In 1823, Emilia-Theresien Inshaltschammer-Schmidt, a librarian from Innsbruck, went to Italy. She had planned an extended tour, over the Brenner, veer via Venice to Como, Genoa, the FrenchRiviera and then to Paris, where she hoped to study with and write a biography of Fourier. However, during a visit to the library in Ventimiglia, she both fell in love and made a discovery. Within the next year, Emilia had married the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota and begun a monograph about Kublai Khan and Marco Polo, based on papers she found in a back storage room at the Biblioteca di Ventimiglia. This work, in turn, languished in a different back room until 2001.
Inschaltschammer-Schmidt’s manuscript is a fascinating amalgam of language that either represents a lingua franca, as she claimed she discovered in the unrecovered original Ventimigliese texts, or her own note-taking fictition. Chi sa? While most of her work is dedicated to the Marco Polo monograph, there are sections of her work that contain fragments and notes on the undecipherable language she claims she discovered on her two-year honeymoon slash research trip along the Silk Road and in Mongolia. This language is what is now considered to be Yi Lula’kjecq.
Professor K has since returned to the places mentioned in Emilia’s notes in an effort to discover more about Yi Lula’kjecq and possibly understand the importance of this possible prehistorical lingua franca to modern languages today.
Yi Lula’kjecq is a language which exists as a particularly limited collection of written texts, creating only a fragmentary corpus. As such, much of the descriptive grammar explained on this website is tentative and cannot be proven absolutely correct without the addition of additional written sources. Yi Lula’kjecq has no speech population as of yet known to linguistic science, and considering that these textual fragments appear of a considerably advanced age, the linguist must conclude that it is currently impossible to construct an exhaustive grammatical description of the language.