Valthungian

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Valthungian
Grējutungiška Rasta,
Sō Grējuga Tunga
Pronunciation /ˈgrai̯.juˌtuŋ.giʃ.kɑ ˈrɑs.tɑ,
sau̯ ˈgrai̯.ju.ɡɑ ˈtuŋ.gɑ/
Created by

BenJamin P. Johnson,
additionally creator of:

Date 2010
Language family
Writing system Valthungian Alphabet
Latin script (transliteration)
ISO 639-3 None

Valthungian is an East Germanic language descended from a language that was probably mutually intelligible with Gothic, though much of its corpus cannot have been inherited from the language of Wulfila. It is likely, however, that the speakers of the ancestor of Valthungian did consider themselves Goths (or Gutþiudōs), and that their language was mutually intelligible with other dialects of Gothic. The Valthungian relationship to “Classical Gothic” can be thought of as analogous to the relationship between Modern High German and Old High German – that is, not a direct lineage, but the modern languages are descended from neighboring dialects spoken by people who would likewise have considered themselves to be “Gutisks,” in the case of Valthungian, or “Diotisk” in the case of German.

While Valthungian shares many of the areal changes common to North and West Germanic languages, it is also marked by distinctive changes in palatalization, which, while similar to those of Old English, are most likely influenced by contact with Romance and Slavic languages.

The name “Valthungian” comes from the name Walðungas meaning “Forest-dweller,” likely related to the Thervingians (idem), though the Valthungian people refer to themselves as Grējutungišk, which is probably from an earlier Griutuggs (the name of an Ostrogothic tribe living along the northern shore of the Black Sea), but which underwent some semantic reanalysis over the generations and came to mean ‘the grey-tongued ones’. In turn, they call their language Grējutungiška Rasta ‘Grey-tonguish Language’ or just Sō Grējuga Tunga ‘the Grey Tongue’.

Writing System

Alphabet & Pronunciation

Here I give the traditional Valthungian letters followed by the Romanization I use for them in the second row. The Romanization is used throughout this article.

Gutish-a.png
Gutish-ae.png
Gutish-b.png
Gutish-g.png
Gutish-gh.png
Gutish-d.png
Gutish-dh.png
Gutish-e.png
a
ǣ
b
g
ǧ
d
ð
e
[ɑ]
aska
‘ash’
[e̞ː]
ǣjus
‘horse’
[b]
berka
‘birch’
[ɡ]
giva
‘gift’
[ʤ]
ǧus
‘creature’
[d]
daǧ
‘day’
[ð]
ǣði
‘mother’
[e̞]
erða
‘earth’
Gutish-zh.png
Gutish-h.png
Gutish-th.png
Gutish-i.png
Gutish-j.png
Gutish-k.png
Gutish-l.png
Gutish-m.png
ž
h
þ
i
j
k
l
m
[ʒ]
akuže
‘axe’
[h]
haglas
‘hail’
[θ]
þornus
‘thorn’
[i]
igil
‘hedgehog’
[j]
jēr
‘year’
[k,kʰ]
kune
‘family’
[l]
lagus
‘lake’
[m]
matna
‘man’
Gutish-n.png
Gutish-o.png
Gutish-p.png
Gutish-r.png
Gutish-s.png
Gutish-sh.png
Gutish-t.png
Gutish-ch.png
n
o
p
r
s
š
t
č
[n]
nǭþs
‘need’
[o̞]
orte
‘garden’
[p,pʰ]
perðra
‘chance’
[r]
rǣða
‘wheel’
[s]
sōgil
‘sun’
[ʃ]
šug
‘household’
[t,tʰ]
tījus
‘Teu’
[ʧ]
čukin
‘chicken’
Gutish-u.png
Gutish-v.png
Gutish-f.png
Gutish-w.png
Gutish-oe.png
Gutish-y.png
Gutish-oa.png
u
v
f
w
œ
y
ǭ
[u]
uvils
‘bad’
[v]
ivras
‘boar’
[f]
fǣjo
‘cattle’
[w]
wynia
‘joy’
[ø̞]
œrča
‘farmer’
[y]
ynča
‘ounce’
[o̞ː]
ǭsus
‘ox’

Non-Alphabetic Variants

Gutish-aa.png
Gutish-ee.png
Gutish-ii.png
Gutish-oo.png
Gutish-uu.png
Gutish-oeoe.png
Gutish-yy.png
ā
ē
ī
ō
ū
œ̄
ȳ
[ɑː]
āde
‘egg’
[ai̯]
ēls
‘eel’
[iː]
īs
‘ice’
[au̯]
ōðlas
‘inheritance’
[uː]
ūrus
‘aurochs’
[ø̞ː]
auge
‘island’
[yː]
ȳftigi
‘timeliness’

Though the seven long vowels of the Non-Alphabetic Variants have individual names, they are not considered to be part of the standard alphabet or alphabetical order. Instead, each long vowel is considered alphabetically to be the equivalent of its doubled short counterpart. That is, ‹ā› is equivalent to ‹aa›, ‹ē› to ‹ee›, ‹ī› to ‹ii›, and so on. (The long vowels ‹ǣ› and ‹ǭ› are included in the standard alphabetical order, and do not have short forms, though they are written with macrons in their Romanized forms.)

(NB: The Valthungian alphabet, while mainly latin- and cyrillic-based, contains several characters which are not readily representable using the standard Unicode characters. The forms presented in this wiki are a Romanization of the letters shown in the table above.)

Orthography

The orthography of Valthungian is quite regular to its phonology; indeed, there are very few exceptions:

  1. The letter ‹n› is used before ‹g› or ‹k› to indicate the velar nasal [ŋ]. Specifically, ‹ng› is [ŋg] and ‹nk› is [ŋk]. (E.g. drinkna [driŋk.na] ‘to drink’.)
  2. In combinations where ‹ng› is followed by another nasal consonant, [g] is elided in speech: ‹ngm› is [ŋm] and ‹ngn› is [ŋn]. (E.g. gangna [gaŋ.na] ‘to go’; not **[gaŋg.na].) In rapid speech this may also occur to the other nasal-stop combinations ‹mbn›, ‹mbm›, ‹ndm›, and ‹ndn›; sometimes the stop may also become glottal.
  3. The combination ‹rju› is realized as [rɛu̯] (rather than the expected [rju]). (E.g. frjusna [frɛu̯s.na] ‘to freeze’.)
  4. The diphthong ‹eu› is realized as [ɛu̯] (rather than the expected [e̞u̯]). (E.g. sneugna [snɛu̯g.na] ‘to snow’.)
  5. The diphthong ‹œu› is realized as [œy̑] (rather than the expected [ø̞u̯]).
  6. For some speakers, word-final ‹þs› may be realized as [t̪s].
  7. For some speakers, medial ‹tl› (usually derived from earlier /ll/) may be realized as [dɮ].

Stress is indicated in the standard orthography with an acute accent only if:

  1. The stress is not on the first syllable, and
  2. the stressed syllable is a short vowel. (Long vowels cannot be unstressed, though they may sometimes take secondary stress.)

For example, fergúne ‘mountain’, but garǣts ‘correct’.

Ligatures & Liaisons

When two like vowels of equal value come together, the words may form a ligature. This is most common with the articles ( + a-, + u-, etc.) and particles (e.g + i-).

  • Articles
    • Mandatory:
      • sā, hwā, twā + a-, ā- → s’ā-, hw’ā-, tw’ā-
        • sā aplass’āplas, ‘the apple’
        • twā aðnatw’āðna ‘two seasons’
      • sō, þō, hō + u-, ō- → s’ō-, þ’ō-, h’ō-
        • sō uréčas’ōréča, ‘the persuit’
        • sō ōss’ōs, ‘the ewe’
      • þǣ, twǣ + e-, ǣ- → þ’ǣ-, tw’ǣ-
        • þǣ ǣjusþ’ǣjus ‘the horses’
        • twǣ elistw’ǣlis ‘two others’
      • nī, þrī, hī + i-, ī- → n’ī-, þr’ī-, h’ī-
        • nī istn’īst, ‘isn’t’
        • hī īsranh’īsran ‘this iron’
    • Optional:
      • sō, þō + V- → sw’V-, þw’V-
        • sō akuže, sw’akuže ‘the axe’
        • þō ī, þw’ī ‘those which’

Phonology

Vowels

Short Vowels Long Vowels Diphthongs
Front Back Front Back Front Back
Closed i · y
[i · y]
u
[u]
ī · ȳ
[iː · yː]
ū
[uː]
Closed-to-
Mid e · œ
[e̞ · ø̞]
o
[o̞]
ǣ · œ̄
[e̞ː · ø̞ː]
ǭ
[o̞ː]
Mid-to- œu
[œy̑]
eu
[ɛu̯]
Open a
[ɑ]
ā
[ɑː]
Open-to- ē
[ai̯]
ō, au
[au̯]

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental Alveolar Palato-
alveolar
Velar Glottal
Plosive p · b
[p~pʰ · b]
t · d
[t~tʰ · d]
k · g
[k~kʰ · g]
Affricate č · ǧ
[ʧ · ʤ]
Nasal · m
[m]
· n
[n]
· n1
[ŋ]
Fricative f · v
[f · v]
ð · þ
[ð · θ]
s ·
[s]
š · ž
[ʃ · ʒ]
h ·
[h]
Tap or Trill · r
[r~ɾ]
Approximant · j
[j]
· w
[w]
Lateral approximant · l
[l]

1Before ‹g› or ‹k›.

[r]-Assimilation

This is a persistent rule that does not have much effect on declensions within the language, but does have some effect on the development of certain words. This rule is described in the Rules chapter of this document in Assimilation of [ɾ]. Specifically, /r/ is deleted when immediately followed by /ž/. For example, the possessive adjective inkur ‘your’, from earlier igqar /inkwar/ has the genitive plural form inkuža from earlier igqaraizō /inkwarɛ̄zō/ rather than the otherwise expected **inkurža. Similarly, marzjan ‘to offend’ and baurza /bɔrza/ ‘perch, bass’ → mežin, boža.

Voicing Alternation

This rule is inherited from Proto-Germanic. The rule is not persistent, but the variation in forms still affects the inflections of nouns, verbs, and adjectives in Valthungian. (A similar v/f alternation rule exists in English, for example in singular knife and plural knives, or the noun strife and the verb strive.) The Gothic version of this rule caused alternation between ‹f› or ‹þ›, used only at the end of a word or before an unvoiced consonant, and ‹b› or ‹d›, used elsewhere, e.g. giban, ‘to give’, gaf, ‘gave’. There are three main realizations of this rule in Valthungian:

  • v → f
  • ð → þ } at the end of a word, or before an unvoiced consonant.
  • ž → s

The implications of this rule for Valthungian are:

  • ‹f› or ‹þ› occur before ‹s› in the nominative singular of masculine or some feminine strong nouns, e.g. þlǣfs ‘loaf of bread’, but genitive þlǣvis.
  • ‹f› or ‹þ› occur when word-final in the accusative of masculine or some feminine strong nouns, and the nominative and accusative of neuter strong nouns, e.g. blōþ ‘blood’, but genitive blōðis.
  • ‹f› occurs when word-final or before ‹t› in the preterit singular and the second person imperative singular of strong verbs, e.g. gaf, gaft, ‘gave’, but infinitive givna.
  • ‹þ› also occurs when word-final in the preterit singular and imperative, but is assimilated to ‹s› before ‹t› in the second person preterit (see Coronal Consonant Assimilation below), e.g. biǧin ‘to bid’ has the first- and third-person preterit baþ but second-person bast.
  • The implications for ‹s› and ‹ž› can be a little trickier, because this split was not uniform in Gothic, and intervocalic /s/ was not later voiced (as it was in many other Germanic languages, leveling out this particular conundrum), so many words retain ‹s› throughout the paradigm. These are noted in the lexicon.

Please note that because this rule is not persistent, there are several words which later developed an intervocalic ‹f› or ‹þ› from earlier ‹h› which is not affected by this rule.

Palatalization

Palatalization is another historic rule that is no longer persistent in Valthungian, but has wide-ranging implications for inflections in Valthungian. There are actually several types of palatalization that occur in Valthungian, but they can all be boiled down into the following rules:

  • Masculine and feminine nouns whose roots end in ‹d› or ‹g› become palatalized before ‹s› in the nominative singular of a-, i-, and u-stems (but not feminine ō-stems). E.g. Gothic dags ‘day’, gards ‘yard’ become daǧ, garǧ. This type of palatalization only occurs when there was a /dz/ or /gz/ present in the language at some point historically (from Gothic /ds/ or /gs/).
  • A much more common form of palatalization, however, is that which occurs whenever the ending of a noun, verb, or adjective begins with ‹j›, e.g. strong masculine ja-stem nouns or adjectives or class 1 weak verbs. In these cases, the following occurs:
    • d or g + j → ǧ
    • t or k + j → č
    • s or h + j → š
    • z + j → ž (Actually, all instances of ‹z› eventually became ‹ž›, but that’s not applicable to this section.)

Palatalization of the latter type often goes hand in hand with Umlaut, below.

[b]/[v] Alternation

A less common alternation is that of ‹b› and ‹v›. This occurs in the same environment as the second type of palatalization (above), but instead of a true palatalization, instead there is a shift of ‹v› to ‹b›; or, more accurately, some paradigms without an original ‹j› are able to shift from ‹b› to ‹v› when intervocalic, but those with ‹j› are blocked from spirantizing.

For example, the adjective drœ̄vis ‘muddy’ (from Gothic drōbeis) has the dative singular form drœ̄bia (from drōbja).

Umlaut

Umlaut is another of those sound laws that no longer happens actively in the language, but it has become indicative of specific tenses or cases in the language.

  • The accusative singular of nouns with palatalization are not umlauted. All other forms of nouns with palatalization are umlauted.
  • The past subjunctive of verbs is umlauted (except for the 3rd person singular in formal speech). (First person singular is palatalized and umlauted.)
  • Most class 1 weak verbs and strong verbs ending in –jan in Gothic have umlaut in the present and imperative. These verbs all end with –in in Valthungian.

Umlaut in Valthungian initiates the following changes in the stressed vowel of a word:

  • a → e - satjan ‘to set’ → sečin
  • ā → ǣ - hlahjan ‘to laugh’ → þlǣn
  • ǭ (Got. ‹áu›) → œ̄ - hausjan ‘to hear’ → hœ̄šin
  • o (Got. ‹aú›) → œ - þaursjan ‘to thirst’ → þœršin
  • ō → œu - hwōtjan ‘to threaten’ → hwœučin
  • u → y - hugjan ‘to think’ → hyǧin
  • ū → ȳ - hrūkjan ‘to crow’ → þrȳčin

NB: The word “Umlaut” can refer to several different types of vowel change in Germanic languages – i/j-umlaut, u/w-umlaut, and a-umlaut most commonly – but only one type is present in Valthungian: Umlaut here is used to refer specifically to i/j-umlaut, also known as i-umlaut, or front umlaut.

Coronal Consonant Assimilation

This rule has a formidable name, but is actually common to all Germanic languages. This rule states that whenever a coronal consonant (namely, d, t, or þ) is directly followed by ‹t› or ‹st›, the coronal consonant becomes s. This accounts for the English word best, from earlier betst, from *batest. This applies mainly to second person preterit strong verbs, e.g. ǧutna ‘to pour’ and biǧin ‘to bid’ have a second person preterit of gǭst ‘you poured’ and bast ‘you bade’, rather than the otherwise expected **gǭtt and **baþt.

Syncope of Unstressed Non-High Middle Vowel

...um, working on it. I'll get back to you on this one...

Blocking of Metathetical Unpacking

Another formidable name, but what this means is that at various times historically, sound changes caused unstressed /a/ to disappear before sonorants (/l/, /r/, /m/, or /n/), turning them into syllabics. This happened at least once before the Gothic era, giving rise to words like bagms and aþn, and again before Valthungian, most notably collapsing the infinitive -an to -n. Later on, syllabics were “unpacked;” that is, they regained the /a/ that had been lost, but it now appeared after the sonorant instead of before it. For example, brōþar ‘brother’ became brōðra via an intermediate */brōðr̩/. However, there are a few instances where this unpacking didn’t happen because the ‹a› before the sonorant could not be deleted; if it were, the word would have been unpronounceable. This metathesis (which, in reality, is not really metathesis, but that’s what I’m calling it for now) is also blocked after any non-intervocalic voiced continuant; that is, V[v/ð]S shifts as expected (e.g. widan > wiðn̩ > wiðna), but VC[v/ð]S does not (e.g. haldan > halðan, not **halðna).

The practicality of this rule as it applies to modern Valthungian is that:

  • Dative plural a-stem nouns whose roots end in ‹–m› have the ending of ‹–am› rather than ‹–ma›, e.g. worms ‘worm’ has the dative plural of wormam rather than **wormma.
  • Masculine accusative plural strong a-stem nouns ending in ‹–n› have the ending of ‹–ans› rather than ‹–nas›, e.g. ǭns ‘oven’ has the accusative plural of ǭnans rather than **ǭnnas.
  • Infinitives of strong verbs and weak class 3 verbs whose roots end with ‹lð›, ‹lv›, ‹rð›, or ‹rv› have ‹–an› instead of ‹–na›, e.g. Gothic þaurban becomes þorvan rather than the otherwise expected **þorvna.
  • The third person plural indicative of strong verbs and weak class 3 verbs end in -anþ rather than **naþ.

Assimilation of [r] and [s]

Historically, this is a sound change that occurred in the transition from Proto-Germanic to Gothic and is no longer persistent, but it has specific reflexes that affect Valthungian paradigms.

The change initially applies to "light"-syllable nouns with stems ending in ‹-s› or ‹-r› in the masculine and feminine classes that take a final ‹-z› in the nominative singular. E.g. PGmc. *weraz, *drusiz → (Mora Loss: Short Unstressed Vowel Deletion) → *werz, *drusz → (Final Obstruent Devoicing) → wers, druss → (r/s-Assimilation) → Gothic waír /wer/, drus.

Later, beginning around the time of Middle Valthungian, this change was expanded analogously to other nouns and adjectives which had "heavy" syllables, and eventually the rule emerged that nouns and adjectives ending in ‹-r› and ‹-s› do not take an (additional) ‹-s› in the nominative singular, though they otherwise follow the paradigm of their particular stem. (E.g. bērsbēr ‘boar’, stiursčur ‘steer’. One notable example of this phenomenon is the Germanic tersaz (mentula) which became tairs in Gothic, but was then reanalyzed as an exception to the original r-rule (instead of the s-rule that it actually is), and eventually it became ter in Valthungian. It remains, however, an unkind word.)

Affix Anaptyxix

When a prefix ends in the same letter as the root, /a/ is inserted to break up the resulting geminate. /a/ may also be added to avoid awkward consonant clusters. Some of the most frequent are:

  • af+f: Gothic affilhanafafílþna ‘to hide away’
  • fer+r: Gothic fairrinnanferarítnan ‘to attain’
  • un+n: Gothic unnutansunanútans ‘unused; useless’

However, the prefix us- becomes ut-: Gothic ussandjanutsenǧin ‘to send out’

Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
1sg ik mīn mis mik I, my, (to) me, me
2sg þū þīn þis þik thou, thy, (to) thee, thee
3sg.masc is is itma in he, his, (to) him, him
3sg.neu it is itma it it, its, (to) it, it
3sg.fem ižas iža ī, īja she, her, (to) her, her
3sg.ind sist is itma sist they, their, (to) them, them
1du wit unkar unkis unk we two, our, (to) us, us
2du jut inkur inkus ink you/ye two, your, (to) you, you
1pl wīs unsar unsis uns we all, our, (to) us, us
2pl jūs ižur ižus ižus you/ye all, your, (to) you, you
3pl.masc īs iža im ins they, their, (to) them, them
3pl.neu ī, īja iža im ī, īja they, their, (to) them, them
3pl.fem ījas iža im ījas they, their, (to) them, them

Indefinite Pronouns

Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
inter.masc hwas hwis hwatma hwan who, whose, to whom, whom
inter.neu hwā hwis hwatma hwat what, &c
inter.fem hwō hwižas hwiža hwō who, &c
gen. sist is itma sist one, one’s, &c
neg. nima hun nimis hun nimin hun nimna hun noöne, noöne’s, &c
refl. - sīn sis sik himself, herself, itself, &c


Numbers

Declinable Numerals

Singular (‘one’)

Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
masc. ǣns ǣnis ǣnatma ǣnan
neu. ǣn(at) ǣnis ǣnatma ǣn(at)
fem. ǣna ǣnažas ǣna ǣna

Dual (‘two, both’)

Numeral Distributive (short) Distributive (long)
Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
masc. twǣ twǣǧa twǣm twans bǣža bǣm bans beǧiþs beǧiðiža beǧiðum beǧiðnas
neu. twā twǣǧa twǣm twā bǣža bǣm beǧiða beǧiðiža beǧiðum beǧiða
fem. twōs twǣǧa twǣm twōs beǧis bǣža bǣm beǧis beǧiðas beǧiðiža beǧiðum beǧiðas

Trial (‘three, all three’)

Numeral Distributive
Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
masc. þrīs þrīja þrim þrins þrǣ þrǣža þrǣm þrans
neu. þrī þrīja þrim þrī þrā þrǣža þrǣm þrā
fem. þrīs þrīja þrim þrins þreǧis þrǣža þrǣm þreǧis

Undeclinable Numerals

# 1# 2# #0 #00 #000 #000
0 (nǣns) tǣjun, tǣn twǣtiǧis -tiǧis tēhund þūsunde -ljǭn
1 (ǣns) ǣnlif twǣtiǧis ǣns tǣjun ǣn hund ǣna þūsunde miljǭn
2 (twǣ) twalif twǣtiǧi twǣ twǣtiǧis twā hunda twōs þūsunǧis biljǭn
3 (þrīs) þrītǣn twǣtiǧi þrīs þrīstiǧis þrī hunda þrīs þūsunǧis þriljǭn
4 fiður, fiðra fiðratǣn twǣtiǧi fiður fiðratiǧis fiður hunda fiður þūsunǧis friljǭn
5 fim fimtǣn twǣtiǧi fim fimtiǧis fim hunda fim þūsunǧis fimfiljǭn
6 sǣs sǣstǣn twǣtiǧi sǣs sǣstiǧis sǣs hunda sǣs þūsunǧis sǣsiljǭn
7 sivun, sivna sivnatǣn twǣtiǧi sivun sivnatiǧis sivun hunda sivun þūsunǧis sivniljǭn
8 āta ātatǣn twǣtiǧis āta ātatiǧis āta hunda āta þūsunǧis ātatiljǭn
9 njun njuntǣn twǣtiǧi njun njuntiǧis njun hunda njun þūsunǧis njuniljǭn

The numbers in Valthungian – as in most languages – have gone through more phonological change than other words, and as a result, there are some irregularities. Four numbers have two forms (some of which may be optional). There is also an innovated trial distributive (‘all three’), probably by assimilation from the dual (‘both’). The number ‘one’, usually alternating with the indefinite article in most languages, is used merely for counting purposes, as an indefinite article is not used in Valthungian.

The number ‘four’ is fiður, where we would normally expect **fidur through regular sound change (specifically, the change of /d/ to /ð/ would normally be blocked by the following /w/ in fidwōr). There is also a further lenited form of fiðra, which is optional when it stands alone, but required in compounds. (Gothic also had two versions of ‘four’: fidwōr and a compound form fidur.)

The number ‘seven’ has the expected form of sivun, but also a lenited form of sivna, again, required in compounds but otherwise optional. ‘Eight’ is āta, but may optionally be lenited to āt. (This is a newer innovation, and is not considered to be correct in writing.) Finally ‘ten’ is tǣjun or lenited tǣn, the latter being used exclusively in the “teen” numbers, the former being preferred elsewhere, though still optional.

For compounding numbers, Gothic separated each of the number’s components with the word jah (‘and’, now ), but Valthungian has dispensed with this and now uses i – believed to be a shortened form of – only before the last component. For numbers ending with –tiǧis, a further contraction has become standard, and it is shortened to –tiǧi, e.g. þrīstiǧi fim ‘thirty-five’. Hund becomes hundi and hunda is also contracted to hund’i, þūsunde to þūsund’i, and þūsunǧis to þūsunǧi. (Note the lack of apostrophe in -tiǧi, hundi, and þūsunǧi.) No -i- is added before numbers beginning with a vowel, i.e. ǣn- and āta.

Number terms higher than ‘thousand’ are ostensibly borrowed from Latin, though they contain their own Germanic innovations, e.g. þriljǭn ‘trillion’, fiðriljǭn ‘quadrillion’, fimfiljǭn ‘quintillion’, instead of the expected **triljǭn, **kwaðriljǭn, and **kwintiljǭn.

Another note concerning the higher numbers: Valthungian follows the short scale for higher numbers (whereas most European countries currently use the long scale); that is, each new number term is one thousand times larger than the previous term (whereas in the long scale, each new term is one million times larger). This is further confused by the now-standard European “hybrid” model where intermediate terms in the long scale are applied to the “thousands” with the suffix ‘-ard’. The following table is applicable to most modern standards:

N⁰ Numerals Valthungian Short Hybrid Long Metric
10³ 1,000 þūsunde thousand kilo
10⁶ 1,000,000 miljǭn million Mega
10⁹ 1,000,000,000 biljǭn billion milliard thousand million Giga
10¹² 1,000,000,000,000 þriljǭn trillion billion billion Tera
10¹⁵ 1,000,000,000,000,000 fiðriljǭn quadrillion billiard thousand billion Peta
10¹⁸ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 fimfiljǭn quintillion trillion trillion Exa
10²¹ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 sǣsiljǭn sextillion trilliard thousand trillion Zetta
10²⁴ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 sivniljǭn septillion quadrillion quadrillion Yotta
10²⁷ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ātatiljǭn octillion quadrilliard thousand quadrillion -
10³⁰ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 njuniljǭn nonillion quintillion quintillion -

Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are usually formed by adding a dental suffix to the end of a number, though there is some suppletion for the first and second ordinals, and the third is irregular (just as is the case in English).

In Proto-Germanic and Gothic, all of the ordinals except for first and second used only the weak declension, but all ordinals now use both strong and weak declensions according to standard rules.

1 frumist (frumista), frums (fruma) first
2 anðra (anðra) second
3 þrīǧis (þrīǧa) third
4 fiðraþs (fiðraða) fourth
5 fimft (fimfta) fifth
6 sǣst (sǣsta) sixth
7 sivunþs (sivunþa) seventh
8 ātuþs (ātuða) eighth
9 njunþs (njunþa) ninth
10 tǣjunþs (tǣjunþa), tǣnþs (tǣnþa) tenth
11 ǣnlift (ǣnlifta) eleventh
12 twālift (twālifta) twelfth
13 þrītǣnþs (þrītǣnþa) thirteenth
20 twǣtiǧist (twǣtiǧista) twentieth
100 hundaþs (hundaða) hundredth
1,000 þūsundiþs (þūsundiða) thousandth
1,000,000 miljǭnþs (miljǭnþa) millionth

Alternative Numbers

The Gothic number system, modeled after the Greek system, which used the letters of the alphabet instead of separate unique characters, continued to be used well into the middle ages (Middle Valthungian), and certain taboo numbers came to be called by their character representation rather than their numeric form. Primarily among these numbers was '13', which was written in Gothic as ·ig·. This also occurred with the numbers '113' (rig), '213' (sig), '313' (tig), '413' (wig), and '513' (fig). (This was not mirrored in the higher numbers of the hundreds, because most of those combinations would have been unpronounceable.)

The number '19' is also sometimes called by the same formulation.

Certain slang terms have also developed out of this system, in reverse, as it were. For example, a 'road' or 'highway' is sometimes referred to as a '413' (fiðrahunda þrījatǣn or fiðra-þrītǣn), written wig (the accusative singular of wiǧ ('road').

A much more recent slang term that has evolved from this system is the use of the number '843' to represent the (unpronounceable) letter combination ·omg·.

Articles & Determiners

Valthungian has two definite articles, and his, both of which are equivalent to ‘the,’ but may also be translated as ‘that’ and ‘this’, respectively. Where there is a lack of clear proximity-based dichotomy, is usually preferred.

There is no indefinite article in Valthungian.

Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc. Nom. Gen. Dat. Acc.
masc.sg þis þatma þan his his hitma hin
neu.sg þat þis þatma þat hit his hitma hit
fem.sg þižas þiža þō hīja hižas hiža hī, hīja
masc.pl þǣ þiža þǣm þans hīs hiža him hins
neu.pl þō þiža þǣm þō hī, hīja hiža him hī, hīja
fem.pl þōs þiža þǣm þōs hījas hiža him hījas

Nouns

Noun classes differ by suffix vowel class and by gender. They may also differ by glides (/j/ or /w/) suffixed to the stem and/or the presence of infixive /n/. The main classes are those stems in /a/ or /ō/, in /i/, in /u/, or in /n/ (as described below: See A Note on Strong and Weak Nouns). There is also a very small class in /r/ having to do with familial relations. Some former noun classes in Gothic (such as consontant-stem and nd-stem nouns) have been regularized in Valthungian through paradigmatic levelling, and their declensions have been assimilated into other classes.

Every noun in Valthungian (and many of the older Germanic languages, as well as modern German and Icelandic) has eight possible forms. These are the singular and plural forms of the nominative (those nouns which comprise the subject of the sentence), genitive (those used to indicate possession or relation), dative (the indirect object), and accusative (the direct object).

Masculine and feminine strong nouns usually take an ending of –s for the nominative singular, while neuter nouns take no ending. The genitive is almost universally indicated by –is (this is equivalent to the “ ’s ” of the English possessive). The dative usually takes –a. The accusative usually does not take any ending.

In the plural, Masculine and feminine nouns usually take –as as an ending; neuter takes –a. The genitive plural also takes –a. The dative plural takes –am, but in many cases this ending undergoes a process of metathesis, rendering it –ma. Finally, the accusative plural of masculine and feminine nouns is usually –ans, but again may metathesize to –nas; neuter accusative plurals generally take –a.

Most of the actual declensions of nouns are fairly standard – much more standardized, in fact, than Gothic – however, the various phonological rules governing the language create a great deal of variation (See Phonology). It is important to be familiar with the rules set forth in the Phonology section of this document in order to fully understand some of the otherwise unexpected variants that emerge.

A Note on Strong and Weak Nouns

In most Germanic languages, nouns, verbs, and adjectives tend to be broken into categories considered “strong” and “weak.” In nouns and adjectives, “weak” means that the words cling to their determiner endings inherited from Proto-Indo-European, which usually have an /n/ inserted between the root and the ending. For the purposes of this text, I will dispense with the traditional strong and weak categories as relates to nouns and simply relate the various categories into which nouns can be classified, based on their inherited Proto-Germanic endings (which include the /n/ infix where applicable). Since these endings can be irregular and each class must be learned by rote anyway, there is no need in the context of the Valthungian language to add this additional arbitrary distinction.

Verbs

Strong Verbs

Strong Verbs: Class I (ī – ǣ – i – i)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik grǣp gripia grīpa grīpa  
grīpna þū grǣft gripis grīpis gripas grīp
Gerund: is/sī/it grǣp gripe gripiþ gripa gripaða
grīpnaþs wit/wīs gripum gripim grīpma grīpam grīpma
Part.: jut/jūs gripuþ gripiþ grīpiþ grīpaþ grīpiþ
gripnas ī(ja)(s) gripun gripin grīpnaþ grīpan grīpanþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class II (ju – ǭ – u – u)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik strǭp strypia strjupa strjupa  
strjupna þū strǭft strypis* strjupis strjupas strjup
Gerund: is/sī/it strǭp strupe strjupiþ strjupa strjupaða
strjupnaþs wit/wīs strupum strypim* strjupma strjupam strjupma
Part.: jut/jūs strupuþ strypiþ* strjupiþ strjupaþ strjupiþ
strupnas ī(ja)(s) strupun strypin* strjupnaþ strjupan strjupanþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class III (i – a – u – u)

Class III strong verbs are those verbs with /i/ (historically /e/) as the root vowel which is followed by a sonorant (r, l, m, n) and an obstruent (p, t, k, b, d, g, f, þ, s, h), or, rarely, two obstruents (e.g. /hs/, /gd/). Ablaut causes the second principle part to shift to /a/, and the third and fourth to /u/.

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik band bynǧa binda binda  
bindna þū banst byndis* bindis bindas bind
Gerund: is/sī/it band bunde bindiþ binda bindaða
bindnaþs wit/wīs bundum byndim* bindma bindam bindma
Part.: jut/jūs bunduþ byndiþ* bindiþ bindaþ bindiþ
bundnas ī(ja)(s) bundun byndin* bindnaþ bindan bindanþa
 

In verbs where /r/ is the sonorant in question, the paradigm shifts to /e/ in the first principle part and /o/ in the third (due to the East Germanic Reflex of First Umlaut).

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik barg bœrǧa berga berga  
bergna þū bart bœrgis* bergis bergas berg
Gerund: is/sī/it barg borge bergiþ berga bergaða
bergnaþs wit/wīs borgum bœrgim* bergma bergam bergma
Part.: jut/jūs borguþ bœrgiþ* bergiþ bergaþ bergiþ
borgnas ī(ja)(s) borgun bœrgin* bergnaþ bergan berganþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class IV (i – a – ē – u)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik kwam kwēmia kwima kwima  
kwimna þū kwamt kwēmis* kwimis kwimas kwim
Gerund: is/sī/it kwam kwēme kwimiþ kwima kwimaða
kwimnaþs wit/wīs kwēmum kwēmim* kwimam kwimam kwimam
Part.: jut/jūs kwēmuþ kwēmiþ* kwimiþ kwimaþ kwimiþ
kwmnas ī(ja)(s) kwēmun kwēmin* kwimnaþ kwiman kwimanþa
 
Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik bar bœria bera bera  
berna þū bart bœris* beris beras ber
Gerund: is/sī/it bar bore beriþ bera beraða
bernaþs wit/wīs borum bœrim* berma beram berma
Part.: jut/jūs boruþ bœriþ* beriþ beraþ beriþ
bornas ī(ja)(s) borun bœrin* bernaþ beran beranþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class V (i – a – ē – i)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik kwaþ kwēþia kwiða kwiþia  
kwiðna þū kwast kwēðis* kwiðis kwiðas kwiþ
Gerund: is/sī/it kwaþ kwēðe kwiðiþ kwiða kwiðaða
kwiðnaþs wit/wīs kwēðum kwēðim* kwiðma kwiðam kwiðma
Part.: jut/jūs kwēðuþ kwēðiþ* kwiðiþ kwiðaþ kwiðiþ
kwiðnas ī(ja)(s) kwēðun kwēðin* kwiðnaþ kwiðan kwiðanþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class VI (a – ō – ō – a)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik drōg drœ̄ǧa draga draga  
dragna þū drōft drœ̄gis* dragis dragas drag
Gerund: is/sī/it drōg drōge dragiþ draga dragaða
dragnaþs wit/wīs drōgum drœ̄gim* dragma dragam dragma
Part.: jut/jūs drōguþ drœ̄giþ* dragiþ dragaþ dragiþ
dragnas ī(ja)(s) drōgun drœ̄gin* dragnaþ dragan draganþa
 

Strong Verbs: Class VII (reduplication)

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik hehǣt hehǣča hǣta hǣta  
hǣtna þū hehǣst hehǣtis* hǣtis hǣtas hǣt
Gerund: is/sī/it hehǣt hehǣte hǣtiþ hǣta hǣtaða
hǣtnaþs wit/wīs hehǣtum hehǣtim* hǣtma hǣtam hǣtma
Part.: jut/jūs hehǣtuþ hehǣtiþ* hǣtiþ hǣtaþ hǣtiþ
hǣtnas ī(ja)(s) hehǣtun hehǣtin* hǣtnaþ hǣtan hǣtanþa
Class VII strong verbs form the past by reduplication; that is, the first letter is repeated, followed by ‹e›, then followed by the remainder of the verb and the usual strong endings.

Verbs beginning with ‹s› followed by a stop (i.e. ‹sp›, ‹st›, or ‹sk›), the first two letters are repeated.
When the stressed vowel is short, it must also be marked with an acute diacritic.

Non-finite Past Ind. Past Sbj. Pres. Ind. Pres. Sbj. Imperative
Infinitive: ik lelōt lelœ̄ča lēta lēta  
lētna þū lelōst lelœ̄tis* lētis lētas lēt
Gerund: is/sī/it lelōt lelōte lētiþ lēta lētaða
lētnaþs wit/wīs lelōtum lelœ̄tim* lētma lētam lētma
Part.: jut/jūs lelōtuþ lelœ̄tiþ* lētiþ lētaþ lētiþ
lētnas ī(ja)(s) lelōtun lelœ̄tin* lētnaþ lētan lētanþa
Verbs with ‹ē› as the primary vowel may also show ablaut to ‹ō› in the past (and subsequently umlaut to ‹œ̄› in the past subjunctive).

Weak Verbs

Weak Verbs: Class Ia (-janą)

Weak Verbs: Class Ib (-ijaną)

Weak Verbs: Class II (-ōną)

Weak Verbs: Class III (-āną)

Weak Verbs: Class IV (-naną)

Weak Verbs: Class V (-ną)

Preterite-Present Verbs

Anomalous Verbs