An Bhlaoighne

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An Bhlaoighne
An Bhlaoighne Qheo
Pronunciation[an bʰlaojgʰne !ʰeo]
Created byPraimhín
SettingVerse:Méich Bhaonnáiqh, Verse:Irta
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An Bhlaoighne Qheo /an bʰlaojgʰne !ʰeo/ 'the special/holy speech', shortened as An Bhlaoighne, is a conlang inspired by reading Irish orthography literally (for example: seamh /seamh/). It was originally created by User:Praimhín.

In-universe, it is a conlang by Aoife Ní Fhlaithbheartaigh, inspired by pre-Trician reform Irish orthography. Though its grammar is Standard Average Talman, its phonology (before it evolves into Dheofáid) is less so.

An Bhlaoighne is used in a popular Irtan sci-fi video game created by Aoife where it is the ceremonial language of ascended transhumans in a culture called Méich Bhaonnáiqh. The conlang steals morphemes from many languages, including Irish (samhradh for summer etc.), Hebrew, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean, and Indo-Iranian (especially when they sound like literally read Irish words: for example tanaí, 'thin' in Irish, means 'condition' in An Bhlaoighne, from Hebrew תנאי TibH /tʰa'na:aj/). Hebrew (from all stages) is also a major influence on the semantics/derivation of words. However, the majority of the vocabulary is a priori (read: a significant fraction of which is Earth math and xenharmonic music Easter eggs).

The facts stated here as descriptive of the spoken language refer to the spoken language of the first generation of native speakers in CF Tricin. Mentions of prescriptivism refer to the original grammar used in the video game and codified by Aoife.

Todo

introduce Talmudic in-jokes in all of Aoife's languages

-í adjectives become -íd nouns (-īd was '-ity' in my first thensarian)

i gliashón = ?

What does -aigh mean?

cleopatra, cleopatramh, cleopatraigh = ?

Make the grammar as un-European as a Standard Average Talman language can get (Irish and Hebrew count as Standard Average Talman for this purpose, but we aren't using tricons)

Non-European Eevo features

  • Specificity but no definiteness marking in articles in Dheofáid
  • Lack of grammatical number in Dheofáid
  • Prepositional suffixes for nouns, like Eevo hmawg lly etc.
  • Topic-comment structure
  • Construct state
  • Natural gender in Dheofáid (rare in SAE)
  • difference between is-a and is-the (only in Goidelic?)

Non-European Anbirese features

  • Turkish style evidentiality?
    • past participle is unmarked, preterite is hearsay
  • Split ergativity
  • Finnish-style multiple infinitives
  • Infinitive absolute
  • Inalienable v. alienable possession (construct/suffixes for inalienable, an equivalent of "shel" for alienable)
  • "muches to forgive" type cóntructions (also in Hebrew)

Non-European Naeng features

  • No morphological comparatives
  • non-definite specific articles
  • Negation in complement clauses are not raised as in English ("I think not-X" = 'I don't think X')
  • Adjectives are more verbal than nominal

Non-European Tseer features

  • Possessive pronoun suffixes
  • Predicative pronoun suffixes (for "is-a")
  • Telicity
  • Pluractionality: marked with a prefix?

Prescriptive phonology

a e i o u á é í ó ú /ä e̞ i o̞ u ä: e̞: i: o̞: u:/ + far too many diphthongs to even count!

b c d f g h l m n p q r s t x /b k d̪ f g h~ɦ l̪ m n̪ p ! r s t̪ ɬ/

s may be dental or alveolar.

As an orthoepic measure, a glottal stop is prescriptively added to vowel-initial words and initial prenasalized consonants: an mblaoighne [an ʔᵐblaojgʰne].

nn doesn't assimilate to a following velar whereas n does.

The letters 0bcdfgpqstx can participate in two mutations. In addition, m can be aspirated.

Aspiration (often called lenition): h bh ch dh fh gh mh ph qh sh th xh /h bʰ kʰ d̪ʰ fʰ gʰ mʰ pʰ !ʰ sʰ t̪ʰ ɬʰ/

Prenasalization (aka eclipsis): n- mb gc nd bhf ng _ bp gq dhs dt dhx /n̪ ᵐb ᵑk ⁿd̪ bʰf ᵑg ᵐp ᵑ! dʰs ⁿt̪ dʰɬ/

Prescriptively, nouns beginning in sp st sc sq sm are not subject to mutation. However, descriptively they may lenite to sph sth sch sqh shm.

Phonotactics

Similar to literally read Irish, but cht is disallowed.

Intonation

Prescriptively, basically identical to our Czech. Stress is invariably weakly initial.

Evolution

fh sh become /h 2/ initially and /v z/ otherwise

Non-initial ph th qh ch are preglottalized: béarrach [be̞ːarːaʔkʰ]

A glottal stop is added after a word-final vowel

aío in spoken An Bhlaoighne sounds like /aɟːo/, so tanaíodh /tanaɟːoðʱ/

ío sounds like /iɟːo/

ao aoi are often /au ɑy/

aí oí uí > Lithuanian aĩ uĩ uĩ or Vietnamese ây uy uy

bhf dhs = /b͡vʱ d͡zʱ/

Clicks become uvulars: q qh gq > /q qʰ ɴ~ɢ/

Some reading tradition (in MB)

ai = /ai/, a = /a:/, ái = /a::i/, á = /a:::/, ea = /ea/, = /ea::/, eái = /ea:i/, etc. (vowels with no fada are two morae, vowels with fada are 4 morae; a component with fada should always be longer than one without)

ae /a:e:/, aei /a:ei/, ao /a:o:/, aoi /a:oi/, eo /e:o:/, eoi /e:oi/

í is treated as íi (because ío is /i::o/ and í is the "slender" version)

róisín /ro::isi::in/

Writing

An Bhlaoighne is written in the Latin alphabet in Gaelic type, called "An Uathméal Róisín", because it's the first alphabet devised for the language. In addition Dheofáid uses an alphabet called "An Uathméal ___".

Morphology

Article

Both the definite and indefinite articles are 'an' in the singular, 'na' in the plural.

óis 'one' + plural definite and mhaidh 'some' + plural definite are often used instead of indefinite articles. The full declensions are only used in ceremonial contexts.

Nouns

Declension

The An Bhlaoighne nominal system has ten declensions.

  • The plural has the mutations in reverse order from the singular when listed according to gender.
  • The gender determines the singular indefinite and definite mutations (the definite has the corresponding mutation in Old Irish, and the indefinite has an offset of +1 from the definite.)
  • The declension 1, 2, 3 determines which gender has the same mutation for definite singular and definite plural (1 = m, 2 = f, 3 = n) and which gender has the same mutation for the indef. singular and indef. plural (1 = n, 2 = m, 3 = f).

First declension masculine: indef. sg. aspiration; indef. pl. prenasalization; def. sg. no mutation; def. pl. no mutation

First declension feminine: indef. sg. prenasalization; indef. pl. aspiration; def. sg. aspiration; def. pl. prenasalization

First declension neuter: indef. sg. no mutation; indef. pl. no mutation; def. sg. prenasalization; def. pl. aspiration

Second declension masculine: indef. sg. aspiration; indef. pl. aspiration; def. sg. no mutation; def. pl. prenasalization

Second declension feminine: indef. sg. prenasalization; indef. pl. no mutation; def. sg. aspiration; def. pl. aspiration

Second declension neuter: indef. sg. no mutation; indef. pl. prenasalization; def. sg. prenasalization; def. pl. no mutation

Third declension masculine: indef. sg. aspiration; indef. pl. no mutation; def. sg. no mutation; def. pl. aspiration

Third declension feminine: indef. sg. prenasalization; indef. pl. prenasalization; def. sg. aspiration; def. pl. no mutation

Third declension neuter: indef. sg. no mutation; indef. pl. aspiration; def. sg. prenasalization; def. pl. prenasalization

Examples:

bheathra 'man' - 2nd decl. masc.
Singular Plural
Indefinite an bheathra na bheathra
Definite an beathra na mbeathra
chealim 'table' - 1st decl. masc.
Singular Plural
Indefinite an chealim na gcealim
Definite an cealim na cealim
mblaoighne 'language' - 1st decl. fem.
Singular Plural
Indefinite an mblaoighne na bhlaoighne
Definite an bhlaoighne na mblaoighne
fiodainn 'honor' - 3rd decl. neut.
Singular Plural
Indefinite an fiodainn na fhiodainn
Definite an bhfiodainn na bhfiodainn
páirín 'house' - 2nd decl. neut.
Singular Plural
Indefinite an páirín na bpáirín
Definite an bpáirín na páirín

(Nouns beginning with 'm' can only be 2nd decl masc, 2nd dec fem, 3rd decl masc or 1st decl fem)

There's also a 'grab bag' class of nouns that begin with consonants that can't be mutated. The gender of a noun in this class is determined solely by meaning, and there is no way to differentiate between its definite and indefinite form.

Construct state

LIke Hebrew but unlike Irish, An Bhlaoighne has construct state but no case. A noun in construct state always lenites the following noun unless there is an article in between (should depend on declension probs). The construct can be irregular, but is regularly formed in the following ways:

  • If the noun ends in a consonant, the construct state is formed by adding -a/-e.
  • If the noun ends in an unstressed -a/-e, the construct is formed by removing -a/-e.
  • Monosyllabic open-syllable nouns are more irregular: 'city', construct state .
Placing the article in a construct chain

Prescriptively, there are two possible ways to place the article in a construct noun phrase:

  1. A construct chain can have the article placed before the whole chain: an Chló Fhábh 'Clofabin River' (which mutates the first noun according to its declension), and lenition triggered by preceding construct state nouns is applied as usual.
  2. Especially when a suffix is added to the whole phrase, the article may be placed right before the last word: Cló an Fhábhaí 'the Clofabian (person)', Cló an Fhábhais 'the Clofabian language'. The article's number is the number of the whole noun phrase. The article forces the last word to mutate the same way as the first noun in the chain; this distinguishes, for example, NOUN1 an1 NOUN2-í (-í modifies the whole phrase "NOUN1 NOUN2") and NOUN1 an2 NOUN2-í (-í modifies NOUN2).

Descriptively, only the first construction is used.

Pronouns

Independent pronouns:

  • rúr: I
  • qéiq: thou
  • áix: he
  • áig: she
  • ár: sg they
  • annsan: this
  • annan: that, it
  • léil: we (exc)
  • dhéidh: we (inc)
  • bhéibh: ye
  • annana: they

Possessive suffixes

Noun possession suffixes are similar to preposition inflection (as in Hebrew). They are added to construct forms.

pairín, pairín 'house(s)': pairíniúr, pairíniq, pairínear, pairíneannsa, pairíneann, pairínil, pairínidh, pairínibh, pairíneanna

gurbán, gurbáin 'cat': gurbáiniúr, gurbáiniq, ...

If the construct form is a monosyllabic open syllable, -th- is added before the suffix:

dó, dá 'city': dáthúr, dáthaiq, dáthar, dáthannsa, dáthann, dáthail, dáthaidh, dáthaibh, dáthanna

Emphatic pronoun suffixes are reduplicated forms similar to independent pronouns:

  • pairínearúr, pairíniqéiq, pairíneár, pairíneannsan, pairíneannan, pairíniléil, pairínidhéidh, pairínibhéibh, pairíneannana

Adjectives

Adjectives agree with nouns in mutation, and they always take an/na (because Hebrew)?

An Bhlaoighne has no morphological comparatives or superlatives. eothar 'more', eo 'as much', eothamh 'most' and ho, fa, af 'than (lit. from)' are used.

Relative clauses

do

Demonstratives

  • ann an bpairín = that house
  • anns an bpairín/ann an bpairínse = this house
    • the choice of -se or -sa is determined by "bwb sws": ann an beathrasa 'this man'
  • ann = that
  • annsa = this

Tense particles

The past tense uses a finite verb form.

  • present progressive: ceis, cean (with the article)
  • future: liobh, lian (with the article)
  • originally aorist ("timeless"), now present habitual: fo, fon
  • Fon cealim go bhfóine. /fon kealim go bʰfo:jne/ 'The table is white'
  • Cean beathra go gxeathair. /kean beatʰra go ŋ|eatʰajr/ 'The man is walking'
  • Cean bheathra go mblaoighne. /kean bʰeatʰra go ᵐblaojgʰne/ 'A man is speaking'

(go+prenasalization literally means 'in')

Prepositions

  • 'in': go (+E) + an = ni, go + na = in
  • 'at': bho (+mut), ra, ar
  • 'on': i (+L), i + an = ma, i + na = am
  • 'with (com)': ro (+ no mut) + an = ca, ro + na = ac
  • 'to': eis (+no mut) + an = sa, eis + na = as
  • 'like': qe (+no mut) + an = xa, qe + na = ax
  • 'from': ho (+E), fa, af
  • 'with (inst), by': no, ba, ab

Inflected prepositions

I, you, he/she, this, that, we.ex, we.in, you, they

niúr, néiq, near, neannsa, neann, néil, néidh, néibh, neanna

cúr, cóiq, cór, cónnsa, cónn, cóil, cóidh, cóibh, cónna

qiúr, qéiq, qear, qeannsa, qeann, qéil, qéidh, qéibh, qeanna

Tense particles also inflect:

ceis: c(eis)iúr, ceisiq/cíq, c(eis)ear, c(eis)eannsa, c(eis)eann, ceisil/cíl, ceisidh/cídh, c(eis)ibh/cíbh, c(eis)eanna

éadh: é(adh)úr, éiq, éar, éannsa, éann, éil, éidh, éibh, éanna

liobh: liúr, líq, liar, liannsa, liann, líl, lídh, líbh, lianna

fo: fúr, fóiq, fór, fónnsa, fónn, fóil, fóidh, fóibh, fónna

Adverbs

Adverbs are marked with the ending -ach.

Verbs

An Bhlaoighne verbs have only 2 principal parts: the imperative and the verbal noun. Dictionaries cite the verbal noun in the form that follows the definite article an. All verbal nouns are 3rd declension feminine.

An example dictionary entry: "pól, an phólanna = to fall"

xe+L for pluractionality, combines with go to form qo+L

Fon lachnamh go dhsianna 'the worker builds' (unmarked for pluractionality, but often means the building happens once or to one thing)

Fon lachnamh qo shianna (the worker builds often/many things)

The citation form is the imperative:

  • Sia! 'Build (thou) it!'
    • The plural is formed with -ibh: Siaibh! 'Build (ye)!' This is lost in Dheofáid.
  • Xe shia! 'Build (thou) them!'
  • Aoigh! 'Run (thou)!'
  • Xe h-aoighibh! (proscribed but common: Xe h-aoigh!) 'Run, you people!'

The preterite tense, which uses ergative and VOS syntax, is formed with cho + N + imperative or xeach + N + imperative:

  • Cho dhsia ab lachnamh (The workers built something)
  • Xeach dhsia ab lachnamh (The workers built many things)
  • Cho dhsia an bpairín ab lachnamh (The workers built the house)
  • Cho dhsiann ab lachnamh (The workers built it)
  • Prescriptively: Xeach dhsianna ab lachnamh (The workers built them) vs Xeach dhsiann ab lachnamh (The workers built the same thing over and over). However, people usually say the latter for both senses.

Translating "be"

Derivational morphology

  • -dhár: relating to, full of
    • ceifheardhár = loving
  • -aid: VM
  • -áid: VN for verbs ending in -adh
  • -anna, -na/ne, -air, -aid: verbal noun suffixes
  • -amh: agentive
  • -ín: places ("slenderizes" the last consonant except -ch)
  • -í: adjective
  • -t(h)(e)ar: places? (from Naeng)

Syntax

An Bhlaoighne is strictly head-initial.

Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Dependent clauses

Conjunctions, "infinitive clauses"

Fronting

Focusing

Numerals

Ordinals are formed by affixing the circumfix ro-[root]-ín. (ro- does not mutate). This construction literally means "of the nth place" using the place suffix -ín.

Numerals always come before, and lenite, the noun they modify.

  • 0 = dírabh /di:rabʰ/ (ordinal: ro-díraibhín)
  • 1 = óis /o:js/ (ordinal: róisín)
  • 2 = réix /re:jɬ/ (ordinal: ro-réixín)
  • 3 = daobhe /daobʰe/, daobh (ordinal: ro-daoibhín)
  • 4 = fuín /fwi:n/ (ordinal: ro-fuínín)
  • 5 = seamh /seamʰ/ (ordinal: ro-seimhín)
  • 6 = taca /taka/ (ordinal: ro-taicín)
  • 7 = óista n-óis /o:jsta no:js/ (ordinal: róistanóisín)
  • 8 = óista réix /o:jsta re:jɬ/ (ordinal: róistaréixín)
  • 9 = óista ndaobh /o:jsta ⁿdaobʰe/
  • 10 = óista bhfuín /o:jsta bʰfwi:n/
  • 11 = óista dhseamh /o:jsta dʰseamʰ/
  • 12 = réixta /re:jɬta/
  • 18 = daobheta /daobʰeta/ or daobhta /daobʰta/
  • 24 = fuínta /fwi:nta/
  • 30 = seamhta /seamʰta/
  • 36 = gról /gro:l/
  • 37 = gról óis /gro:l o:js/
  • 38 = gról réix /gro:l re:jɬ/

...

  • 72 = réix gról

...

  • 1295 = seamhta dhseamh gról seamhta dhseamh
  • 1296 = qaoiche /tɬaojkʰe/

Example texts

Modern An Bhlaoighne

Modern An Bhlaoighne, or An Bhlaoighne do Dheofáid (pronounced /fla̤ːn θɪvʊid̪/, or /fla̤ːnvʊid̪/ in rapid speech) is the most popular in-universe conlang in Future Crackfic Tricin and has more native speakers in Cualand than many natlangs. Its pronunciation is much simpler and more eroded but its orthography is pretty much the same as An Bhlaoighne, which makes for some really bloated spellings, and even whole words can be silent, like "na" which serves as a noun marker in written Dheofáid.

An Dheofáid uses a version of Square Word Calligraphy.

An Dheofáid has no noun genders or declensions; the definite plural is the only form of a noun that survives (except in the occasional instance where the definite singular becomes a singulative).

Diachronics

Full on e/i and o/u mergers, including ei->í, ea->ia, aoi->aui etc. followed by Khmerization? Dheofáid needs as much orthographic vowel craziness as English or Khmer

Phonology

Initially all 4 stop series of An Bhlaoighne remain distinct: t th d dh become /t̪⁼ t̪ʰ ð θ/. However, posttonic t and d both become /d̪/, and posttonic th and dh both become /ð/ (-ch and -gh become /x/ and -gh sometimes -j or -w)

Early Dheofáid has suprasegmental breathy voice deriving from post-tonic breathy voiced consonants bh dh fh gh mh sh: rámhann 'its homology' becomes /ra̤ɨ̤mə̤n/ but rámann 'its porch' becomes /raɨmən/. Breathy voice conditions a vowel split in later Dheofáid, as in Old Khmer to Modern Khmer. The phonology is otherwise not too different from Brythonic Celtic languages. There are lots of vowel/diphthong mergers though some An Bhlaoighne monophthongs turned into diphthongs like í /ei/.

Silent gh

Dheofáid has vowel coloring from former gh - íogh sounds like /iw/.

Consonant mergers and splits

q and x get merged completely into Welsh ll

c, g and ch undergo a broad/slender split: cealim sounds like /tʃələm/

Orthography

Grammar

Dheofáid has part of speech markers like Esperanto, but they're standalone words and are silent. Some of these part of speech markers are

  • na for nouns
    • an for proper, singulative and mass nouns
  • do for adjectives and subordinate clauses -- it was originally a relative clause marker

Number is not marked morphologically in Dheofáid. However, pluractionality is mamdatory.

Sociolinguistics

Speakers of Dheofáid think An Bhlaoighne is pronounced like it.

Other resources