Malij is the language of empire, but it began in exodus. The founders of Malij fled the Empire of Lij for a remote, inhospitable chain of islands in the Storm Ocean. Against all the odds, they prospered, and as their nation grew into a world power, so their language, now changed from the original Lij form, became the common trade language of Lijatac.
The Malij Alphabet
Malij places a great deal of importance on tenses and cases, and in the literary form, these are indicated by separate tense/case words which precede the verb/noun. Adverbs and adjectives are placed between the tense/case and the verb/noun. A locative or temporal modifier (eg 'now' or 'on') may be placed after the noun it modifies, provided the appropriate case word has been used.
Note that there are certain differences between the spoken and written forms of Malij. The separate tense and case words of the literary form lose their final letters (-v or -i) and are joined directly to the beginning of the following word. On a related note, it is important to recall the role of punctuation in written Malij. The start of a sentence is marked, rather than the end, meaning every Malij passage starts with a full stop or equivalent mark. Similarly, the start of a paragraph is signified by an overscore on the first word, and any numeral is identified by preceding it with the hash sign.
The Malij alphabet is a direct descendant of the first alphabet on Lijatac, that of Original Kolij. This alphabet was itself a simplification of the pictograms the Kolij people had previously used - the 23 letters of Original Kolij were simply 23 of their most commonly-used words.
The Kolij alphabet was carried by the general eastward migration to the new nation of Lij, where it was formalised into the Lij Runes seen below. When the founders of Malij fled Lij for the west, they too carried the alphabet with them, but over time rendered it into the form still in use today - a form which can be either cursive or printed as needed. The more open cursive of nearby Tumino descends from the Lij runes in a similar manner, but has completely lost the ability to write the letters separately. Four Alphabets of Lijatac