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Rufian-Kädd

Rufian-Kädd
yg bbynt rufi
yg bbynt kädd
Pronunciation[[əŋ ˌβɵnt ˈɽyːɸi]
[əŋ ˌβɵnt ˈɕɛːð]]
Created byLili21
DateJun 2020
SettingCalémere
EthnicityKädd
Native speakers70,000,000 (2312)
Rufi-Hâthasi languages
  • Rufian-Kädd
Official status
Official language in
Rufisgen, Tabbkwyrysroi, Sjakorroi, Kysteynroi

Rufian (yg bbynt rufi [əŋ ˌβɵnt ˈɽyːɸi] or Kädd [ɕɛːð] (yg bbynt kädd [əŋ ˌβɵnt ˈɕɛːð] ("the Kädd language")) is a language spoken by the Kädd people of Calémere. The Kädd homelands are in Evandor and Nearest Márusúturon (the part of Márusúturon closest to Evandor) and include the semiarid basins of Rufisgen on the Evandor-Márusúturon border, to the west and to the east the Kädd Plain, the long valley centered on the Tären river (ys märoig Tären in Kädd) and divided into the three countries of Tabbkwyrysroi (the upper and mid-upper course of the Tären), Sjakorroi (a short stretch of the middle Tären and neighboring areas), and Kysteynroi (almost coincident with the lower Tären valley).
It is the native language of about 70 million people, mostly in Rufisgen and Kysteynroi.

The language is generally known as Rufian in the West and in Rufisgen, due to that country having the most speakers; Kädd is a common term for the entire ethnicity and is preferred by speakers from the other countries. Generally, Western countries, closer to Rufisgen, mainly use a term based on the root Rufi (cf. Cerian rúfison; Nordûlaki rufis; Kalese rýfi), while Eastern countries and the Spocian world use one based on the root Kädd (cf. Spocian kedzwa; Skyrdagor sedh or sedhjor; Chlouvānem šǣdh-). Some Western linguists have begun using, in recent years, the hyphenated form Rufian-Kädd (cf. Cerian šérošu rúfiso-cédo; Nordûlaki þêuk rufise-kéd) to refer to the whole language without specifying a dialect; Rufian, which those linguists only use for the Rufian standard and for varieties in Rufisgen, remains however the most commonly used term by non-linguists.

Kädd is a pluricentric language, with the Rufian standard dialect, based on the dialect of Sjächnydd, cultural capital of Rufisgen, being however the dominant one in media. However, the Kysteyn standard, based on the dialect of Geythbreyddyn, capital of Kysteynroi and historically the economic centre of the Kädd-speaking lands, also has a certain importance and is more commonly spoken by non-natives in the neighboring countries.
All four standard languages are quite dialect-levelling, and in fact they have caused some local variants to shift closer to the standard, especially in Kysteynroi. However it is to be kept in mind that the Sjakor and Tabbkwyrys standard languages are quite similar to each other and also to the Kysteyn standard; standard Tabbkwyrys Kädd is in fact closer to standard Kysteyn Kädd than to most local dialects of Tabbkwyrysroi.

Despite the large amount of native speakers, Kädd does not have a large amount of non-native speakers, being between the macroregions of two other, more important, linguae francae: the Nâdja world to the east and Greater Nivaren to the west. Still, there are various Kädd learners in higher education both in the Western and Eastern blocs, and the language has become more popular in the digital era due to the growing popularity of Kädd-speaking pop culture, especially through movies and TV series.

Contents

Phonology

Consonants

The two major standards, Rufian (Sjächnyddet) and Kysteyn (Geythbreyddynet) share almost the same phoneme inventory, with only one merger (in Kysteyn) and a few differences in preferred realizations. The following table represents standard Rufian:

→ PoA
↓ Manner
Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar
Nasals m m n n g ŋ
Plosives Voiceless t t k k
Voiced b b d d
Fricatives Voiceless f ɸ s s
th θ
sj ʂ k[1] ɕ ch x
Voiced bb β dd ð
Liquids l l
r r
Approximants w w j, g j

The main differences of standard Kysteyn compared to standard Rufian are:

  1. bb and w merge as /w/;
  2. r is retroflex /ɽ/.

Standard Sjakor has the same phonemic inventory as standard Kysteyn, but Sjakor f is labiodental /f/. Standard Tabbkwyrys is quite distinct, on the other hand, because it lacks the /ɕ/ phoneme, having not palatalized other consonants in the environments that made that phoneme arise; for example, the endonym Kädd is /ˈɕɛð/ [ˈɕɛːð] in all standards except for Tabbkwyrys, where it is /ˈkɛð/ [ˈcɛːð]. Otherwise, the consonant inventory is the same as Sjakor[2].

Vowels

The four standard dialects have the same values for all monophthongs, even if there is a much greater variations between regions.

Front Central Back
High i i iː
u y yː
o u uː
High-mid e e eː y ə~ɵ~ɤ ɤː
Low-mid ä ɛ ɛː
Low a a a ɑː

The length distinction is only phonemic in stressed, closed syllables with a single /m n t k s/ as coda. Otherwise, length is predictable: all unstressed syllables have short vowels; stressed open syllables always have long vowels, while other closed syllables have short vowels with the exception of word-final stressed syllables with either one of /β ð/ as coda, which have long vowels.
Short vowels are represented by doubling the consonant letter. Exceptions are a few functional words, such as the inanimate definite article ys:

  • ddim "finger" /ðiːm/, ddimm "basket" /ðim/;
  • ryn "leader" /ɽɤːn/, rynn "grass" /ɽən/;
  • lat "cup" /lɑːt/, latt "string" /lat/;
  • träk "white" /tɽɛːk/, träkk "ring" /tɽɛk/;
  • kjos "hit" /ɕuːs/, kjoss "snow" /ɕus/.

Diphthongs are more varied in their realizations. The following ones are found in standard Rufian:

  • Rising diphthongs
    • ui ʏ̯i
    • eu e̯u
    • oi o̯i~u̯i

Falling diphthongs

    • iw iu̯
    • wy ui̯
    • ey ei̯, ew eu̯
    • yw (sometimes written yo) əu̯
    • äy ɛi̯
    • aw ɔu̯

Standard Kysteyn, Sjakor, and Tabbkwyrys all merge ui and oi as /ʏ̯i~ɥi/. Standard Sjakor and Tabbkwyrys have some more variations in the falling diphthongs, having /ai̯ au̯/ for äy aw and /ʏu̯/ for iw. Furthermore, standard Tabbkwyrys, following most local dialects, has the value /ɛu̯/ for yw, yo.

Morphology

Verbs

Kädd verbs are lexically marked for aspect: as in Slavic languages on Earth, each verb belongs either to the perfective or the imperfective aspect. In Kädd, the imperfective is generally the least marked form. The perfective is marked by either prefixes (usually with different meanings), vowel/consonant changes, or suffixes, or a combination of those, as in the following examples:

  • sjurdon "to wash (impf.)" > ythsjurdon "to wash, finish washing (pf.)", synsjurdon "to wash for a while (pf.)"
  • räyron "to eat (impf.)" > räyreton "to eat [all] (pf.)"
  • gonon "to read (impf.)" > gänton "to read [in full] (pf.)"
  • gonon "to read (impf.)" > kjwyganon "to read in parts, discontinuously (pf.)"

Perfective verbs can have their meaning translated to an imperfective verb, usually by attaching a further suffix:

  • gonon > kjwyganon > kjwyganddron "to read in parts, discontinuously (impf.)"

Copula

The Kädd copula is a postnominal suffix:

  • tjärchomos "I am a doctor"
  • tjärchomodd "you are a doctor"
  • tjärchom "he/she/it is a doctor"
  • tjärchomsän "we (excl.) are doctors"
  • tjärchomsijer "we (incl.) are doctors"
  • tjärchomddyr "you are doctors"
  • tjärchomewn "they are doctors"

The past copula has the suffix -ta- between the noun and the termination:

  • tjärchomtas "I was a doctor"
  • tjärchomtadd "you were a doctor"
  • tjärchomta "he/she/it was a doctor"
  • tjärchomtasän "we (excl.) were doctors"
  • tjärchomtasijer "we (incl.) were doctors"
  • tjärchomtaddyr "you were doctors"
  • tjärchomtawn "they were doctors"

Syntax

Vocabulary

Situated at the junction between the Nâdja, Nivarese, and marginally the Spocian world, and more broadly at the junction between Evandor and Márusúturon, the Kädd-speaking areas have long been important trade centers (Geythbreyddyn has historically been one of the largest cities on Calémere until the age of Evandorian colonization) and have absorbed multiple influences from the surrounding languages; there are multiple Nâdja and Nivarese loans in Kädd dialects, as well as Spocian and some non-Nivarese Evandorian influences.

External history

I started creating Rufian-Kädd in early June 2020 as a stylistic experiment merging Swedish and Welsh aesthetics. As I liked the result, I decided to use it for an area on Calémere, and I chose Rufisgen for it – an area I had not yet started any language for and only had placeholder placenames; in relation to Evandor both in culture and geography, the Kädd-speaking world has some similarities to the relation on Earth of Turkey to the rest of Europe.

Notes

  1. ^ Before front vowels, amongst other spellings.
  2. ^ Note that most Tabbkwyrys dialects do not merge bb and w, but the standard, which is mostly based on Geythbreyddynet, does.