|Native speakers||55,000,000 (2312)|
Official language in
Kalese (native name: kalávyn or rězan kalávyn [(ˈrjɛzan) ˈkalaːvɯn]) is a language spoken on the planet Calémere. It is the majority language of the country of Kalo (Kal.: Kalou [ˈkaluː]) in Eastern Evandor and is widely spoken as a second language in most neighboring countries.
Kalese belongs to the Northern Evandorian branch of the Evandorian languages; among its branch, it is one of the Landward Velken languages, thus in its own subgroup related to the most spoken Northern language - Nordulaki - and the more distantly related Gathura. Its closest relatives include Hyxynen, Voguž, Genest, Opžän, and Zaikrenvaścik.
Kalese is representative of the main characteristics of Landward Velken languages: in nominal morphology, it is one of a minority of Evandorian languages that has completely lost the case system (in nouns, adjectives, and in pronouns too), but it retains some complexity in its large number of irregular plural forms. Its verbal morphology, however, is more complex than in other Northern Evandorian, non-Landward Velken, related languages, using aspect - rather than tense, as in most Evandorian languages - as the primary category verbs are inflected for.
- 1 External History
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Syntax
- 5 Example texts
- 6 Other resources
- 7 Notes
Kalese is a language I've long had only as a name on a map or in a list, despite it being one of the major languages of Evandor. The current version, first sketched in 2018, came to be when I had a vaguely Slovak aesthetic in mind and decided to try evolving something Slavic-y from the common Velken wordstock I already had made while evolving Nordûlaki from Proto-Evandorian.
Kalese is written in the Véraj alphabet (Kal.: nábev vérajávy), originally an offshoot of the Nivarese alphabet. Its current orthography is morphophonemic, but toponyms and surnames are often written as they were before last century's reforms, and this is reflected in the romanization used here - e.g. the surname of Dourkřvo Gnog, hero of the Kalese Resistance during the East-West War, is pronounced [noʁ], but tradition prevails over the reformed spelling *Noṙ.
A few common words are written with phonemically "wrong" spellings, such as ěs /jɛɕ/ "of" - both writing it *ěš following pronunciation, or pronouncing it [jɛs] following its spelling are considered mistakes.
Kalese has an mid-large consonant inventory consisting of 28 consonants (one of them, /g/, is mostly found in loans only); a further /ʎ/ phoneme is still represented in the standard orthography but has merged with /j/ in the majority of dialects. /j/ is pronounced [ç] when word-final and after another consonant or the diphthong /ɵʉ̯/ - e.g. pyvöļ "person" /pɯvɵʉ̯j/ [pɯvɵʉ̯ç].
|Nasals||m m||n n||ň ɲ||ṉ ŋ|
|Plosives||Voiceless||p p||t t||k k|
|Voiced||b b||d d||g (g)|
|Affricates||Voiceless||c ts||č tɕ|
|Voiced||x dz||đ dʑ|
|Fricatives||Voiceless||f f||s s
|sh ʂ||š ɕ||kh x|
|Voiced||v v||z z||ř ʐ||ž ʑ||ṙ ʁ|
Kalese has a vowel inventory consisting of 14 phonemes: 7 short vowels, 6 long ones, and a diphthong. The additional vowel letter ě does not represent a single vowel phoneme but the common sequence /jɛ/ [jɛ～jæ].
Other diphthongs do exist phonetically, but are commonly analyzed as /Vv/ and /Vj/ sequences (as in pěv "we" /pjɛv/ [pjɛu̯]).
|High||i í-ei ý i iː yː||y ɯ～y||u ú-ou u uː|
|High-mid||e é e eː||o ó o～ɔ oː|
|Low-mid||ä (ě) æ～ɛ jɛ|
|Low||a á a aː|
Short y is [ɯ] for most speakers, but [y] - with the same quality as its long counterpart - is common in some Southern Kalese dialects. However, even speakers which mostly use [ɯ] tend to use [y] if there's /yː/ in an adjacent syllable (as in mýkhyb "dog" [ˈmyːxyb]).
Stress is not phonemic and fixed on the first syllable of the root.
Nouns in Kalese only distinguish, as usual in Evandorian languages, two grammatical genders - masculine and feminine - and two numbers - singular and plural. Unlike most of the family, the case system of Kalese has completely disappeared.
Kalese does, however, still have a few complexities in its nouns as there are many irregular plurals with stem changes - more so than in Nordulaki and even more than Gathura (which already is pretty conservative). The original vowel harmony system of Proto-Evandorian can still be seen, 4000 years later, in the inflections of Kalese nouns: the learner's nightmare is that today there is no reliable rule to determine how the plural is formed.
A common trait of Kalese nouns - widespread among Evandorian languages - is that many nouns change their final consonant (or add one) when making their plural; the consonant found in the plural, actually, is often closer to the original Proto-Evandorian form (e.g. rětun, rětuṙá (< *roktog, *roktogaur) for "hawk, hawks", where the /ʁ/ derives directly from the PEv *g, without the *g _# > *ŋ > *n process in the Proto-Northern Evandorian phase that caused the final consonant of the singular to become /n/ — cf. also the Gathura cognate set zhoidun, zhoiduga and the Old Nordûlaki one roytu, roytuğor).
Most common pluralization patterns:
- -ý with no stem change; common due to its productivity with loanwords, but not so common in native words; e.g. rězan → rězaný (language(s))
- -ý with syncope; very common. běker → běkrý (city, cities)
- -ý with palatalization, with or without syncope.
- -ikh → -ěš (-äš after j or ļ), e.g. in jéļikh → jéļäš (finger(s))
- -č → -těn, most notably in ļälöč → ļälötěn (girl(s))
- -á with no stem change; e.g. pyvöļ → pyvöļá (person, people), řöṉ → řöṉá (hand(s))
- -á with syncope, e.g. mýkhyb → mýkhbá (dog(s))
- -ý with alternate stem, e.g. fjáthikh → fjáčiký (boar(s)), váth → vádý (hill(s))
- -á with alternate stem, e.g. rětun → rětuṙá (hawk(s)), ṙýbež → ṙýđá (foot, feet)
- However, this word is [eːs] in a few (moribund) Western dialects, more influenced by Zaikrenvaścik.