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Revision as of 18:26, 5 July 2021 by Sware (talk | contribs) (Updated infobox)
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Created byAshucky
Native toItaly

Carnian, also known as Karnišna (natively), is a South Slavic language spoken in Northern Italy, more specifically in two regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto. The language borders on several languages spoken in the area, namely Slovene, Friulian, Venetian, Italian and German. Carnian is a fairly conservative language (it has dual, for example), but with heavy influence from the neighbouring Romance languages, both in its grammar and vocabulary. The official script of the language is Glagolitic but Latin is used at an increasing rate nowadays.





The Carnian consonant inventory is fairly simple. There are 32 consonants in total, 9 of which are geminate consonants. Carnian has lost the velar plosive /g/ and turned it into the velar fricative /ɣ/, with [g] being now an allophone of [ɣ]. An interesting feature of the language is also the dental fricative /ð/, which has developed from /d/ in some positions. Despite being a Slavic language, Carnian completely lacks palatal or palatalised consonants (except for /j/ and even that is often considered as a non-vocalic vowel).

Bilabial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar
Nasal Plain m n
Plosive Plain p b t d k
Fricative Plain f ð s z ʃ ʒ x ɣ
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Approximant ʋ j w
Trill r
Flap or tap ɾ
Lateral approx. Plain l


Carnian has 10 vowels total. There is no phonemic distinction between vowel legth but a general rule is that stressed vowels are longer than unstressed vowels.

Front Central Back
Close i y u
Close-mid e ø o
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a


Phonetic changes

The below table shows the phonetic changes from Proto-Slavic to Karnišna. If a particular sound is not shown, that means it has not changed.


The Latin alphabet of Carnian is close to a phonetic alphabet but with some historical spellings and letters. Glagolitic letters are also given.


  • the letter Ç - č can also be written as Ŏ - œ. The Latin equivalent is Č - č in both cases.
  • the letter M - m can also be written as Μ - ñ. The Latin equivalent is M - m in both cases.
  • the letter Z - z can also be written as Ż - ż. The Latin equivalent is Z - z in both cases.
  • Glagolitic for Q - q is Ĥ - š
  • Glagolitic for X - x is Ѵ - ѵ



Carnian nouns are inflected according to gender, number and case. There are three genders, inherited from Proto-Slavic: masculine, feminine and neuter. There are also three numbers: singular, dual and plural. Carnian also has six cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, locative, and instrumental. The only case that has been lost since Proto-Slavic is vocative.


Main: Carnian declensions

There are three main types of declensions, one for each gender. However, there are many smaller declensions with irregularities, and masculine nouns are also inflected according to animacy. In total, there are ten masculine declensions (all of them come in animate-inanimate variations), nine feminine declensions and nine neuter declensions.


Carnian adjectives belong to three types: qualitative, relational and possessive. They are also inflected for gender, number, case, and definiteness. Adjectives agree with the noun in the first three categories, that is in gender, number and case. Definiteness is shown only on adjectives, nouns are otherwise uninflected by it. Both the definite and the indefinite paradigms are divided into two types: short and long. The indefinite paradigms apply only to qualitative adjectives while the definite paradigms apply to relational and possessive adjectives. The short indefinite paradigm further applies only to qualitative adjectives in their comparative degree, and the short definite forms apply to qualitative adjectives in their superlative forms, and comparative forms if necessary. The short definite paradigms also applies to adjctival pronouns, such as the demonstratives.


Carnian verbs are much like those in other Slavic languages, especially Slovene. Verbs conjugate according to number, person, tense and mood, and impersonal forms also for gender. There are two aspects: perfective and imperfective - each verb is inhenrently one or the other, with some verbs being both, and aspects can be changed by adding a prefix, a suffix or just using a different verb.

The verbal system is actually a rather interesting mix of Slavic and Romance conjugation patterns. Carnian has four moods: indicative, and imperative are inherited from Proto-Slavic, while conditional and subjunctive are borrowed from Romance languages (namely Friulian). There are also interrogative forms that have been borrowed from Friulian as well. The indicative has seven tenses: present, aorist, imperfect, future, present perfect, pluperfect and future anterior; of those the last three are formed periphrastically. The conditional and the subjunctive both have two tenses: present and preterite; and the preterite tenses are also periphrastic. The imperative does not really have any tenses.