and most recently The New Ithkuilic Language (also called TNIL or New Ithkuil), which is in development as of 2023.

Ithkuil (anglicized from the original Iţkûil, which roughly translates as "hypothetical representation of a language" in the original version) has been created by John Quijada over the course of forty-five years of painstaking work as an experiment in how languages can hypothetically function. Growing public interest and enthusiasm has pushed Quijada to largely revise the language's grammar and phonology to make it easier to learn. There have been many texts written in and about Ithkuil, mostly scattered about the Internet. Colloquially, the 2011 version of Ithkuil is known as 'elartkʰa' and New Ithkuil is known as 'malëuţřait'. This course teaches the most recent version, which is still in development and thus subject to change.

Ithkuil's grammatical categories are structured in matrices with vocabulary to flexibly recognize patterns and relationships between fundamental concepts on the cognitive level. Consonantal and vocalic morphemes are short, carrying a lot of information and functioning in multiple roles with other morphemes. Ithkuil's lexicon contains over 6000 roots, each split into three stems to better distinguish components. The formative represents objects or phenomena that can be considered as gestalts in spacetime, including both nouns and verbs. The morphology allows one to easily communicate evidentiality, subjectivity, and causality. These can also form the morphophonology of grammatical adjuncts. Both of these types of words will be discussed in great detail.

As an example of the density of the language, take the following sentence of 2011 Ithkuil:

Aukkras êqutta ogvëuļa tnou’elkwa pal-lši augwaikštülnàmbu. ‘An imaginary representation of a nude woman in the midst of descending a staircase in a step-by-step series of tightly-integrated ambulatory bodily movements which combine into a three-dimensional wake behind her, forming a timeless, emergent whole to be considered intellectually, emotionally and aesthetically.’[1]

What follows will be a guided tutorial on forming sentences according to Ithkuil IV documentation. It is still a work in progress, but will feature use of the Ithkuil writing systems when complete. When you become frustrated, remember: nobody speaks this language at any level of fluency. Below are communities of learners if you have any questions.

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  1. Quijada, John. "A Grammar of the Ithkuil Language - Texts". Retrieved 2023-07-07.