I have watched the Trolls movie so many times, you guys…
Uh, I mean, ahem! <in universe voice>
Trollish (Silampampsun Gi’impsun, Gi’impsun, Impish, or Turxulsun (archaic) ) is the language of the Troll People of the Melean Mountain Range. In its standard dialect, centered on the capital village of Turxuls between Mount Wungunks and Mount Wungksun, Trollish is the official language of the Troll Republic (Stunkpurkunksun Turxulsun). Trollish is notable for its verb-root derivation system (e.g. gimp, “to thrill someone, to make someone happy,” gi’imp, “happiness,” gi’impii, “a troll,” etc.), its default VSO morphology, and its anti-transitive and dis-desiderative constructions set Trollish apart as a unique language.
Trollish is a language isolate, although has been suggested that the language evolved from a cant derived from one of the Quadrupoid languages. Trollish has also accepted many loan words from Bergen (also called Dghr’-drg Brg-gng, itself a western Melic language of the Melo-Cholic family, centered on the city of Brg-gng Gng-dl’). Trollish is written in a form of the Bergen alphabet.
History and Derivation
Since the Trollish language was not written until the Poppy-Branch Era (Ki’inksun Haampii Burgurtcx), older forms of the language can only be guessed at. The similarity of the (very small) inventory of Trollish verb-roots to Quadrupoid accusative nouns (as well as genetic evidence) suggests that Trollish is ultimately derived from a Quadrupoid language.
Modern Trollish gimp-ii (thrill.someone-CUTE, “one who gives people happiness”), proto-Troll *?ooh kym tyh (do gift-ACC child-DAT, “to give a gift to a child”), Quadrupoid 1 de’-huh-gut-n tup-p (1ST-PR.IND-give-DITRANS baby-DAT, “I give something to a baby”).
According to this theory, proto-Trollish developed into Classical Trollish during the Era of the Caged Tree (Ki’inksun Turxulsun), turning accusative nouns into verb-roots and dative nouns into gender markers.
k/g/t/d/h/x/ (only at the ends of roots) mp/nk/nt (in Bergen loanwords) t/l/r/d͡ʒ(written <dj>)/t͡ʃ (written <tc>)
a/i/o/ʌ (written <u>)
Words are constructed as either CVNC or CVCV
Intervocalic k,g becomes ʔ (written <‘>), t,d becomes /l/, h,x becomes 0.
Trollish is a fusional language with VSO word order (or SOV for disdesiderative sentences), with modified-modifier ordering. It has no pronouns, but instead uses nouns, names, or titles coupled with verb conjugation to designate the subject of the sentence. “Choice words” (silampampsum ku’unksum — noun-conjunctions designating tense, aspect, ability, and more) show signs of evolving into verb-prefixes.
Some Trollish sentences with English glosses are provided below.
“We hug trolls.”
no- No’onkonklun ko’onkx -‘inki.
DIS- depress-GR-NONTROLL-AUG disenchant-GR-GRUFF -hug-3RD.
“A bergen devours a colorless troll.”
“Get tickled by spiders!”
Trollish has five genders:
-Neuter (used for gerunds, formed by reduplication of the verb-root and the 0-suffix) e.g. haamp (“decorating someone” from *hahamp, from verb-root hamp, “to give someone ornaments,” “to decorate someone with beautiful clothes, jewelry, etc.”)
-Cute Troll: –ii e.g. haampii (“a princess,” “a garlander”)
-Gruff Troll: -n (-m after mp, -x after k, t, and c) e.g. haampm (“a queen,” “a dictator”)
-Non-troll person, but cute: -l (w after mp) e.g. haampw (“foreign cultural ambassador”)
-Non-person (animal, plant, or object) but cute: -s e.g. haamps (a species of glitter-producing caterpillar)
Non-cute nouns are formed by the addition of the augmentative suffix -un (e.g. haampmun, “a dynasty,” “a regime.”) Plurals are formed by the suffix –um.
Trollish verb-roots are by default ditransitive, with the first object a person and the second a non-person. E.g. gimp, “to give happiness to someone,” “to thrill someone.”
1st person –a– (gimpa, “I give happiness to someone”)
2nd person -o– (gimpo “You give happiness to someone”)
3rd person –i- (gimpi “He/she/it gives happiness to someone”)
plural object –n (e.g. gimpon “You all give happiness to someone”)
non-person object s- (e.g. sgimp “to give happiness to something,” “to liven a place up,” “to live somewhere”)
antitransitive i– (e.g. i’imp “to be happy”)
(the order of s– and i- prefixes changes meaning: e.g. isgimp “to be given pleasure by something,” “to enjoy something” vrs. si’imp “to make yourself happy with something,” “to like something”)
disdesiderative no- (no-‘imp “to rob someone”)
Adjectives follow the modified noun, which which they agree in gender and number.
Default sentence morphology is VSO
Gimpan gi’impii i’impiium gi’impiium.
“We happy trolls give happiness to trolls.” (the official motto of the Troll Republic)
Sentences or clauses with disdesiderative (sometimes called “sad”) verbs, however, take a no-SOV morphology, with the no- element separated from the verb (although they still interact phonetically).
no- No’onkonklun ko’onkx no’onkx -‘onki.
A Bergen depresses a depressed, colorless troll. (an idiom, meaning “cheer up” or “don’t stand out”)
Also called conjunction-nouns or modal nouns. These particles are derived from nouns and precede clauses.
“He/she gives someone a purpose.” (pumps is a noun)
Wumpi wuwumpii pumps-iwumpi
“A giver gives people things because that’s how a giver acts.” (an idiom meaning “you should give unselfishly”) (pumps- is a choice word)
Iumpa gulut nuk-swumpa
wumpin tulumpsun haampii.
Iskanka oinks-no- iskanks -ilumpa
kinkink iunka nowunkunksun.
Ximpa tulumpiim no-‘inkin
Nu’- gurgun -iswumpi?
— Dulunks Haampii Burgurtcx
“They cry out for their Garlander:
The Princess. She hopes to ably aid their need.
She knows she must with heavy heart depart what she has always known,
moreover fleeing through the Wood through which her people fled, rescue
her subjects afore they are devouréd.
Might great challenges await her?”
— The Princess and the Eremite IV:i Duluth translation (1889)