|Spoken natively in||Telrhamir, Iscaria, Aeranid Empire|
|Official language in||Aeranid Empire|
|Recognised minority language in||Iscaria, S'entin, Tevrén|
Aeranir, also known as coeñar aerānir (language of the Aerans), or coeñar indëris (language of the capital), is an Iscaric language in the Maro-Ephenian language group. It was originally spoken by the Aerans, developed in the deserts of Northern Iscaria in the city of Telrhamir, and spread with the expanse of the Aeranid Empire throughout Ephenia, as well as parts of Eubora and Syra. It later developed into the Aeranid languages, such as Dalot, Ilesse, Iscariano, Îredese, S'entigneis, and Tevrés. It is still used throughout Ephenia as a language of theology, science, medicine, literature, and law.
Aeranir had been standardised into Classical Aeranir by the time of the Early Empire, around the second millennia BNIA by the writer and educator Limius. The period before that is generally referred to as Old Aeranir. The language spoken between the 15th and 12th centuries BNIA is generally referred to Late Aeranir. This shift is marked by several grammatical and phonetic shifts. After that period, Aeranir began to splinter off into the various Aeranid languages. A form of Classical Aeranir called New Aeranir or Medieval Aeranir remained in use in official writings even after this period.
- 1 History
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Nouns
- 4 Verbs
- 5 Lexicon
- 6 Footnotes
The oldest attested form of Aeranir is Old Aeranir, which was spoken in the kingdom of Telrhamir circa 2300 BNIA. It is attested mostly in inscriptions found in and around the Great Desert, and in some early remaining Aeranid literary works. Old Aeranir lacked many of the verb-forms found in Classical Aeranir, such as the potential and causative moods, and the passive voice (which was marginal even in Classical Aeranir). Old Aeranir had an additional declension class, the i-stem declension, which merged with the consonant-stems in Classical Aeranir. Proto-Iscaric diphthongs /ei/ and /ou/, as well as initial /gn/ and non-affricate /ts/ were retained in Old Aeranir, and it is believed that Classical /ɛː ɔː øː yː/ remained diphthongs /ai au oi ui/ (and were thus written ai au oi ui, as opposed to Classical ae au oe ȳ). In general, Old Aeranir lacked much of the vowel diminishing that characterised Classical Aeranir.
A standardised form of the language arouse in the time of the Early Empire, created conciously by the prominent grammarians, writers, and orators of the time. This formed the basis of what was taught in the Telrhamiran axēs system. One of the most prominent of these figures was Limius (who was known in their day as Lēctïca Prīstus Limius Vestil Oscānus Fellëntīmā Motā Soniae) who is credited with first marking diminished vowels in writing.
The following is a table of phonemes in Aeranir. This analysis is based on Classical Aeranir, as it was used during the hight of the Aeranid Empire. The phonology, especially the number of vowel phonemes, varied greatly time, but this is seen as the standard version of the language.
Notes on consonants
- The voiceless stops are aspirated alophonically in the onset of stressed syllables.
- The nasal consonant /n/ assimilates to the place of articulation of the following stop, so that /nk/ or /nqʷ/ for example become /ŋk/ and /ɴʷqʷ/. Before fricatives, /n/ is deleted, and the proceeding vowel is lengthened and nasalised. These processes apply between word boundries as well. Word final /n/ as part of case and personal markers is elided before a word starting with a vowel, fricative, approximate, or before a pausa.
- The phoneme /ɣ/ has the greatest variance of all Aeranid phonemes, varying between dialects and even between individual speakers from [ɰ~ɣ~ʁ~ʀ~ɢ~ʕ~ɦ~Ø]. It often served as a shibboleth for discerning one's origins or social circles.
- The velar, labio-velar, and labio-uvular consonants /k/, /g/, /kʷ/, /gʷ/, and /qʷ/ are palatalised before front vowels and /j/ to [c], [ɟ], [kᶣ], [gᶣ], and [qᶣ] respectively. Futhermore, dental consonants /n/, /t/, and /d/ are palatalised before /j/ to [ɲ], [c], and [ɟ]. The glottal fricative /h/ is also palatalised to [ç] before high front vowels and /j/. Some dialects also palatalise the postalveolar consonants /s̠/ and /ts̠/ to [ɕ] and [tɕ] before front vowels and /j/. In dialects were /ɣ/ is velar, it is often palatalised to [ʝ] in the same enviorments as the other velar consonants.
- The labialised consonants /kʷ/, /gʷ/, and /qʷ/ are pronounced as truly labialised, rather than a sequence of two consonants, i.e. /kw/, /gw/, /qw/. The voiced labiovelar stop only occurs after a nasal consonant.
- All consonants, with the exception of /ʋ/, can be geminated between vowels. This is denoted orthographically by doubling of the first letter of the phoneme, i.e. ⟨cc⟩, ⟨ff⟩, ⟨rrh⟩, etc. The palatal approximate /j/ is always geminated to [jː] between vowels, but is written with a simple ⟨i⟩. Fricative /hː/ is usually realised as [ȥː], however in dialects with uvular or pharyngeal articulation of /ɣ/, it is usually backed to match that articulation. In dialects that palatalise /s̠/ and /ts̠/, [çː] often becomes [ɕː], merging in some environments with /s̠ː/.
- The lateral approximate /l/ has two allophones in Classical Aeranir; [l] before close front vowels, /j/, and when geminated, and [ɫ] elsewhere.
Vowels in Aeranir underwent the greatest amount of change throughout time. Although the standard is considered to me Classical Aeranir as it was spoken in the 17th and 16th centuries bnia, this should not be seen in the context of a sliding historical spectrum. Below are listed three somewhat representative samples that provide a broad overview of general changes.
|Close||i • ī
/i/ • /iː/
|u • ū|
/u/ • /uː/
|Mid||e • ē
/e̞/ • /e̞ː/
|o • ō|
/o̞/ • /o̞ː/
|Open||a • ā
/a/ • /aː/
|ai • au
/ai̯/ • /au̯/
oi • ou
/oi̯/ • /ou̯/
|Close||i • ī
/ɪ/ • /iː/
|y • ȳ
/ʏ/ • /yː/
|ï • ü
/ɨ/ • /ʉ/
|u • ū|
/ʊ/ • /uː/
|Mid-open||e • ae
/ɛ/ • /ɛː/
|o • au|
/ɔ/ • /ɔː/
|a • ā|
/a/ • /aː/
Notes on vowels
- The short high rounded vowel /ʏ/ is a loan from Dalitian, and is not found in any native words, or words dating back to Old Aeranir. It is usually realised as [ɪ], and is only rounded in educated speech.
- The vowels /ɨ/, /ʉ/, /æ/, and /ɵ/ are technically reduced allophones of full /ɪ/, /ʊ/, /ɛ/, and /ɔ/ in non-stressed word internal syllables. They cannot occure outside of these contraints. However, Aeranid grammaticians considered them to be separate sounds, and wrote them differently, so they are distinguished in this chart. They were also devoiced between voiceless consonants, and assimilated to preceeding sonorants, creating long soronants.
|*uHi||→ ui /ui̯/||→ y /yː/||→ i /i/|
|*iHu||→ iu /iu̯̯/|
|*ey, *ehi, *ēy, *hey||→ ei /ei̯/||→ ī /iː/|
|*iH||→ ī /iː/|
|*i||→ i /i/||→ i /ɪ/||→ e /e/|
|*oy, *oHi, *eħʷi,
*ōy, *Hoy, *ħʷey
|→ oi /oi̯/||→ oe /øː/|
|*eh, *ē||→ e /eː/||→ e /eː/|
|*e||→ e /e/||→ e /ɛ/||→ ĕ /ɛ/|
|*eħi, *ħey||→ ai /ai̯/||→ ae /ɛː/|
|*ow, *oHu, *ōw,
*How, *ħʷew, *ew,
*ehu, *ēw, *hew
|→ ou /ou̯̯/||→ ū /uː/||→ u /u/|
|*uH||→ ū /uː/|
|*u||→ u /u/||→ u /ʊ/||→ o /o/|
|*oH, *ō, *ħʷeH,
|→ o /oː/||→ o /oː/|
|*o, *ħʷe||→ o /o/||→ o /ɔ/||→ ŏ /ɔ/|
|*eħu, *ħew||→ au /au̯̯/||→ au /ɔː/|
|*eħ, *ħē||→ ā /aː/||→ ā /aː/||→ a /a/|
|*H̩||→ a /a/||→ a /a/|
- Most non-intial short vowels in Proto-Iscairc were reduced to /i/ by the time of Old Aeranir. Many of these were then further reduced in Classical Aeranir (as discussed above), to the vowels represented by diaeresis. These merged in Late Aeranir to a schwa, but this schwa was deleted in many environments.
- Old Aeranir diphthongs /ei̯/ and /ou̯̯/ may have been realised as hightened pure vowels [eː~e̝ː] and [oː~o̝ː]. Before other vowels, /ei̯/ becomes simple [e] in Classical Aeranir. Likewise, Classical /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ rise to [e] and [o] before another vowel. These were then simplified into glides [j] and [w] in Late Aeranir.
- There are two realisations of high short vowels /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ before another vowel, depending on whether the proceeding syllable it light or heavy. Following a light syllable, the become glides [j] and [w]. Follwing a heavy syllable, an anaptyctic vowel is inserted, becoming [ɨj] and [ʉw]. These vowels are not represented in the orthography.
Syllable stress in Old Aeranir fell uniformly on the first syllable of a word. However, by the time of Classical Aeranir, stress had shifted to a more complex paradigm, generally falling on the penult (the second to last syllable) or the antipenult (the third to last syllable). Which one was determined by the weight of the penult.
Syllables are divided into one of two categories, or weights. These are light syllables and heavy syllables. A light syllable contains a maximum of one short vowel, alone or proceeded by a consonant or consonant cluster, while a heavy syllable may contain a long vowel, a coda consonant, or both. If the penult of a word is heavy, it is stressed. If not, the antipenult is stressed.
Aeranir nouns are divided into three genders, all of which are directly inherited from late Proto-Maro-Ephenian. These known as the temporary, cyclical, and eternal genders. The gender of a noun effects the adjectives and verbs that refer to it.
- saliȥ ars rhaius = The small person (temporary) is falling.
- salia tlāna rhaia = The small flower (cyclical) is falling.
- salī praediun rhaiun = The small pen (eternal) is falling.
The gender of most nouns can be easily inferred from its ending. Furthermore, there is often overlap between meaning and gender. Animate living beings and small, breakable objects are often temporary, while abstract concepts, natural processes, or seasonal plants are usually cyclical, and large, durable, inanimate objects are most likely eternal. However, some nouns have no relation to their gender. Personal names are either temporary or cyclical; eternal names are reserved for gods.
Verbs in Aeranir are conjugated to agree with the number, the person, and in the third person singular, the gender of the most oblique argument given a word's valency, as defined by the DGA pyramid. Here, S represents the subject of an intransitive verb, such as 'the person' in 'the person laughed.' A represents the agent of a transitive verb (also occasually called the subject), or the person or thing that does the action of the verb, such as 'the child' in 'the child reads the book.' D marks the donor, a special type of agent, who gives something or does a the action of a verb for the benefit of another, such as ‘the senator’ in ‘the senator gave the cat some milk.’ These are collectively called the nominative argument, and are expressed usually with the nominative case, but also occasionally with the genitive case in dependant clauses.
P represents the patient of a transitive verb, or the person or thing towhich the verb is done, also called the direct object, such as ‘the book’ in ‘the child reads the book.’ T represents the theme, or the object that is given to someone or something, such as ‘the milk’ in ‘the senator gave the cat some milk.’ These two roles make up the accusative argument, which is marked with the accusative case. Finally, R represents the recipient, or the person who recieves the theme from the donor, or benefits from the donor's action, with a ditransitive verb, also commonly called the indirect object, such as 'the cat' in 'the senator gave the cate some milk.'
Aeranir verbs conjugate their endings to agree with the most oblique argument in a clause. That means the subject of an intransitive verb (e.g. claudiȥ; 'I laugh'), the patient of a transitive verb (e.g. augente; 'I look at you'), or the recipient of a ditransitive verb (e.g. ȥavīȥe salvae; 'you all gave me the books'). It should be noted that a verb in the active voice must always have the maximum number of arguments according to its inherent transitivity. This means, for example, that one can never say 'John eats.' Because 'to eat' is transitive, there must be a patient, or direct object, e.g. 'John eats food.' However, there are a number of valancy dropping operations available in Aeranir to allow various arguments to be dropped, which are discussed in the section on voice.
Additional arguments can be expressed with pronominal clitics attached to the end of a verb in independant clauses and to the beginning in dependant ones (e.g.augente; 'I look at you,' ȥavīȥe salvae; 'you all gave me the books'), however these are not considered part of a verbs conjugation, and are optional, especially if the information can be assumed or is known between speakers.
Number of Conjugations
They love me
They should love me
They want to love me
They can love me
They loved me
They should have loved me
They wanted to love me
They could have loved me
I should love
I want to love
I can love
I should have loved
I wanted to love
I could have loved
I am loved
I should be loved
I want to be loved
I can be loved
I was loved
I should have been loved
I wanted to be loved
I could have been loved
They let me love them
They should let me love them
They want to let me love them
They can let me love them
They have let me love them
They should have let me love them
They wanted to let me love them
They could have let me love them
The verb in Aeranir is primarily made of three parts: stem, theme, and ending, with an optional forth category, the suffix, for forming the perfective. The stem carries the semantic content of the word, and can also be conjugated to carry modal imformation. The theme describes how the stem interacts with the ending, and can also be changed, along with the stem and endings, to express a variety of different grammatical meanings. Endings indicate the voice, aspect, person, number, and gender of the most oblique argument in the DGA scheme.
The way in which a verb will conjugate can be determined from how it forms the following five constructions:
- the active idicative imperfective first person singular
- the active imperfective accusative infinitive
- the active perfective participle
- the active desiderative imperfective first person singular
- the active indicative perfective first person singular
These five forms are refered to as a verb's reference forms. They are often shortend to first person singular (1p.sg), accusative infinitive (acc.inf), perfective participle (pfv.ptcp), desiderative first person singular (des.1p.sg), and perfective first person singular (pfv.1p.sg) respectively.
The first two of these reference forms determines a verb's base theme vowel, or what vowel is used in its indicative imperfective forms. There are four main thematic classes; one weak or null class, wherein the ending is applied directly to the stem, and three strong classes, wherein a thematic vowel is inserted between the stem and the ending.
|-m-||→ -mpt-||→ -s-*|
|-p-||→ -pt-||→ -ps-|
|-c-||→ -ct-||→ -x-|
|-q-||→ -qt-||→ -qs-|
|-b-||→ -pt-*||→ -ps-*|
|-d-||→ -s-*||→ -s-*|
|-g-||→ -ct-*||→ -x-*|
|-s-||→ -st-||→ -ss-|
|-i-||→ -ct-*||→ -x-*|
|-V-||→ -Vt-||→ -Vr-|
|-iȥ||→ -aȥ||→ -eȥ||→ -iȥ|
|-is||→ -ās||→ -ēs||→ -īs|
|-a||→ -a||→ -ea||→ -ia|
|-ī||→ -ae||→ -ī||→ -ī|
|-ïmus||→ -āmus||→ -ēmus||→ -īmus|
|-or||→ -or||→ -eor||→ -ior|
|-ēlō||→ -ālō||→ -ēlō||→ -iēlō|
The second two determine a verbs's t-stem and s-stem. These stem alterations are used for further conjugation, the t-stem forming the active and middle perfective participles, the causative voice, and the potential mood, and the s-stem forming the desiderative. The t- and s-forms often are identical, however meaning is useally further differentiated by thematic vowels, so completely identical forms are rare.
The final form determines how a verb with form the perfective aspect. Generally, there are three main strategies for this: the application of suffix -u- directly after the stem (e.g. oeliȥ ("I work") → oeluī ("I worked")), the appication of the suffix -v- after a theme vowel (e.g. aedaȥ ("they love me") → aedāvī ("they loved me")), or no suffix, with lengthening of the root vowel (e.g. legiȥ ("I choose") → lēgī ("I chose")). It should be noted that the perfective is always followed by weak endings.
Occassionally, a thematic vowel, weak or strong, may be inserted before the t- or s-stem. This is most common in verbs with a base thematic -ā-, which often functions as a part of the stem (e.g. aedaȥ → aedātus ("that loved") aedārit ("they want to love me") vs. mavaȥ ("I wander") → mautus ("that wandered") maurit ("I want to wander)). This may occur with other theme classes, although it should be noted that -ē- is never used, and is always replaced with -ī-.
Aeranir verbs have two basic aspects, which express how the verb extends over time. Aspect differs from tense in that it deals with the completion or continuity of an action or state, rather than the absolute timeframe inwhich it took place. Each aspect may be in any voice and/or mood. Aspect is expressed primarily through endings, and secondarily through the suffix, as discussed above.
The imperfective aspect describes a situation viewed with interior composition. It describes ongoing, habitual, or repeated situations, rather or not they occured in the past, present, or future. The imperfective aspect is considered the most basic, unmarked aspect of a verb. The stem is uninflected, and endings are attached directly to the verb's basic theme vowel.
The perfective aspect in Aeranir describes situations viewed with exterior composition, which is to say actions which are completed and viewed as a unified whole, whether thet take place in the past present, or future, although this construction is very rarely used in for the future.
There are a variety of different strategies to form the perfective. Many of them involve the suffix, which takes the form of -v- between vowels and -u- after consonants. All of them take the perfective endings.
- Attachment of the suffix directly to the stem.
- Attachment of the suffix after base thematic vowel.
- No suffix; perfective endings attached directly to the stem, with root vowel lengthening.
The indicative mood is the baseline grammatical mood in Aeranir. It is used in declarative statements, to express statements or facts, of what the speaker considers true or known. It is the least marked mood of a verb, taking endings directly to the base theme vowel, stem, or suffix.
The subjunctive mood has numerous, but genreally speaking is used to express such nuances as 'would,' 'should,' or 'may.' It can be used to refer to information that the speaker is unsure about, such as hearsay, or for theoretical or hypotherical situations. It is often found in subordinate clauses, annd may be used for conditional statements (e.g. if..., when...).
|Weak Verbs||-ø- → -ē-||mendiȥ → mendet|
|-ē- → -ā-||mendēlō → mendālō|
|a-stem||-ā- → -ē-||aedaȥ → aedet|
aedālō → aedēlō
|i-stem||-ī- → -iā-||saepiȥ → saepiat|
|-iē- → -iā-||saepiēlō → saepiālō|
|e-stem||-ē- → -eā-||cōreȥ → cōreat|
cōrēlō → cōreālō
Forming the subjunctive
The subjunctive is formed by shifting a verb's base theme vowel, as described by the table to the left. This shift happens after the stem, but may be either before or after the suffix, depending on whether or not there is a theme vowel before the suffix in the indicative. So the perfective of aedēs ("they should love it") is aedēvis (from indicative aedāvis) but saepiās ("they should cut it") is saepuēs (from indicative saepuis), not **aedāvēs or **saepēvis. Although these forms are occasionally found in non-standard writing, they are considered incorrect my grammaticians.
The imperfective subjunctive uses the 1st person sungular -it instead of -iȥ, and -ō instead of -or: paciȥ, pacior ("they take me, I take") become paciat, paciō ("they should take me, I should take").
The 1st person subjunctive perfective in verbs that have no theme vowel before the suffix and does not extend the root vowel is identical to the indicative, and the mood must be inferred through conext: saepuī may be either "they cut me" or "They should cut me." The 3rd person active cyclical singulars in verbs with base theme vowels -ī- and -ē- are also identical, e.g. both pacia ("they take it/they should take it"), augea ("they see it/they should see it").
Uses of the subjunctive
The subjunctive has numerous uses, ranging from what potentially might be true to what the speaker wishes or commands should happen. It is often translated with 'should', 'could', 'would', 'may' and so on, but in certain contexts it is translated as if it were an ordinary indicative verb.
One use of the subjunctive is the speculative subjunction, used when the speaker imagines what potentially may, might, would, or could happen in the present or future or might have happened in the past.
- augeārur oelun stere
'This job may seem difficult'
- moeiea oscülan salva
'Little Oscus might like a book'
- augeārur oelun stere
The subjunctive may also be used as the optative subjunctive, expressing what the speaker wishes may happen, or wishes had happened. These expresses a weaker or more generalised desire, as opposed to the desiderative mood.
- proetēstī monde!
'May you be healthy and prosperous!'
- hicciāvis fisc bernus indërī
'If only this storm hadn't come to the capital'
- proetēstī monde!
The jussive subjunctive can be used for commands or suggestions for what should happen. It is less direct and far more common than the imperative.
- ven hānō ēvecō veniendō
You should go to the temple to prevail against the curse.
- ven hānō ēvecō veniendō
Perhaps the most common use of the subjunctive is the conditional subjunctive. When the subjunctive is used in a subordinate clause (with the verb moving to the final position), it may carry the meaning 'if, when, should, etc..' This can be used both in finite verb forms, and with participles, the former being more popular in Old inscriptions and the later in Classical ones.
- cōrdiō ven effertia altanē invegīs
If you are going to the assembly can you bring back water on the way?
- saub hānīs menī altan ceptiāvis cīs horientus aegïtae rhame
Only when one has washed themselves in the temple can one look upon a celestial god without dying.
- cōrdiō ven effertia altanē invegīs