Avendonian

From Linguifex
Jump to: navigation, search
Avendonian
avendoniano
Pronunciation [avendoˈni̯ano]
Created by S.C.
Setting Alt-history Europe
Spoken natively in Avendonia
Region Avendonia, Northern Italic Peninsula
Language family
Indo-European
Early forms:
Old Avendonian
  • Avendonian
Standard forms
Central Avendonian dialect
Dialects
North Adriatic (nordadriatico)
Alpine (alpino)
High Burgundian (ocburgundico)
Low Burgundian (lagburgundico)
Genoese (genoico)
Writing system Latin
Official status
Official language in Avendonia
ISO 639-3
Locator Map Avendonia.png
Approximate borders of Avendonia

Avendonian (autoglossonym: avendoniano; Avendonian: [avendoˈni̯ano]) is a West Germanic language, with strong influence of Vulgar Latin. It is the result of a prolonged contact among members of both regions, after West Germanic merchants began travelling to and from the Western Roman Empire. These connections—and the conquest by the Germanic tribes of the northern skirts of the Roman Empire—slowly formed a creole for mutual communication. Eventually, permanent settlements were established in what would become modern-day Avendonia, where Avendonian is primarily spoken, with official status.

While its vocabulary derives for the most part from Proto-Germanic, Latin influence is most notable in its phonology and its grammar.

Etymology

The language name derives directly from the country it is spoken in, Avendonia. It makes reference to the Roman description of the Avendonian peoples, which were settled west of Rome; in the direction of the setting sun. Ultimately from Proto-Germanic *ēbanþs (“evening”), it came to mean “sunset people” or “people of the setting sun”.

Orthography

The Avendonian alphabet consists of 18 letters, five of which are vowels and 13 consonants. There are no diacritics, and contractions make use of the apostrophe to mark vowel omission.

Letters of the Avendonian alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Ii Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv

Non-native letters such as J, K, Q, Z, etc. may occur in some foreign words or proper nouns, chiefly in toponyms and given names. Yy is part of the alphabet of the Burgundian dialects of Avendonian, like in dydere.

The letters correspond almost one to one to their pronunciation. The Avendonian orthography is considered shallow or phonetic, as opposed to deep orthographies like French's. The orthography features that do not follow the correspondance are:

  • The letters c and g make the sound /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/, respectively, if followed by e or i. Examples: cicare /t͡͡ʃiˈkare/, geldo /ˈd͡ʒeldo/.
  • t in the combination ti makes the sound /t͡s/. Example: tite /ˈt͡site/.
  • The combination gn makes the sound /ɲ/, as in Italian or Spanish ñ. Example: gnagare /ɲaˈgare/.
  • i in intervocalic position or word-initially turns into the semivowel /j/. Examples: iaro /ˈjaro/, bluiare /bluˈjare/.
  • The digraph sc before front vowels (i.e. i and e) makes the sound /ʃ/. Example: sciio /ˈʃijo/.
  • The digraph ch makes the sound /k/, and it is only found in loanwords.

Phonology

Consonants

Consonant phonemes
Labial Dental/
alveolar
Post-
alveolar
/
palatal
Velar
Nasal m n ɲ (ŋ)
Stop p b t d  k ɡ
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Fricative f v s ʃ
Approximant j
Lateral l
Trill r
Flap (ɾ)

Notes:

  • As stated in §Orthography, /k, g, sk/ palatalize to /t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ, ʃ/ before front vowels /i, e/.
  • When followed or preceded by a vowel but not word-initially, /i/ shortens and forms a diphthong with the adjacent vowel. Examples: sigie /ˈsid͡ʒi̯e/, perstelitio /persteˈlit͡si̯o/.
  • [ɾ] is a permissible allophone of /r/ in fast speech.
  • [ŋ] is an allophone of /n/ before velar stops /k, g/, both intra- and intersyllabically, although the former can only happen in the Low Burgundian dialect.
    Examples: drincare /driŋˈkare/, anguste /aŋˈguste/, Low Burgundian clang /klaŋg/ (standard clango).

Vowels

Vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i (y) u
Close-mid e o
Open a

Notes:

  • /y/ is native to the Burgundian dialects. See §Dialects below.
  • /e, o/ may be realized as [e̞, o̞].

Prosody

Avendonian is strictly paroxytonic, meaning words always receive stress on their second-to-last syllable.

spraca (SPRA-ca) /ˈspra.ka/, ordo (OR-do) /ˈor.do/, bucaria (bu-CA-ria) /bu.ˈka.ri̯a/, etc.

Monosyllabic words like blio have the stress in their only syllable, but it is weaker than those in polysyllabic words, unless emphasized. Enclitic and other unstressed personal pronouns do not affect stress patterns:

elpare-te, /el.ˈpa.re‿te/ and not /el.pa.ˈre‿te/

Longer words (four or more syllables) may receive a secondary stress in the fourth-to-last syllable (i.e. two syllables before the main or primary stress):

sobgrundsporvego /sob.ˌgrund.spor.ˈve.go/, surstopitio /ˌsur.sto.ˈpi.t͡si̯o/

Grammar

Avendonian grammar is relatively straightforward and akin to the grammar of other Romance languages, due to the influence of Latin.

  1. Two sets of articles, indefinite and definite, preceding the noun.
  2. Gender and number inflection in nouns, adjectives, and pronouns. Articles and adjectives must agree inflection-wise with the noun or pronoun they modify.
  3. Twofold gender system, masculine and feminine. Loss of Latin neuter gender.
  4. Fusional verb inflection for person, number, mood, and tense.

However, noun and adjective declension endings, along with the ablaut in strong verbs are elements derived from Germanic.

Articles

Both definite and indefinite articles have four distinct forms, for number and gender:


Avendonian articles function similarly as English a and the, but gender and number of the following noun determine the form that must be used. For example:

buce m sgel buce (“the book”), uno buce (“a book”).
frage f plle frage (“the questions”), une frage (“some questions”).
etc.

The definite article el forms a contraction with prepositions a and de, using an apostrophe: a'l, d'el. These are the only standard contractions; other contractions like Ca ga't? from ga + et (“How goes it?”, greeting) are not disallowed but are discouraged in formal writing.

Demonstratives

In Avendonian there are two sets of demonstratives, which can be used either as determiners or pronouns: proximal and distal. As adjectives, the stem may be suffixed with -ie to form adverbs, ecie here and elie there respectively.

Nouns

Avendonian noun declensions
A-stem O-stem E-stem U-stem
singular -a -o -e -o
plural -e -i -u

Nouns in Avendonian fall in one of the following almost fully regular declensions:

Notable exceptions are the productive suffix -tio, which forms feminine o-stem nouns from verbs, and the -ista suffix forms epicene a-stem nouns. Other words have no distinctive feature in the modern language, i.e. differences are etymological.

Personal pronouns

Avendonian personal pronouns
personal pronouns possessive
pronoun
subjective objective
first
person
singular eo me mede
plural vi nos nosde
second
person
singular standard tu te tede
formal Si Side
plural i vos vosde
third
person
singular masculine e si side
feminine si
neuter et
plural si

Personal pronouns in Avendonian have the following forms:

  • Avendonian is not a pro-drop language, as other Romance languages. In other words, the subject, which may or may not be a personal pronoun must appear in every sentence, except in relative clauses where the subject of both statements is the same.
Eo spreco avendoniano. I speak Avendonian
El hundo ce (et) va mudio asatui. The dog which was tired sat down.
  • Objective pronouns act as the direct object of a sentence. If the verb is an infinitive or an imperative, the pronoun is attached to it with a hyphen; otherwise, it precedes the verb.
E me gavo uno scenco en el burddago mede. He gave me a present for my birthday.
Bido, sende-me uno posrito cando si encumen. Please, send me a message when they arrive.
  • Possessive pronouns can function as determiners and pronouns, i.e. my and mine. Possessives
    must be written in the form of article + noun + possessive. The article still agrees in gender and number with the noun.
El vagno mede. My car.          Le sceiate side. His/Her/Their stories.
Perlosasti tu el buce tede? Eo cuno liare el mede. You lost your book? I can lend you mine.
  • Avendonian has, as in the Romance languages, T–V distinction. This distinction is lost in the plural. Formal second person pronouns are always capitalized, in all forms, no matter the environment.
Bido ero, ce bi el name Side? Excuse me sir, what is your name? (formal)
Si Si bi perlisato, vi cunamos ledere-Si. If you are lost, we can guide you. (formal)

Adjectives

As said above, adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun, and are placed after them. They exist in three degrees: positive, comparative, and superlative. All three degrees have an adverbial form, using the suffix -ie. In other words, every adjective can be morphed into an adverb.

Positive degree

The positive degree is the default form of Avendonian adjectives, which simply describes the noun. It is also the only degree subject to declensional variation. The declension patterns are exactly as those of nouns, although porpora is considered irregular, not a-stem.

Uno vagno roto. A red car.
La dotre sciia mede. My shy daughter.
Li landi fere. The distant or far countries.

The same forms can also be used predicatively. Thus: La dotre mede bi sciia. My daughter is shy., Li landi bin fere. The countries are far (away)., etc. Passive participles can function as regular adjectives, and active participles (or gerunds) result in undeclinable adjectives. An example of an adjective of each declension is given:

Comparative degree

Avendonian comparative adjectives can establish three sorts of comparison: equative (X is as Y as Z), superior (X is more Y than Z), and inferior (X is less Y than Z). Fusional endings are only used in
equative comparatives. Consider the following example:

  • Iane is shorter than Vilelmo. Iane bi curtior ce Vilelmo.
  • Iane is as short as Vilelmo. Iane bi ta curto ca Vilelmo.
  • Iane is “less short” than Vilelmo. Iane bi minire curto ca Vilelmo.

Notice the use of different prepositions in each comparison. Both X and Z can be personal pronouns, only in the subject form.

  • You are shorter than me. Tu bis curtior ce eo.

Superlative degree

Superlatives are always preceded by a definite article, and both must agree with the noun they are modifying. Thus:

  • Iane bi el curtesmo. Iane is the shortest.
  • Iane e Vilelmo bin li curtesmi. Iane and Vilelmo are the shortest.

Indeclinable adjectives

Some adjectives have a single form for all degrees, but the same effect is achieved placing before them the adverbs mere and mesto. Some of this adjectives are indeclinable for etymological reasons (e.g. na) or because of their nature as active participles (e.g. denemanti). Mesto however does inflect for gender and number, like a regular adjective.

na “near, close”
positive comparative superlative
na mere na mesto na


Verbs

Verbs are the part of speech that exhibits the most morphology in Avendonian. There are ten main tenses, three moods, six persons and two numbers—passive participles inflect for gender too. Verbs in Avendonian are, in general, very regular except a small set of verbs, which includes the copula sire.

Avendonian classifies both weak and strong verbs in two conjugations, -are (first conjugation) and -ere (second conjugation). The former are the most prone to have ablaut, which changes the vowel of the stem in the perfect tenses.

Weak verbs

weak 1st conjugation example paradigm — ladare “to load”
active participle ladanti
passive participle
masculine feminine
singular ladato ladata
plural ladati ladate
person   
   tense
first singular
eo
second singular
tu
third singular
e, si, et
first plural
vi
second plural
i
third plural
si
indicative present lado ladas lada ladamos ladates ladan
perfect lade ladasti lado ladamos ladastes ladaron
imperfect ladaba ladabas ladaba ladabamos ladabates ladaban
future ladarabo ladarabes ladarabe ladarabemos ladarabetes ladaraben
conditional ladaraba ladarabas ladaraba ladarabamos ladarabates ladaraban
subjunctive present lade lades lade lademos ladetes laden
perfect ladase ladases ladase ladasemos ladasetes ladasen
imperative lada ladan
weak 2nd conjugation example paradigm — ladere “to invite”
active participle ladenti
passive participle
masculine feminine
singular ladeto ladeta
plural ladeti ladete
person   
   tense
first singular
eo
second singular
tu
third singular
e, si, et
first plural
vi
second plural
i
third plural
si
indicative present lado lades lade lademos ladetes laden
perfect ladui laduis ladui laduimos laduites laduin
imperfect ladia ladias ladia ladiamos ladiates ladian
future laderabo laderabes laderabe laderabemos laderabetes laderaben
conditional laderaba laderabas laderaba laderabamos laderabates laderaban
subjunctive present lada ladas lada ladamos ladates ladan
perfect laduise laduises laduise laduisemos laduisetes laduisen
imperative lade laden

Notice:

  • The only difference between active and passive participles, present indicative, future, and conditional of each conjugation is the thematic vowel. E.g. 2sg prs ind ladas vs. lades.
  • Perfect subjunctive forms are perfect indicative forms with a -se suffix.
  • If the thematic vowel is a, then the vowel in the present subjunctive endings is e, and vice versa.
  • The personal endings in their most basic form are , -s, , -mos, -tes, -n.
  • Imperative forms are exactly as singular and plural third-person present indicative forms. Formal imperatives are formed similarly with present subjunctive forms.

Strong verbs

Strong verbs are conjugated as weak verbs, but the main stem vowel undergoes a phonological process known as ablaut. This is present in the indicative and subjunctive perfect tense. In the following example, the tenses that remain unchanged are omitted.

strong 1st conjugation example paradigm — scedare “to separate”
person   
   tense
first singular
eo
second singular
tu
third singular
e, si, et
first plural
vi
second plural
i
third plural
si
indicative present scedo scedas sceda scedamos scedates scedan
perfect scide scidasti scido scidamos scidastes scidaron
subjunctive perfect scidase scidases scidase scidasemos scidasetes scidasen
strong 2nd conjugation example paradigm — evere “to lift”
person   
   tense
first singular
eo
second singular
tu
third singular
e, si, et
first plural
vi
second plural
i
third plural
si
indicative present evo eves eve evemos evetes even
perfect uvui uvuis uvui uvuimos uvuites uvuin
subjunctive perfect uvuise uvuises uvuise uvuisemos uvuisetes uvuisen

Second-conjugation strong verbs are much less common than first-conjugation. They are derived from Proto-Germanic j-present strong verbs, and were already scarce.

Irregular verbs

Besides the copula, there are only two irregular verbs: duere and friiere—and derivatives thereof. In the perfect tenses, duere uses v instead of the expected u: eo davi, not *eo daui, tu davis, not *tu dauis, etc.; eo davise, tu davises, etc.

friiere, on the other hand, has an irregularity in the imperfect indicative tense. The expected *eo friiia, *tu friiias, etc. is rendered as eo frigia, tu frigias, etc.

sire, to be

Like many other languages, including Romance and Germanic, the verb “to be” is very irregular. The copula is suppletive, meaning the stem changes between stems. A full conjugation paradigm is given.

infinitive sire
active participle vesanti
passive participle
masculine feminine
singular sito sita
plural siti site
person   
   tense
first singular
eo
second singular
tu
third singular
e, si, et
first plural
vi
second plural
i
third plural
si
indicative present bi bis bin bimos bites bin
perfect va vas va vamos vates van
imperfect era eras era eramos erates eran
future sirabo sirabes sirabe sirabemos sirabetes siraben
conditional siraba sirabas siraba sirabamos sirabates siraban
subjunctive present si sis si simos sites sin
perfect vari varis vari varimos varites varin
imperative si sin
  Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es-. Cognate with German sein and Dutch zijn.
  From Latin sum.
  From Proto-Germanic *beuną.

Periphrastic forms

The future and conditional forms shown in all tables above are more common in formal settings. Usually, in everyday Avendonian, constructions with the verb verdare (“to become”) and an infinitive following it are used instead. If verdare is inflected as present, the periphrasis conveys a future meaning. If the verb is in the perfect tense, it functions as a conditional. Compare:

Eo si duerabo morgano.
Eo verdo duere-si morgano. I will do it tomorrow.
Vi Si geldarabamos sed ne abemos nilo.
Vi vardamos geldare-te sed ne abemos nilo. We would pay you but we have nothing.

Note that verdare is a strong verb, so it undergoes ablaut in the past as usual.

Dialects

There are six major dialects of Avendonian. Central Avendonian (or midio) is considered the standard language, and it is the language most of the author's work is based upon. The main features of the other five dialects will be discussed in the following sections.

Alpine dialect

The Alpine dialect (avendoniano alpino in Avendonian) is characterized by the partial application of the w:High German consonant shift. This results in words like trincare (central drincare), esare (central etare), etc. The perfect tense is periphrastic in Alpine Avendonian. In place of the inflectional endings, a verbal construction is used. Its structure is present indicative or subjunctive of abere, inflected for person and number + masculine singular passive participle of the main verb. E.g. eo levui vs. eo abo leveto.

Burgundian dialects

Both Burgundian dialects feature historical diphthongs not longer extant in other dialects, where they merged with another vowel. Proto-Germanic , *eu which merged with u, i elsewhere, remained uo, ie in the Burgundian dialects – for instance, buoce and friesare. They also share the presence of y (/y/), descended from earlier *iu; dydere (central didere).

The High Burgundian dialect (avendoniano ocburgundico) features the HGCS. Low Burgundian (avendoniano lagburgundico) does not. Instead, masculine o-stem nouns and regular adjectives drop their final -o, except in those words whose Proto-Germanic ancestor stem ended in /w/. Those words are:

Genoese dialect

The Avendonian variation spoken in Genoa (former Larastade), the capital city of Avendonia, and its surroundings is considered[by who?] a sociolect rather than a fully-fledged dialect. Due to the historical importance of Genoa as a trading center, the local vernacular is more internationalized. As a result, the language is not as conservative, i.e. has a greater tolerance for loanwords, largely from Romance languages. Examples of this are Genoese machina in lieu of native vilo, depresione vs. svarmuto, etc.

North Adriatic dialect

Maybe because of Slavic influence, the North Adriatic dialect of Avendonian (nordadriatico) features a series of palatalizations exclusive to this dialect. This is see in words like nace (nate) or scione (scone).

In addition, there is evidence of the existence of a pitch-accent system in North Adriatic Avendonian. Stressed syllables whose vowel evolved from a long vowel carries a rising tone, and causes the following vowel to be pronounced with a mid tone. Moreover, if the stressed vowel comes from a short vowel, but it is not followed by a historical consonant cluster or geminate, it carries a low falling tone. Vowels in any other environment are rendered toneless.

alico “alike, similar”, from PGmc. *galīkaz → [a.ˈlǐ.kō] or [a.ˈli˩˥.ko˧].
stulo “chair”, from PGmc. *stōlaz → [ˈstǔ.lō] or [ˈstu˩˥.lo˧].
uvilo “evil” (adj.), from PGmc. *ubilaz → [u.ˈvı᷆.lo] or [u.ˈvi˨˩.lo].
fadre “father”, from PGmc. *fadēr → [ˈfa᷆.dre] or [ˈfa˨˩.dre].

This feature is also present somewhat in northeastern and non-standard Central Avendonian.

Sample texts

El nordvinto e la suna stridaban ci era el starcior, cando uno resetore encamo uleto en uno mantelo varmo.

El

DEF.ART;M.SG

The

nordvinto

North Wind

North Wind

e

CONJ

and

l-a

DEF.ART-F.SG

the

suna

sun

Sun

strid-ab-an

fight-IMPERF-3PL

were disputing

ci

who

which

era

COP;IMPERF.3SG

was

el

DEF.ART;M.SG

the

starc-ior,

strong-COMP[M.SG]

stronger,

cando

when

when

un-o

INDF.ART-M.SG

a

resetore

traveler

traveler

El nordvinto e l-a suna strid-ab-an ci era el starc-ior, cando un-o resetore

DEF.ART;M.SG {North Wind} CONJ DEF.ART-F.SG sun fight-IMPERF-3PL who COP;IMPERF.3SG DEF.ART;M.SG strong-COMP[M.SG] when INDF.ART-M.SG traveler

The {North Wind} and the Sun {were disputing} which was the stronger, when a traveler


encam-o

PRF\come-PST.INDIC.3SG

came along

ul-et-o

cover-PP-M.SG

wrapped

en

in

in

un-o

INDF.ART-M.SG

a

mantelo

mantle

cloak

varm-o

warm-M.SG

warm

encam-o ul-et-o en un-o mantelo varm-o

PRF\come-PST.INDIC.3SG cover-PP-M.SG in INDF.ART-M.SG mantle warm-M.SG

{came along} wrapped in a cloak warm

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak.

External links